North Carolina ends Irish win streak in split
Marek Mazurek | Monday, April 27, 2015
Notre Dame’s 24-game win streak came to an end Sunday, when the Irish split a doubleheader with North Carolina, losing 7-3 in eight innings before notching a 17-9, run-rule win in the second game.
Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf said the difference between the two matchups was how well the Irish (39-12, 17-6 ACC) closed out the game.
“I’m not satisfied with the things that we could have done better,” Gumpf said. “I’m super proud of the way we performed in the second game. I feel in the first game, we let a lot of ways to finish the game go. So we didn’t finish it.”
In the first game, the Irish scored early by tallying two runs in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead before stretching that lead in the bottom of the sixth, when senior third baseman Katey Haus hit an RBI single to drive home sophomore left fielder Karley Wester.
But North Carolina (35-13, 16-5) scored twice in the top of the seventh inning to send the game to extra innings.
The difference came in the top of the eighth inning, when Tar Heel freshman second baseman Taylor Wike hit a grand slam off Irish sophomore Rachel Nasland to give North Carolina the win.
Junior Allie Rhodes started in the circle for Notre Dame, giving up just one run on eight hits. Freshman Katie Beriont relieved her in the sixth inning and gave up two runs in 1 2/3 innings of work before sophomore Rachel Nasland entered the game with two outs in the seventh.
Nasland surrendered the grand slam, taking the loss to fall to 16-7.
In the second game, the Irish bats came alive right from the start, as Notre Dame scored 10 runs in the first inning and never looked back. Senior outfielder Emilee Koerner led the Irish at the plate, tallying seven RBIs on four hits.
“I’m just really proud of the way we hit,” Gumpf said. “We hit, hit, hit. Thank God we did because this is one of those days when your pitcher gives up five, you find a way to get six. When your pitcher gives up six, you find a way to get seven. That’s what we didn’t do in the first game.”
Junior first baseman Micaela Arizmendi notched a pair of hits and three RBIs in the game, while Wester notched three hits and two RBIs as the Irish dominated the offensive production in the second game.
Nasland started the second game and allowed five runs in just 1 2/3 innings of work, forcing Gumpf to make a change, bringing in Rhodes.
The junior allowed four earned runs over the remaining 3 1/3 innings, finishing the day with just five runs surrendered in 8 1/3 innings of work.
“I think Allie [Rhodes] gave everything she had today,” Gumpf said. “She was just running out of gas towards the end of that second game, but I am super proud of the way she performed. They hit the ball hard on her, but she always found a way to get herself out of it. I think she was definitely the leader on the mound.”
Notre Dame will return to action Tuesday when it plays Michigan State at 4 p.m. in East Lansing, Michigan, in the last game of the regular season.