ORLANDO, Florida — The Notre Dame softball team won its first two games in competition at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic, defeating Fordham and UAB on Saturday afternoon at the Wide World of Sports complex.
The Irish rallied with a five-run sixth inning keyed by a Katie Marino three-run homer to defeat Fordham, 6-3, in game one, before Payton Tidd and Alexis Holloway combined for a shutout of UAB in a 6-0 Irish win in the nightcap.
How It Happened vs. Fordham
Notre Dame struck first thanks to Ali Wester’s bunt single to start the first inning was followed by a sacrifice bunt from Melissa Rochford and an RBI single by Caitlyn Brooks. The Rams responded in the top of the second, striking for three unearned runs thanks to an RBI single from Julia Martine and a pair of bases-loaded walks. Morgan Ryan came in on relief and stemmed the tide, holding Fordham to a pair of hits over four innings while striking out three.
Freshman hurler Payton Tidd earned the win in relief thanks to 1.1 innings of hitless work, but it was the Irish offense that decided things in the sixth. Brooks started the inning with a single to right and moved up to second on a wild pitch. After MK Bonamy reached on a fielding error, sending Brooks to second, Marino crushed an 0-1 pitch to left to give the Irish a 4-3 lead and give the junior her first home run of the season. Abby Sweet kept the inning going with a single before being retired on Quinn Biggio’s fielders choice. After Biggio stole second and Madison Heidi was down on strikes, Alexis Bazos singled, but the first baseman couldn’t handle the throw and it went into the Notre Dame dugout, scoring Biggio and allowing Bazos to move up to second. Wester followed with a single up the middle to score Bazos and provide the final margin of 6-3.
How It Happened vs. UAB
Game two proved to be all Irish. Brooks provided an RBI single in the first inning to give Notre Dame an early lead before the Irish put up another crooked number in the second. Sweet started the frame getting hit by a pitch and stealing second. Biggio bunted her over to third and after a pop-up for the second out, Bazos, Wester and Rochford delivered consecutive two-out singles to score two more runs and push the Irish lead to 4-0. The inning only ended when Rochford was thrown out attempting to stretch her single into a double.
Notre Dame added two more in the fifth, starting with back-to-back doubles from Wester and Rochford. After a pair of groundouts, Bonamy walked and pinch-hitter Sarah Genz singled home Rochford to make it 6-0.
Tidd had the start in the circle and earned the win, twirling four innings of one-hit ball with three strikeouts. Alexis Holloway earned a save of the three-inning variety, scattering four hits and striking out four over the final three frames.
The Irish conclude play at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic tomorrow with another pair of games. Notre Dame faces Iowa at 9 a.m. before taking on Morgan State at 11:30 a.m. Both games can be seen live on FloSoftball.