Notre Dame sweeps weekend clashes against Syracuse
J.J. Post | Monday, April 11, 2022
This weekend, Notre Dame softball enjoyed an undefeated weekend, going 2-0 on the road against Syracuse on Friday and Saturday.
Friday’s series opener was a tight one, with the Irish only pulling away in the final two innings to clinch a victory. The teams traded runs in the first and third innings before Notre Dame pulled ahead in the fifth thanks to the speed of freshman pinch runner Emily Tran. One inning later, the Irish stretched their lead to three behind a leadoff solo home run by senior Payton Tidd and an RBI triple by junior Leea Hanks. Tidd, who pitched six innings, would throw another scoreless frame to hold the lead. Then, freshman Shannon Becker entered for the seventh inning and successfully notched her third save of the season.
On Saturday, the result was far more lopsided. The Irish entered swinging and posted four runs in both the first and second innings to quickly amass an eight run lead. Notre Dame started off their explosion of runs with solid contact, burying the Orange under a barrage of RBI singles by graduate student Abby Sweet, junior Joley Mitchell and freshman Jane Kronenberger. The Irish then brought the power with a grand slam by junior Miranda Johnson blowing the second inning open. A solo shot from graduate student Alexis Holloway would further bolster the lead in the third. The offense would slow for Notre Dame after Holloway’s blast pushed the lead to nine, but the opening surge of firepower would be more than enough to ensure that the contest only needed five innings to be completed.
Holloway pitched the distance Saturday for the Irish, only allowing four hits in five innings as the graduate student cruised to her tenth win of the season. Holloway also notched six strikeouts in her complete game outing, helping to complete one of Notre Dame’s most thoroughly dominant victories this season both on offense and defense. She now holds a team high winning percentage in games she starts, and her performance helped solidify the notion that Notre Dame’s depth on the mound, three consistently strong starters deep, is as strong as any in the conference.
Looking forward, the Irish will now enjoy a couple days of rest after Sunday’s would-be series finale against Syracuse was canceled due to inclement weather. They’ll hit the road again later in the week, with another three-game series against Clemson slated to begin Thursday in South Carolina. The Tigers are 30-10 on the year, including 9-6 in ACC play so far, and should enter the series with the Irish with plenty of momentum. They’re currently riding a nine-game win streak, a stretch that’s included series sweeps of North Carolina, Furman and Pittsburgh, as well as a standalone win against in-state rival South Carolina. The consistency of Marissa Guimbarda has helped pace the Tiger bats, as the graduate student holds team highs in batting average, on-base percentage and home runs.
Notre Dame softball will look to continue its strong performance in conference play on Thursday as they take on the Clemson Tigers in Clemson, South Carolina. First pitch from McWhorter Stadium is slated for 6 p.m. EST, and the game will be broadcasted on the ACC Network.