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ND Softball

Squad stretches winning streak to 18

| Monday, April 13, 2015

If there is one word to describe the Irish at this point in the season, it would be rolling.

Coming into a weekend three-game series against Boston College, Notre Dame (32-11, 13-5 ACC) was in the middle of a 15-game winning stretch, including 10 straight in the ACC. Those streaks stayed unscathed through the conclusion of Sunday’s game, as the Irish swept the Eagles (16-18, 1-11 ACC) to extend their unbeaten spell to 18 and their in-conference run to 13.

Senior infielder Katey Haus said she thinks the explanation for Notre Dame’s success is relatively straightforward: the Irish have the right mindset.

Irish senior catcher Cassidy Whidden handles a low pitch during Notre Dame's doubleheader against Georgia Tech March 21 at Melissa Cook Stadium. Notre Dame won both games, 6-1 and 13-0, respectively.Chris Collins | The Observer

Irish senior catcher Cassidy Whidden handles a low pitch during Notre Dame’s doubleheader against Georgia Tech on March 21 at Melissa Cook Stadium. Notre Dame won both games, 6-1 and 13-0, respectively.

“I think our key to success has been our focus on us,” Haus said. “We’ve really made an effort to bring our ‘A’ game every game regardless of our opponent, and I think it has really paid off.”

Another key to the Irish success has been their presence at the plate. Over the course of the past 18 games, Notre Dame has outscored opponents by a margin of 153-27 and outscored the Eagles by a margin of 23-9, while the team hit .323 for the series.

The Irish also relied on multiple players to produce at the plate. Freshman infielder Morgan Reed led the way during Saturday’s doubleheader, reaching base five of seven times with an RBI triple and RBI double. Senior outfielder Emilie Koerner smacked her 70th career double in Sunday’s game and tied a Notre Dame record for runs scored in a game by crossing the plate four times during Sunday’s 10-2 victory.

On the mound, the Irish got a strong pitching performance from freshman Katie Beriont (3-1), who threw six innings in relief in the second game Saturday, allowing only one unearned run on three hits and collecting a career-high five strikeouts in an 8-5 Irish victory. Sophomore Rachel Nasland (16-6) threw a complete game victory the first game, striking out nine in a 5-2 victory. Beriont returned Sunday in relief, throwing four shutout innings while scattering four hits.

Haus said the wide variety of players able to contribute made it easy for the Irish to avoid the traps of a three-game series.

“The toughest thing about a three-game series is the fact that you have to see a team three times,” Haus said. “A team’s play can change from game-to-game or day-to-day. If we take each game one at a time and play our game we should be fine.”

The Irish now own the longest win streak in program history since 2005. But, Haus said, there is one thing that the Irish need to keep in mind.

“I think we need to make sure we don’t start to coast,” Haus said. “We have been successful, but that doesn’t mean we can take it easy. We still need to come out with fire every game.”

The Irish are next on the diamond Tuesday against Bowling Green. First pitch at Melissa Cook Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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