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ND Softball

Irish bounce back with midweek win over Eagles

| Wednesday, March 28, 2018

After struggling to score against Eastern Michigan last season in a 1-0 victory, the Irish came out of the dugout Tuesday ready to make a statement. Looking to bounce back from their series with North Carolina last weekend — where they dropped two games — head coach Deanna Gumpf said she challenged her team to attack early. 

The Irish (21-10, 5-3 ACC) got on the scoreboard during the bottom of the second inning when sophomore second baseman Katie Marino doubled down the left field line to score the leadoff batter, junior third baseman Melissa Rochford. Later in the inning, sophomore right fielder Alexis Bazos stepped up to the plate with Marino still on second and drilled a two-out single down the right field line to drive Marino in and help Notre Dame take a 2-0 lead. Next up, junior left fielder Ali Wester dropped a single into center field to move Bazos on to second. Wester finished the game with four hits and one run.

Chris Collins | The Observer

Irish junior left fielder Ali Wester beats out a throw to first base during Notre Dame’s 6-1 win over Eastern Michigan on Tuesday at Melissa Cook Stadium.

“Ali had a great game. When she sets the tone, we’re better,” Gumpf said.

Freshman left fielder Abby Sweet followed with an RBI triple. Down 4-0, Eastern Michigan (4-22, 0-3 MAC) brought in senior pitcher right-handed Trisha Trujillo for freshman left-handed pitcher Kiara Hurley to close the inning.

“She started the last game, so I knew when they brought her in — I thought she’s tough,” Gumpf said. “She moves the ball enough to keep things interesting, but I think attacking early … we got the momentum. The great thing was we kept it for the entire game.”

Notre Dame carried its momentum from the second inning into the third to add two more runs to its lead. After Rochford reached first after a throwing error on the shortstop, Marino sent the ball right over the top of the center fielder to earn an RBI triple to extend the lead to 5-0. Later in the inning, junior first baseman MK Bonamy grounded into a fielder’s choice that plated Marino. 

Heading into the bottom of the fifth, the Irish were up 6-0, needing two more runs that inning to secure the early win. Rochford and Marino were both called out when senior pitch hitter Sara White stepped up in place of MK Bonamy. But White failed to make it on base and end the game early.

Eastern Michigan continued to dig in and earned its only run in the sixth inning. With senior center fielder Haley Hostetler on third and Logan on first, junior third baseman Amanda Akles hit a sacrifice fly to allow Hostetler to cross the plate.

Irish freshman right-handed pitcher Morgan Ryan closed for starting senior left-handed pitcher Katie Beriont in the seventh inning, after allowing only two hits and one error. Eastern Michigan sophomore designated player Sam Isaly sustained a hit to the elbow resulting in a walk to first but otherwise the game was solidly in Notre Dame’s control.

Gumpf said Beriont didn’t feel like she had her stuff but complimented her pitching.

“When she has a strong drop, good things will always happen,” she said.

As the team dives into the thick of the season, it will host Purdue on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

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