Notre Dame picks up first ACC win of the season over spring break
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, March 22, 2017
The Irish won two of their seven games over spring break, all of which were played on the road.
Notre Dame (12-13-0, 1-5-0 ACC) lost two of three games against Georgia Tech but posted a win against Mercer. Its game against Georgia State was canceled, and it closed out the week of away games with three losses at No. 1 Florida State.
The Irish entered last week with a 9-1 all-time series record against the Yellow Jackets (9-18-0, 3-6-0 ACC). The Irish dropped the first two games 8-7 and 9-8, respectively, but junior infielder Morgan Reed helped turn the tide in the final game of the series. She notched a program-record eight RBIs on the day and sealed the 8-6 Irish win with an eighth-inning grand slam. Outfielders freshman Alexis Bazos and senior Karley Wester were also key contributors offensively.
The Irish went on to defeat Bears (14-9-0, 0-0-0 Southern) 7-2 in Macon, Georgia, with three runs coming from sophomore outfielder Ali Wester. Irish senior pitcher Rachel Nasland tossed a complete-game gem, striking out six batters.
Notre Dame jumped ahead early, leading 2-1 at the end of the first inning thanks in part to a Mercer error. The Irish then sealed the victory in the seventh inning. Karley Wester hit a leadoff single and stole second base, and Ali Wester reached on an infield single to drive in the run. Notre Dame took a 6-2 lead in the seventh and closed the game out with an RBI from sophomore infielder Melissa Rochford to drive in Reed for the final run.
Finishing out the week, Notre Dame took on the top team in the nation, Florida State (28-1-1, 9-0-0 ACC), in three tough games. The Irish lost the first two by the same score, 6-0, and lost the final game 16-0 after five innings. Notre Dame managed to put several runners on base but stranded them each time.
Looking to bounce back, Notre Dame heads into a stretch of five home games in the next week. The Irish will first take on Michigan State on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at Melissa Cook Stadium. It will then take on Virginia Tech in a three-game series followed by a matchup against Eastern Michigan on March 29.