CLEARWATER, Fla. — RV Irish Softball rallied for a dominant Day Two of the 2020 NFCA Leadoff Classic, topping Missouri State 16-0 in five innings and coming from behind for a 7-5 win over No. 21 Ole Miss. Alexis Holloway marked the win in both games for the Irish, allowing just one run over the two appearances (nine innings).
HOW IT HAPPENED
Holloway took the mound for Notre Dame to start against Missouri State. Both squads were held scoreless until the bottom of the third, when the Irish erupted for eight runs. Abby Sweet advanced to third on a single, a Miranda Johnson groundout and a steal, and scored on a Quinn Biggio single. Thanks to an error by Missouri State, Chelsea Purcell reached second. Holloway stepped in the batter’s box and delivered, marking down a single to score Biggio.
Emma Clark grounded out, scoring Purcell, and Missouri State posted another error, which scored Holloway and put Leea Banks on base. Joley Mitchell singled, and Katie Marino stepped up to the plate to single. On the play, the Irish runners created confusion for Missouri State’s infield, and Hanks was able to advance and score on the throw.
Abby Sweet doubled to score Marino and Mitchell, and Miranda Johnson singled, advancing to second on the throw. With Sweet on third, Biggio doubled to score Sweet, while Johnson was tagged out in a close finish at the plate to end the inning.
Notre Dame kept the momentum on defense, turning a 1-6-3 double play to put away the top of the third, and put on another offensive show in the other half of the inning.
Holloway was the first Irish player on base with a double, and advanced to third on a Clark single. Hanks slapped a triple to score Holloway and Clark. Mitchell walked and stole second, while Marino reached base. Sweet singled to score Hanks and Mitchell. Johnson reached base to score Marino, and Anna Grace Wagner, pinch-hitting for Purcell, singled and advanced to second on the throw, driving in Sweet. Holloway was up to bat again, reaching base on a dropped fly and scoring Wagner and Johnson. Holloway was thrown out at second to end the inning.
Morgan Ryan entered in relief in the fourth inning, holding it down for Notre Dame until the fifth, when the 16-0 score resulted in a run rule for the Irish.
Payton Tidd started at pitcher for the Irish in the second matchup of the day against No. 21 Ole Miss. The Rebels ran up the score in the first, stacking singles to drive in four runs. Notre Dame quickly answered, as the Irish loaded the bases with a Marino walk, Johnson single and Biggio single. Brooke Marquez stepped up with a two-out hit to score Marino and Johnson to cut the deficit in half.
Holloway entered the game at pitcher in the bottom of the second. Thanks to quick turnarounds and superb throws from catcher Shelby Grimm, the Irish caught the Rebels stealing to end both the second and third innings, three-up, three down.
Notre Dame earned a breakthrough in the top of the fifth, as the Irish again loaded the bases (Holloway walk, Marquez single and Clark single). Hanks grounded out to score Holloway. After Mitchell was intentionally walked to load the bases, Marino served a two-run double, scoring Marquez and Clark. Sweet grounded out to score Mitchell, giving the Irish a 6-4 lead to end the inning.
Ole Miss kept it interesting in the bottom of the fifth, getting runners on base with two singles, driving in a run. Holloway and the Irish limited the damage, retiring the next batter to head to the sixth.
Biggio reached base on an error in the fifth, advancing to second. She claimed third on a Holloway sacrifice bunt and scored as Marquez singled.
Holloway held Ole Miss scoreless in the final two innings end the game at 7-5, marking her second win of the day and improving her season record to 2-1.
The Irish improve to 2-2, and mark their first win over a ranked team of the season.
Notre Dame will return for the final day of the 2020 NFCA Leadoff Sunday to take on South Alabama at Noon. Follow along on Twitter @NDSoftball and at und.com/mediastats for live updates.