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ND Softball

Notre Dame earns sweep at Citrus Classic

| Tuesday, March 4, 2014

For the second straight year in a row, the Citrus Classic in Kissimmee, Fla., belonged to Notre Dame.

With a 5-3 victory over Omaha on Sunday, the Irish (15-3) completed a five-game sweep over all comers at the Citrus Classic. The win against the Mavericks (12-7) gives the Irish nine straight victories at the tournament dating back to last season.

Once again, the Irish got a dominant performance out of senior pitcher Laura Winter in the event’s finale. Winter, over a complete game of seven innings’ work, matched her career high with 15 strikeouts, scattering eight hits with only three runs allowed over seven innings. The victory for Winter (9-2) was her 92nd, which ties her for second on the Irish all-time wins list.

Senior pitcher Laura Winter winds up in a fall exhibition against Illinois St. on Sept. 15.Natalie Vos

Senior pitcher Laura Winter winds up in a fall exhibition against Illinois St. on Sept. 15.

Omaha senior pitcher Dana Elsasser put up a strong performance as well. The starter pitched a complete game, but allowed 11 hits and surrendered five runs in the loss.

The Irish received strong hitting performances from several key players. Junior third baseman Katey Haus and sophomore first baseman Micaela Arizmendi each had two hits apiece, as well as two RBIs. Junior All-American outfielder Emilee Koerner paced the team with three hits and scored a team-high two runs. Koerner’s performance pushed her season batting average up to .400, third-highest on the team, while Haus’ two RBIs have her sitting at a team-high 17 in the category for the season.

The Mavericks mounted several scoring threats throughout the game, but Winter extinguished the threat every time before it became serious. When Maverick junior Mara Eeman hit a solo home run to bring the score to 3-1 in the second inning, Winter responded by getting three straight strikeouts before any more runs could score. The Mavericks managed to tie up the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third, courtesy of sophomore third baseman Syndey Hames’ two-run double. Hames then made it all the way to third base before Winter notched back-to-back strikeouts to leave her stranded 60 feet from home. Winter would then go on to retire seven-straight batters in a row.

An RBI single from freshman Karley Wester broke the 3-3 tie in the top of the sixth inning, with Wester eventually scoring herself thanks to a passed ball and a fielder’s choice by Arizmendi. That would put the score at 5-3, where it would remain for the rest of the game.

Notre Dame began the weekend Friday with a 7-3 win over Fordham and a 4-2 defeat of Illinois State. The Irish then beat Ohio State, 3-1, and Radford, 9-0 (6), on Saturday before concluding their trip Sunday.

The Irish resume play Saturday against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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