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ND Softball

Irish fall in first three, step up to win final two ranked games

| Monday, February 21, 2022

After a 5-0 series to open the season, weekend two of the 2022 season was a bit more of a roller coaster for Notre Dame softball. 

The Irish got off to a rocky start, going 0-3 in the first three games but, to close the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational, Notre Dame defeated No. 21/22 LSU and No. 11/9 Texas. 

At 10 a.m. on Thursday, the Irish took on No. 18/15 Tennessee, falling 11-3. The Irish opened the weekend facing Ashley Rogers in the circle. As coach Gumpf had hoped, they were able to produce off of her. Senior left fielder Leea Hanks, sophomore infielder Karina Gaskins and senior second base player Quinn Biggio were able to bring home one run each for the Irish within the first two innings. While it was enough to get Rogers out of the circle, those runs didn’t go unanswered. 

In her two innings, graduate student pitcher Alexis Holloway allowed seven earned runs. To start the third, both the Irish ad the Volunteers saw new arms as Irish freshman pitcher Shannon Becker and Volunteer Erin Edmoundson would shut down scoring for the next three innings. In the sixth though, the Volunteers sealed the game, snagging six hits on Becker for four runs. 

Thursday evening, the Irish took on the Wisconsin Badgers, falling there as well, 2-1. Wisconsin grabbed a run off of senior pitcher Payton Tidd in the top of the first. Then, the teams went scoreless until the top of the sixth when the Badgers scored again on Tidd. After Holloway and Becker took on the morning, Tidd pitched all seven innings allowing five hits, the two earned runs and grabbing seven strikeouts. 

At the bottom of the seventh, the Irish rallied. With the bases loaded, junior Joley Mitchell hit a single to bring freshman pinch-runner Emily Tran home. Despite that, the Wisconsin defense was able to tag the tying run out at home before the Irish could tie up the score. 

Friday was the least offensively productive day for the Irish. The squad saw two hits against USF. One came from senior right fielder Emma Clark and another from graduate student first base player Sarah Genz but neither could get home. Becker opened for the Irish but only stayed one inning as she gave up her first earned runs of the years. After scoring three on Becker and four more on Holloway, the Bulls shut out the Irish, 7-0. 

Saturday rolled around and the weekend shifted for the Irish. The team stepped up to meet LSU and defeated the Tigers, 8-6. The Irish had to come from behind, though, as Tidd — who pitched another full game — allowed all six runs in the first two innings. She recovered, however, shutting down the Tigers for the rest of the game. 

Graduate centerfielder Abby Sweet led the scoring charge grabbing two runs followed by Clark, Hanks and four others. The Irish tied the game through the first five innings, but it was a misplayed right-field hit from second base player Miranda Johnson sending Hanks and Biggio home in the seventh that all but sealed the game. Tidd sat the Tigers in order, closing with a strikeout to officially put a stamp on the game. 

The series finale was the icing on Saturday’s cake for the Irish. Against their highest-ranked opponent in the series, the Longhorns, the Irish came out on top, winning 9-2. With a combined effort in the circle from all three pitchers, the Irish kept the Longhorns from scoring after the second inning. Tied through four, the Irish exploded in the top of the fifth scoring seven runs and ultimately sealed the game. 

Notre Dame ends the grueling weekend with a 2-3 record and moves to 7-3 on the year. They play North Florida, Iowa, Princeton and Florida Gulf Coast (twice) next weekend over three days.

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About Mannion McGinley

Mannion McGinley is an American Studies and Sociology major with a Journalism minor in Notre Dame's class of 2023. She is a member of the Glynn Family Honors program and currently serves as an Assistant Managing Editor at The Observer.

Contact Mannion