CLEARWATER, Fla. – The University of Notre Dame softball team lost a pair of games on the diamond Saturday at the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational, falling to Minnesota 10-0 before losing a heartbreaking 7-6 decision in eight innings to California.
HOW IT HAPPENED
ND vs. Minnesota
Minnesota opened a 7-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to seven unearned runs. Morgan Ryan took over in relief in the top of the second inning and spun three straight scoreless frames for Notre Dame.
Despite the strong relief effort, the Golden Gophers would find three runs in the top of the fifth inning to end the game via run rule.
ND vs. Cal
California pushed two runs across in the bottom of the first inning to take a quick 2-0 lead. Payton Tidd forced a fly out to right field after the second run scored to get out of the inning.
Notre Dame tied the game in the top of the second. Katie Marino clubbed a one-out triple off the wall in right field, and Abby Sweet brought her home one batter later with a successful sacrifice bunt to cut the deficit to 2-1. A Quinn Biggio single and Tidd walk set the table for Alexis Bazos. A Bazos RBI double tied the game at 2-2.
Marino doubled to right field to lead off the fourth inning, taking third on a Cal throwing error after a Sweet infield single. A second throwing error later in the inning allowed Marino to score and gave Notre Dame a 3-2 advantage. With Sweet aboard, Biggio launched her first career home run deep and gone to left field to push the lead to 5-2.
After a Marino RBI single up the middle in the fifth made it 6-2 Notre Dame, Cal rallied with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the game to extras. The Bears held two Irish runners on in the top of the eighth and found the game-winning hit in the bottom half.
Notre Dame closes the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational on Sunday on ESPNU against No. RV/ 23 Ohio State inside the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex.