Irish extend winning streak
Observer Staff Report | Friday, February 21, 2014
With two thirds of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic left to play, the Irish have made a strong showing during the first day of action in Cathedral City, California. Thrown into a doubleheader to start the tournament, the Irish (8-1) defeated Pacific by a score of 1-0 and followed that win with a convincing 6-0 victory of over BYU. The pair of victories extends the Irish winning streak to seven games.During the first game against the Tigers (2-6), the Irish were only able to come up with one run on an RBI hit from freshman left fielder Karley Wester, who is the current ACC Player of the Week. That would be all they needed, as the Irish received a dominant pitching performance from sophomore starter Allie Rhodes and freshman relief pitcher Rachel Nasland. Though the southpaw Rhodes received a no-decision for her 91-pitch outing, she struck out four batters while scattering five hits over 5.1 innings. Nasland then came in to pick up the win in relief with 1.2 innings of shutout ball.
The victory is the first of Nasland’s (1-0) Irish career.
In the second game the Irish were able to open up with six runs against the Cougars (5-7), but once again lights-out pitching would dictate the outcome of the contest. This time, the game belonged to Irish senior Laura Winter, who over seven shutout innings struck out eight batters and only allowed two hits and one walk, while retiring the final thirteen batters she faced. Winter (4-1) picked up her fourth victory in a row, and in the process lowered her season ERA from 2.40 to 1.85. The shutout was the sixteenth of her career, which moves her into eighth place in Notre Dame program history.
Though strong pitching carried the Irish through the day, there were several key offensive performances as well. Wester led all batters with three hits over two games, drove in a run and scored a run of her own. Junior second baseman Jenna Simon and Junior center fielder Emilee Koerner scored a pair of runs each, while sophomore first baseman Micaela Arizmendi and junior third baseman Katey Haus knocked in a pair of RBI each, pacing the team.
The Irish will resume play on Friday against UC Davis (4-9) at 3:30 p.m.