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Friday, June 21, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame softball dominates IUPUI in 15-0 run-rule win

Notre Dame softball got back to its winning ways on Tuesday afternoon, cruising past Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) 15-0 at Melissa Cook Stadium. The five-inning victory marked Notre Dame’s sixth run-rule win of the season.

The runs came early and often for the Irish, who plated nine in the first inning alone. That represented Notre Dame’s highest-scoring opening inning this season.

Junior infielder Karina Gaskins fired the opening shot of the offensive salvo, singling down the left field line to score senior infielder Joley Mitchell. Graduate student pitcher Payton Tidd then added a pair of RBIs of her own with another single, capitalizing off of a bases-loaded opportunity.

A sacrifice fly by sophomore infielder Jane Kronenberger chased Jaguar starter Isabelle Waggner out of the game, but the damage wasn’t done. Senior outfielder Macie Eck laced an RBI single to right field to push the lead to five.

Junior catcher Carlli Kloss then cleared the bases with a standing triple into the left corner, sparking a string of self-inflicted wounds by the Jaguars. On a routine ground ball, Kloss scored on a high throw that could have ended the inning. Mitchell, who hit the ground ball that scored Kloss, would come home for the final Irish run of the inning on a wild pitch.

Though the Irish offense slowed down after its first-inning explosion, it never fully ceased until the game’s end. Notre Dame would push their lead to double digits in the second inning by means of another wild pitch. In the third, junior infielder Mac Vasquez belted her first career home run to make it a 12-0 ballgame.

Catcher Rachel Allen would expand the lead further in Notre Dame’s final turn at the plate. With runners on first and second and two outs, the sophomore slammed a three-run shot to center field. The Irish left Melissa Cook Stadium having scored in all four innings that they came to the plate.

A combination of Tidd, sophomore Shannon Becker and freshman Micaela Kastor in the circle pitched a complete game shutout. Tidd worked the first two innings, allowing 3 hits on just 26 total pitches. Becker then entered for the next two, holding the Jaguars hitless while throwing 28 total pitches. Kastor then slammed the door shut in the fifth, closing out the run-rule win with a 1-2-3 inning.

The Irish will now look ahead to another set of ACC games, with Pittsburgh visiting for a weekend series. The Panthers are currently 0-6 in conference play and should provide an opportunity for Notre Dame to boost their record heading into a major road test against fourth-place Louisville the following weekend.

Irish softball will be back in action at Melissa Cook Stadium this weekend against Pittsburgh. First pitches are set for 6 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday. All three games will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.