Irish set for West Coast road trip
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, February 21, 2020
Notre Dame (7-3) began a six-game series in Palm Springs, California, on Thursday as they took on San Diego State and BYU in a double-header. The results of the BYU game were too late to report.
Against the Aztecs, both teams opened up the scoring in the first inning with San Diego State taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and the Irish cutting it to 2-1 once they took their turn at the plate. The teams then went scoreless in the second before Notre Dame knotted it up at 2-2 in the bottom of the third.
However, the Aztecs would reclaim the lead in the fourth inning and hold on to a 3-2 win as the Irish went three-up, three-down in the bottom of the seventh to come up short.
Friday, the Irish will take on Seattle and No. 15 Oregon. Seattle (3-7) has already squared off against three ranked teams this season, falling to No. 25 Northwestern 1-0, No. 5 Arizona 4-3 and No. 16 Arizona State 7-0. Their wins came in a 5-4 victory over Stanford as well as 4-3 decisions against Pacific and Nevada.
The Red Hawks are led by senior first baseman Madison Cathcart, who is leading the team in slugging percentage and on base percentage at .571 and .472, respectively. They also get key production from senior outfielder Cherise Silvan, who leads the team in batting average at .333 with a slugging percentage of .455. Six players for the Red Hawks have a batting average over .275.
After that matchup Notre Dame will take on Oregon. The Ducks (11-0) come in undefeated and have only allowed 13 runs in their 11 games, shutting opponents out on five separate occasions.
Oregon is a tremendous team at the plate, with four players batting over .400. However, their production falls off from there. Of players who have appeared in every game this season, the next two closest batters hit .250 and .222. They are led by redshirt freshman catcher Terra McGowan and sophomore infielder Rachel Cid, who both have greater than .800 slugging percentages and get on base at better than a .500 clip.
After Friday’s double header, the Irish will wrap up the weekend with games against Arizona State and Cal State Fullerton. The Sun Devils (10-2) have racked up marquis wins, with a 6-5 win over Northwestern and two victories over No. 13 Kentucky.
ASU presents a balanced attack, with freshman infielder Alynah Torres leading the pack with a .405 batting average and slugging .838. Three other Sun Devils hit better than .300 and every starter gets on base better than .300.
Finally, the Irish end the weekend against Cal State Fullerton. The Titans (6-3) have split two games with BYU this year and dropped a 3-2 decision in extra innings to San Diego State. Senior infielder Zoe Richard leads Cal State by batting .524 and slugging .905, while freshman outfielder Megan Delgadillo .412 and slugs .471.
The Irish are on the outside looking in with regards to the top 25, so a strong showing this weekend could help them jump up into the rankings after already receiving votes this past week. First pitch against Seattle is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. followed immediately by the showdown with Oregon. Saturday’s games will play out similarly with the Arizona State game at 8 p.m.