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ND Softball

Notre Dame takes four of five to open season

| Sunday, February 8, 2015

No. 22 Notre Dame opened up its 2015 season this weekend by winning four of five games at the annual So Cal Collegiate Classic in Los Angeles and Fullerton, California.

The Irish began the weekend with a pair of victories Friday at Easton Stadium in Los Angeles, beating Utah, 3-1, followed by a win over No. 7 UCLA, 8-4.

In the first matchup, Irish junior pitcher Allie Rhodes pitched a complete game, giving up only four hits and one earned run. The win marked Irish coach Deanna Gumpf’s 550th victory of her 14-year career at Notre Dame.

Later that evening, the Irish upset No. 7 UCLA, 8-4, thanks to a six-run rally in the top of the seventh inning, which give the Irish a four-run lead. Senior center fielder Emilee Koerner and sophomore designated player Kimmy Sullivan each recorded two RBIs, and senior catcher Cassidy Whidden went 3-for-3 on the night.

Sophomore pitcher Rachel Nasland started for the Irish, pitching five-and-two-thirds innings, giving up only five hits and striking out seven Bruins batters. Freshman Katie Beriont earned the victory for the Irish, notching the final four outs for the team while giving up just one hit.

On Saturday, the Irish made the roughly 40-mile drive to Anderson Family Field in Fullerton, California, where they opened the afternoon with an 8-5 victory over Northwestern State.

Junior designated player Carly Piccinich went 3-for-3 on the afternoon, and senior third baseman Katey Haus recorded five RBIs on three hits for Notre Dame. Freshman pitcher Sara White picked up the victory for the Irish, giving up three hits and one walk while striking out three in her first win of the season.

The Irish lost a close matchup to Cal State Fullerton later that evening, giving up two runs in the seventh inning to lose 8-7 to the Titans.

Cal State Fullerton freshman shortstop Shianne Brannan singled in the game-tying run in the seventh, and sophomore outfielder Gabrielle Rodas drew the game-winning walk for the Titans. Notre Dame junior pitcher Allie Rhodes was tagged with the loss on the evening, giving up three earned runs, including two in the last inning.

Notre Dame took its second matchup against the Titans on Sunday, with a 7-2 win in six innings to mark its fourth victory of the weekend. The Irish outhit the Titans, 13-5, on the day, with Irish senior third baseman Katey Haus notching three base hits on the afternoon.

Sophomore left fielder Karley Wester, junior right fielder Casey Africano and junior first baseman Micaela Arizmendi each recorded a pair of hits during the contest. Arizmendi also hit her first home run of the season, a two-run dinger in the third inning that put the Irish on top, 3-0.

Nasland made her third appearance of the weekend, earning the victory for the Irish. Nasland gave up only one hit with four strikeouts in three-and-two-thirds innings pitched.

Notre Dame returns to the diamond for four games in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at next weekend’s Tiger Invitational.

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