NOTRE DAME, Indiana — The Notre Dame softball team dropped a 5-3 contest to Louisville in the finale of a three-game ACC series on Sunday afternoon at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish (18-10, 3-3 ACC) took two-of-three from the Cardinals (20-10, 3-3) on the weekend.
Caitlyn Brooks, Melissa Rochford and Quinn Biggio had an RBI each for the Irish. Payton Tidd allowed one run in 3.2 innings of relief for Alexis Holloway, who suffered the loss. Louisville starter Megan Hensley held the Irish to three earned runs on five hits in 5.1 innings to earn the win.
T2 | The Cardinals struck first, plating a run in the second. Caitlin Ferguson started the rally with a single up the middle. After a strikeout, she stole second before Madison Cousineau doubled to right center to score the run. Holloway induced a fielder’s choice groundout before Charley Butler stole third and attempted to score as the ball got away from Rochford. Butler was tagged out retreating to third to end the frame.
T3 | Louisville threatened again, but the Irish used some stellar defense to put a zero on the scoreboard. With a runner on second and one out, Butler hit a chopper to Rochford who started a run down to get Paige Schindler runner at second. Butler was then gunned down after successfully stealing third and breaking for home when the ball scooted away from Rochford, who was then able to tag Butler before she could retreat to third.
The Irish with a perfectly executed rundown for the second day in a row!
— Notre Dame Softball (@NDsoftball) March 24, 2019
T4 | The Cardinals opened up the lead in the fourth. A leadoff walk to Hensley was followed by a sacrifice bunt to put the runner at second with one out. Ferguson laid down another bunt and appeared to be tagged out by MK Bonamy or at least run outside the baseline, but the first-base umpire made no call, safe or out, then asked for time and a conference of the three umpires resulted in a safe call. Kyra Snyder followed with a two-run single to left-center. The Irish turned to Tidd in the circle, who induced a groundout before walking Butler. A wild pith then plated Snyder before Tidd retired Newman swinging to end the frame with the visitors up 4-0.
B4 | The Irish finally broke through in the fourth. Katie Marino was the spark with a single to left. After Brooks went down swinging, Abby Sweet singled to center, with a throwing error putting runners on second and third. Rochford delivered an RBI single, scoring Marino, before Bonamy hit into a fielder’s choice with Sweet retired at third. Biggio served a single to left to cut the Cardinal lead to 4-2 and Tidd walked before Emma Clark grounded out to end the frame.
B5 | Notre Dame drew within a run in the fifth thanks to Brooks crushing her 12th homer of the season to right-center.
T6 | Louisville plated an insurance run in the sixth. Tidd retired the first two hitters before Butler singled to center and then stole second and third. After Newman walked, Celene Funke singled down the left field line to make it 5-3.
B7 | The Irish threatened in their final at-bat. Bonamy hit a one-out single through the left side and Biggio walked on a nine-pitch at-bat to put two runners on. Tidd then flied out to left before Bazos flew out to center on a seven-pitch at-bat to end the ballgame.
Notre Dame returns to Melissa Cook Stadium on Wednesday, March 27, when Western Michigan visits. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m. and early arriving fans can purchase $1 hot dogs. Fans unable to attend can watch live on ACC Network Extra.