BOCA RATON, Fla. — The University of Notre Dame softball team extended its winning streak to seven games with a pair of victories over East Carolina and Florida A&M Sunday in second-day action from the FAU/FIU Parents’ Weekend Tournament. The Irish blanked East Carolina, 5-0, and upended Florida A&M, 4-1, in the nightcap.
The seven-game win streak for Notre Dame (13-7) is its longest since February 24 to March 10 of last season (when the Irish also posted seven consecutive wins). Notre Dame hasn’t won at least eight straight games since 2016.
Caitlyn Brooks capped off a stellar weekend in style. She went 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs and four RBI in the victory over the Rattlers. Brooks went 1-for-2 with a run scored and RBI in the victory over the Pirates earlier in the day. She hit .417 (5-for-12) with three homers, seven RBI and four runs scored. Brooks slugged 1.167 in four games. She now leads the Irish with seven home runs and 21 RBI.
Alexis Holloway and Payton Tidd were each outstanding for the second straight day. The duo limited the Pirates and Rattlers to a combined one run on three hits in their two starts and 12.0 innings of work.
Holloway (6-4) was nearly flawless in her 6.0 scoreless innings of work against East Carolina. She allowed just one base hit and did not issue a walk. Holloway struck out seven. She retired the first 12 Pirate hitters of the game before yielding a base hit. Holloway then sent down the final six batters she faced. In all, she retired 18 of the 19 opposing hitters and East Carolina advanced just one runner into scoring position.
Tidd (6-3), who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, allowed just one earned run on two hits. She struck out five and walked one. Tidd retired 18 of the 22 batters she faced.
Ali Wester lifted her season batting average to .457 with five more hits in the doubleheader. She batted .643 (9-for-14) on the weekend with three runs scored and two stolen bases. Abby Sweet, who went 3-for-3 in the win over East Carolina, hit .500 (6-for-12) for the weekend. MK Bonamy also batted .500 (6-for-12) on the weekend and drove in four.
Morgan Ryan, who picked up a save against Florida A&M, recorded a pair of scoreless innings of relief this weekend.
Key Innings vs. East Carolina
Bottom 3 – Emma Clark legged out an infield single to open the inning. Wester followed with an infield single and Katie Marino gave the Irish a 1-0 lead with a double off the right-centerfield wall. Brooks followed with Notre Dame’s third straight hit–an RBI single to right field that extended the Irish lead to 2-0.
Bottom 5 – Marino drew a two-out walk and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Brooks followed with another walk and both scampered home on Melissa Rochford’s two-run double that caromed off the wall in right centerfield. With the Irish lead now 4-0, Bonamy continued her torrid weekend with an RBI single right back-up-the-middle to push the Notre Dame advantage to 5-0.
Key Innings vs. Florida A&M
Top 1 – Notre Dame grabbed a 2-0 lead on Brooks’ two-run home run. The round tripper was her team-high sixth of the season and second in as many days.
Top 5 – Brooks extended the lead to 3-0 with another home run–this one, a towering shot to left field. The homer was her second of the game and third in as many days.
Top 6 – Ellie Richards open the inning with a sharp single to left field and moved into scoring position after Wester’s infield single. After Marino laid down a sacrifice bunt, Brooks closed the Irish scoring with a sacrifice fly to right field–plating Richards–that gave Notre Dame a 4-0 lead.
Bottom 6 – After being held hitless over the first five innings, Florida A&M opened the sixth with back-to-back singles, but Tidd limited the damage to just one run.
The Irish are scheduled to play one more game at the FAU/FIU Parents’ Weekend Tournament Tuesday. Notre Dame is slated to take on host FAU at 6 p.m. ET. Fans can stay tuned to @NDSoftball on Twitter for the latest schedule updates, should changes occur.— ND —