NOTRE DAME, Indiana — The Notre Dame softball team opened its 2019 home schedule in style, scoring a pair of 9-1 victories over Louisville in ACC play Saturday afternoon. MK Bonamy had three RBI in support of Payton Tidd who won game one, before Ali Wester knocked in three during game two to help Alexis Holloway twirl a two-hitter.
The victory improved the Irish to 18-9 on the season and 3-2 in ACC play, while the Cardinals dropped to 19-10 and 2-3 in the league. Notre Dame has won 12 of its last 14 contests.
Key Innings – Game One
B1 | Bonamy spotted Tidd a 3-0 lead thanks to a bases-loaded double in the bottom of the first, plating Melissa Rochford, Abby Sweet and Katie Marino.
T2 | Louisville struck for its only run of the first game on a double steal where the throw to third got away, allowing pinch runner Jordyn Wolfe to score.
B5 | The Irish added on to make it 6-1 thanks to a towering home run to the left field bleachers by Quinn Biggio.
B6 | Notre Dame sent the teams to game two in the bottom of the sixth. Caitlyn Brooks opened the frame with a double to left before Sweet singled to put runners on the corners. Rochford served a base hit to right, scoring Brooks, before a Bonamy walk loaded the bases. Biggio flied out before Morgan Ryan, who had thrown one inning in relief of Tidd, hit a high chopper to third. The third baseman had no time to get Ryan at first and opted for a throw home, but it was behind the sliding Sweet to end the game.
Key Innings – Game Two
B1 | Wester was the spark plug as the Irish manufactured a run to take an early lead. She reached on a field error by the pitcher before Katie Marino sacrificed her to second. Wester advanced another 60 feet on a wild pitch before Brooks drove a single to center, scoring Wester.
T2 | The Cardinals threatened to tie or take the lead in the second, but some flashy defense kept them off the scoreboard. Holloway walked a pair of runners on full counts to start the inning before Maddy Newman hit a chopper right at Marino, the second baseman. Marino tagged the runner before throwing to first to retire the hitter. Bonamy then saw the lead runner rounding third and gunned her down at the plate to complete a triple play.
Two runners on with no outs?
No problem for the Irish!
— Notre Dame Softball (@NDsoftball) March 23, 2019
T5 | Louisville rallied to tie the game in the fifth. A lead-off walk was followed by a throwing error and infield single to load the bases. Holloway induced a ground ball back to the circle and retired the runner at first as the Cardinals tied the game. The Irish then used more defense for out number two, as a chopper was hit to Rochford at third. She went home and a rundown ensued before Holloway finally tagged the runner out between third and home. The play was officially scored 5-4-2-6-4-5-1. After a walk, Marino made a diving stop on a chopper towards the right field line to retire the hitter and limit the damage to one run.
B5 | The Irish responded and did so with authority. Holloway started teh rally with a single up the middle before she advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches. Alexis Bazos was hit by a pitch and stole second before Wester doubled up the middle to score both runs. Marino followed with a single down the left field line, scoring Wester and forcing a Louisville pitching change with the Irish now up 4-1. Brooks then drew a walk and after Sweet fouled out, Rochford singled to score Marino. Bonamy followed with another single, scoring Brooks, before Biggio walked. Holloway helped herself with an RBI single before Clark plated Bonamy with an RBI ground out. Wester then ended the contest with an RBI single, scoring Biggio, and providing the final margin of 9-1.
The Irish and Cardinals conclude the three-game set on Sunday, March 24, with a Noon first pitch at Melissa Cook Stadium. The game can be seen on ACC Network Extra.