ND look to rise above .500 on five-game road trip
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, March 1, 2019
Notre Dame will hit the road yet again this weekend, traveling to the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah, for five games at the Canyons Complex.
Beginning Friday at 2:30 p.m., Notre Dame (7-7) will face four different non-conference opponents: Utah Valley, Baylor, CSU Bakersfield and Southern Utah. The Irish will play the Wolverines (3-7) and the Bears (9-7) Friday, the Runners (5-7) and the Thunderbirds (1-7) Saturday, and the Bears again Sunday, with Baylor being the only team they play twice.
The Bears will likely prove to be the biggest challenge for the Irish, as they are the only team Notre Dame will face with a winning record. Despite having recently dropped out of the rankings, Baylor has posted several impressive wins so far this season, including two against top-15 opponents: a 4-1 win against No. 13 South Carolina at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge on Feb. 7 and a 4-3 win against No. 11 Louisiana at Lafayette in the Baylor Invitational on Feb. 24.
The Irish have also posted a few impressive wins of their own, including a 2-3 win in eight innings against No. 6 Huskies at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, and a 6-0 routing of No. 18 Cowboys at the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational in Clearwater, Florida. Notre Dame also saw success last weekend, when it went 3-1 at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic in Kissimmee, Florida.
Posting strong performances for the Irish this year are senior outfielder Ali Wester and sophomore pitcher Alexis Holloway. Wester is currently third in the nation in career hits at 231, 19 of which have come this season to put her at fifth in the ACC. Holloway is one of only 30 pitchers in the conference with multiple saves on the year.
After the Red Desert Classic, Notre Dame will play six games in Florida before returning to South Bend for its home and ACC opener on March 15 in the three-game series against No. 1 Florida State.