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Sports

Notre Dame softball prepares for series against Syracuse

| Thursday, April 7, 2022

This weekend Notre Dame softball (28-7, 7-3 ACC) will look to extend its winning streak with a three-game road swing against Syracuse (19-12, 3-8 ACC).

The Irish should enter the series against the Orange with plenty of momentum. Notre Dame enters the series fresh off a major upset over nationally-ranked Northwestern at Melissa Cook Stadium on Tuesday. Senior Payton Tidd was at her best on the hill for the Irish against the Wildcats. She pitched the length of the game, allowing only five hits and two runs in the 3-2 victory. Tidd’s complete game was capped off with a win thanks to some clutch hitting by junior Leea Hanks. The left fielder’s clutch sixth inning double gave Notre Dame a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, as Tidd retired the remaining three Wildcats without issue.

In Syracuse, the Irish should enjoy one of their easier conference road trips of the year. The Orange hold just a 3-8 record through 11 games of ACC play. Freshman Kelly Breen has been Syracuse’s main source of power throughout the season, leading the team in both home runs and RBIs. Look for fellow infielder Neli Casares-Maher to be another key bat in the order for the Orange. The graduate student holds a team-high batting average and on-base percentage among qualified hitters. She’s also second on the team in both RBIs and home runs.

On the mound, expect Lindsey Hendrix to see action as Syracuse looks to make a statement against a ranked Irish team. The sophomore’s eleven starts on the hill are more than and she holds a team-low ERA at 2.92. Freshman Summer Clark should also be a major factor on the hill for the Orange. The first-year pitcher has accumulated an impressive 7-1 record with a team-low 1.05 WHIP. Clark is top five in the ACC in opposing batting average.

For Notre Dame, the duo of sophomore first baseman Karina Gaskins and graduate student center fielder Abby Sweet should lead the charge at the plate. The pair have combined for seven home runs and 24 RBIs in conference play. Gaskins in particular has been on a tear as of late, having notched a .516 batting average as well as 17 RBIs in just 10 ACC games.

Freshman pitcher Shannon Becker and Tidd have established themselves as Notre Dame’s go-to 1-2 punch on the mound. Both will likely see plenty of action as the Irish look to sweep the series. Becker has compiled a strong 3-1 record with a 2.66 ERA so far in conference play. Tidd has posted a 3-1 record of her own while holding opposing hitters to a team-low .264 batting average.

The first pitch in Notre Dame’s series against the Orange will take place at 3 pm this Friday afternoon. Saturday’s game will have a first pitch of 1 pm, while Sunday’s will be 12 pm. All three games will be broadcasted on ACC Network Extra.

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