Irish drop road series to Virginia Tech
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, March 17, 2014
After falling to host Virginia Tech in a doubleheader Saturday, the No. 22 Irish pulled out a win over the Hokies on Sunday at Tech Softball Park in Blacksburg, Va., to save the weekend.
The Irish (19-7, 3-3 ACC) and the Hokies (13-12, 4-4) have faced each other 15 times in program history, with the Irish winning 11 of those matchups. The Hokies decreased this gap over the weekend, starting with a 5-4 victory in Saturday’s first game.
Notre Dame took the lead at the top of the first inning when junior outfielder Emilee Koerner hit a home run, her team-leading sixth. The Irish and the Hokies traded scores until the Hokies took the game with two home runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.Senior Laura Winter pitched all six innings for the Irish, striking out five batters and allowing nine hits in the loss.
The Irish came out fast again in Saturday’s second game against the Hokies, with sophomore Allie Rhodes leading the team from the circle. Sophomore infielder Micaela Arizmendi scored to give the Irish a one-run lead in the second inning, but Virginia Tech clawed its way back into the game to take the 3-2 victory with a run in the sixth inning.Rhodes gave up all three runs, allowed eight hits and struck out three batters before leaving the game in the sixth for freshman Rachel Nasland to pick up the final two outs.
In Sunday’s game, the Irish did not take the initial lead, but they did come out with a 9-5 victory to prevent the Hokies from sweeping the series. After Irish junior catcher Cassidy Whidden scored and tied up the game in the second inning, the Hokies did not take the lead for the rest of the game.
The win featured runs from Koerner, Whidden, junior infielders Jenna Simon and Katey Haus, senior outfielder Monica Torres, senior infielder Chloe Saganowich and sophomore outfielder Megan Sorlie. Winter and Rhodes teamed up to limit Virginia Tech to five runs, earning a combined eight strikeouts.
Notre Dame hosts its first home games of the season this weekend in a three-game series against Pittsburgh. The Irish will take on the Panthers at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and again Sunday at 12 p.m. at Melissa Cook Stadium.