Irish split doubleheader
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, April 23, 2014
In two hard-fought games, Notre Dame walked away with a split against North Carolina State.
The Irish (30-10, 10-5 ACC) defeated the Wolfpack (30-14, 14-7) in the first half of the doubleheader Tuesday by a score of 3-2 but came up short in the nightcap when the Wolfpack rallied to win by a score of 6-2.
The first game of the doubleheader was highlighted by another strong pitching performance from Irish senior Laura Winter. The right-handed starter (19-4) went the distance in game one, allowing no earned runs while scattering seven hits over seven innings pitched. Winter struck out five Wolfpack hitters and walked only one.
At the plate, the Irish offense manufactured runs. Freshman left fielder Karley Wester led off the first inning with an infield single, then was moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt and another infield single before being knocked in on an RBI groundout by Irish junior third baseman Katey Haus to make the score 1-0.
After the Wolfpack tied the game in the fourth inning, the Irish squeezed in another run in the fifth inning. Irish junior catcher Cassidy Whidden reached safely on an infield single, senior shortstop Chloe Saganowich reached on a bunt, and senior right fielder Lauren Stuhr moved them both into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Then, a single from Wester made the score 2-1 in favor of the Irish.
After North Carolina State tied the score again at 2-2 in the sixth inning, it came down to the last inning for the Irish to move into the lead for good. Junior second baseman Jenna Simon would stroke a single good enough to score Wester all the way from second base and give the Irish a 3-2 lead as well as an eventual victory.
Along with scoring the winning run in the first game, Wester also led the Irish in batting for the day, going 5-for-7 and swiping three stolen bases.
In the second game, the Wolfpack rallied. Paced by junior Renada Davis’ four runs scored, the Wolfpack overcame a solid performance from Irish sophomore pitcher Allie Rhodes (6-5), taking the game by a score of 6-2. Rhodes allowed three earned runs in five innings of work, and wound up responsible for the loss.
Sophomore first baseman Micaela Arizmendi continued her power surge on the season, smacking her tenth home run, once again moving her into a tie for first place on the team with Whidden. Arizmendi still leads the team in RBI with 41 on the year, including the one she added in the nightcap of the doubleheader.
The Irish resume play Thursday at home against Valparaiso. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Melissa Cook Stadium.