Notre Dame wins all five games at Citrus Classic
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Notre Dame had a memorable weekend, winning all five games it played in Diamond 9 Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Florida.
The busy weekend for the No. 23 Irish (12-3) began Friday afternoon with an 8-0 shutout win over East Carolina. The Irish were led by junior centerfielder Karley Wester, who was 3-for-3 in the game and scored two runs. The underclassmen were not far behind, however, as freshman pitcher Caitlyn Brooks went 1-for-3 with two RBIs, and freshman second baseman Ali Wester and sophomore left fielder Bailey Bigler both went 1-for-3. Senior pitcher Allie Rhodes picked up her fourth win of the year after pitching six complete innings, striking out 10 batters and surrendering three hits.
Later on that day, Notre Dame beat No. 22 Central Florida, 5-1. Karley Wester went 2-for-4 and scored a run, while Ali Wester went 3-for-4, driving in two runs and scoring another. Freshman third baseman Melissa Rochford went 1-for-2 with one RBI. Freshman catcher Maddie McCracken also chipped in a hit and scored a run. Junior pitcher Rachel Nasland picked up her third win of the year after pitching five complete innings, striking out five batters and giving up only four hits. Sophomore Katie Beriont pitched two complete innings in relief and struck out two batters while giving up only one hit. The win over Central Florida (7-8) was Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf’s 600th career victory.
The Irish beat North Florida on Saturday morning, 7-3. Rochford went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, while Karley Wester went 2-for-4, driving in a run and scoring one of her own. Ali Wester went 3-for-4 and scored two runs, while senior first baseman Micaela Arizmendi went 2-for-4, drove in a run and scored one of her own. Senior second baseman Carly Piccinich went 2-for-3 with one RBI, and sophomore shortstop Morgan Reed went 1-for-3 with one run batted in. Rhodes recorded the win after pitching 5 and 2/3 innings, striking out nine batters and giving up four hits.
Later in the day, the Irish shut out Bryant, 7-0. Brooks finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs and scored a run of her own. Ali Wester again had a solid showing as she finished 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored. Other strong Irish performances included Arizmendi, who went 2-for-4 with one RBI, and Rochford, who went 2-for-2. Beriont recorded the win, her second of the season after pitching a complete game and giving up only one hit.
Notre Dame completed the weekend sweep by beating Penn State on Sunday morning, 6-2. The Irish trailed 2-1 after the third inning, but they scored five straight runs in the next three innings and never relinquished the lead. Leading the Irish were the Wester sisters, who each went 2-for-4 and scored one run apiece. Brooks went 1-for-4 while collecting two RBIs, and senior right fielder Megan Sorlie went 2-for-3 and scored two runs. Bigler went 2-for-3 while driving in two runs and scoring another. Nasland earned the win after pitching four complete innings and striking out two batters. Rhodes pitched three complete relief innings and struck out two batters to give the Irish an undefeated weekend.
This weekend, Notre Dame will play in the Florida Gulf Coast Round Robin Tournament in Fort Myers, Florida. The Irish are scheduled to play Stony Brook, Florida Gulf Coast and Ball State.