Offense Sparks Irish To Ninth Straight Victory

MIAMI, Fla. — The University of Notre Dame softball team saw its offense ignite in the final two innings Wednesday at Florida International, using 13 hits and three home runs in an 8-0 victory over the Panthers at Felsburg Field.

The Irish (15-7) extended their winning streak to nine and scored seven of their eight runs in the sixth and seventh innings while limiting the Panthers (17-9) to just two hits. Starting pitcher Payton Tidd spun 5.0 shutout innings for the Irish, striking out five and allowing just two walks.

Ali Wester was 4-for-4 — improving to .487 on the season — with two runs scored, while Abby Sweet went 3-for-3 with a homer. Katie Marino was 2-for-3 with a three-run homer and two runs on the evening, while Cait Brooks also homered for the third straight game.

MK Bonamy tallied two RBI on one hit, while Melissa Rochford also drove in a run for the Irish.

Key Innings

Top 2: Sweet knocked her first home run of the year into the left field corner to give the Irish a 1-0 lead.

Bottom 3: FIU put runners on first and third with two outs, but Tidd induced an inning-ending groundout to strand the Panthers with a runner in scoring position.

Bottom 4: Tidd recorded her first three up, three down inning of the night, with a lineout and a pair of strikeouts accounting for a quick half inning.

Top 6: The Irish sent eight batters to the plate in the sixth, striking for three runs with an RBI single to left from Rochford and a two-run centerfield single from Bonamy. The Irish loaded the bases with one out to open the inning before the back-to-back hits from Rochford and Bonamy padded the Irish lead.

Top 7: Marino sent her fourth homer of the season over the fence in left-center, driving in Wester and Emma Clark. In the next at-bat, Brooks blasted her 10th home run of the season and fifth in three games to make it 8-0 in Notre Dame’s favor.

Next Up

The Irish will open Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend when they meet Florida State in Tallahassee for a three-game series, beginning with the lid-lifter at 6 p.m. ET Friday. All three games will air on ACC Network Extra. Fans can stay tuned to @NDSoftball on Twitter for the latest schedule updates, should changes occur.