Irish top No. 20 Missouri en route to 3-1 weekend at Diamond 9 Citrus Classic
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Despite dealing with an entire day of games being canceled Saturday, No. 23 Notre Dame finished the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic with a tournament record of 3-1.
The Irish (12-6) opened the tournament strong Friday with a 3-2 win over No. 20 Missouri and a 12-3 victory against Georgetown. On Sunday, Notre Dame fell to Mississippi State, 6-1, and beat Omaha, 7-0.
Against Missouri, Notre Dame received a strong pitching performance from sophomore starter Rachel Nasland, who allowed three hits against the Tiger offense during her complete-game victory. The win bumps Nasland to 4-2 on the season and marks the fourth time the Irish have come out on top against a top-25 team this season.
It was against Georgetown, however, that the Irish bats really came alive. Notre Dame established season highs in hits (14), runs scored (12) and extra base hits (5). The Irish finished off the Hoyas in five innings with a run-rule victory. Irish junior infielder Micaela Arizmendi hit a three-run home run against the Hoyas to bring the run rule into effect. She hit four-for-six on the day and led the team with four RBIs.
Irish senior infielder Katey Haus added two doubles in Friday’s games with three RBIs, and freshman infielder/pitcher Sara White added three RBIs of her own. On the mound, junior Allie Rhodes matched her teammate Nasland’s complete-game performance and struck out six.
The second day of action yielded mixed results. In the first game against Mississippi State (16-3), the Bulldogs jumped on Nasland to get out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. In the fourth inning, a combination of Irish errors and a solo home run allowed the Bulldogs to build a 6-0 lead on their way to the 6-1 win.
Against Omaha (6-7), the Irish got back on track. Nasland pitched the second game of the day and was automatic on the mound, throwing a two-hit complete game against the Mavericks and striking out eight. Overall, Nasland tossed nine innings of four-hit ball in two games Sunday, racking up 10 strikeouts and scattering four walks.
Sophomore All-American outfielder Karley Wester added three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored in Sunday’s games. Senior catcher Cassidy Whidden also crossed the plate twice, and sophomore utility player Dana Bouquet notched an RBI when she came in as a pinch hitter.
The Irish resume play Saturday when they travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, for a trio of games against North Carolina State. Notre Dame plays at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, with the series finale at 12 p.m. Sunday.