ND looks to continue success against NC State
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, March 5, 2015
After a week to rest and recover, the Irish will look to continue their recent strong showings on the diamond, as they travel to North Carolina this Saturday, March 7, to take on North Carolina State.
The trio of games against NC State (7-7) marks the first series of non-tournament games for Notre Dame (12-6) in over a month and its first ACC action of the year.
The Irish rode strong pitching to a 3-1 finish in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic last weekend. Sophomore pitcher Rachel Nasland was sharp on the mound, particularly Sunday when she threw a combined nine innings, striking out 10 and scattering four hits and four walks. Nasland currently is tied for the team lead in wins with junior Allie Rhodes with five but paces the team in ERA at 1.91. Nasland also has 54 strikeouts on the season, more than the rest of the team combined.
Offensively, the Irish will look to continue their strong offensive ways. Senior infielder Katey Haus leads the team with a .453 batting average and is tied for the team lead in RBIs with junior infielder Micaela Arizmendi with 15. Elsewhere, sophomore outfielder Karley Wester and senior infielder Jenna Simon are a combined 15-for-15 in stolen bases. Wester was also the lead hitter for the Irish on Sunday’s games against Mississippi State and Omaha, with a combined performance of three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored.
On the other side of the diamond, North Carolina State comes in looking to regain some momentum. After having last weekend’s games against Syracuse cancelled, the Wolfpack let a game slip away from them Wednesday when they lost to Elon, 3-2. They will look to return to winning ways when they host the Irish this weekend.
NC State has a balanced hitting attack, with no one hitter having more than 10 RBIs, and yet five hitters have at least five RBIs. The team is led by sophomore Molly Hutchison, who has a team-high .381 batting average and is tied for the team lead in RBI with nine, runs scored with eight and in home runs with four. Junior Maggie Hawkins is the other power threat on the team with four home runs, eight runs scored and nine RBIs to her name as well.
On the mound, the Wolfpack rely heavily on their one-two punch of sophomore Courtney Mirabella and senior Emily Weiman. Weiman leads the team in wins with four and has struck out 62 batters on the season. She also has a team high in innings pitched with 53.2. Mirabella has compiled a winning record of 3-2, struck out 52 batters in only 36 innings of work and currently boasts an ERA of 1.75.
The Irish take on the Wolfpack on Saturday with the first pitch scheduled to be thrown at 12 p.m. The game series will stretch into the weekend and conclude Sunday.