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Monday, May 20, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame softball takes road series against Boston College

Graduate right-hander Payton Tidd unleashes a pitch during Notre Dame‘s 10-2 defeat of Syracuse on Mar. 24 at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Graduate right-hander Payton Tidd unleashes a pitch during Notre Dame‘s 10-2 defeat of Syracuse on Mar. 24 at Melissa Cook Stadium.

Notre Dame softball picked up its third consecutive series win this weekend, dispatching Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. The series win didn’t come without heartburn for the Irish as Notre Dame placed themselves in a hole early, dropping the first game of the series on Friday. The Friday loss was more than just an annoying snag against a team ranked 86th in RPI. It was a game of constantly missed chances, as the Irish scored just one run with a combined 11 runners left on base.

Offensive struggles would continue in Saturday’s doubleheader, but Notre Dame was able to emerge from the slugfest on top. In game one, the teams combined for seven runs in a largely painless Irish win. There was some panic for Notre Dame in the 7th inning, when freshman Micaela Kastor, who had been excellent all game previously, loaded the bases with zero outs. But sophomore Shannon Becker, aided by a five-run cushion, was able to successfully get the Irish out of the jam to even the series.

In game three, there was once more late drama. A back-and-forth affair saw Notre Dame trail early, re-take the lead, and then allow Boston College back into the game. Trailing by one in the 6th inning, the Eagles had runners on second and third with one out. Facing the top of the order, Irish graduate ace Payton Tidd was able to negotiate a game-tying sacrifice fly and get out of the inning.

Soon after, the Irish bats would reward Tidd with a response. Senior infielder Brooke Marquez led off with her second double of the season. Freshman outfielder Mickey Winchell then worked a four-pitch walk, putting Notre Dame in nearly the same position as Boston College an inning prior: runners on second and third, top of the order coming to the plate.

And after a line-out by junior catcher Carlli Kloss brought Joley Mitchell to the plate, the senior infielder delivered. Mitchell drove a three-run home run over the right field fence, putting Notre Dame back in control. Mitchell’s late home run was reminiscent of her three-run effort against Duke, in which she also provided a 7th-inning jolt of power to give the lead to an Irish offense that had struggled prior.

Unlike the Duke game, however, the Irish would close out the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Pitching her fifth consecutive complete game, Tidd put down the Eagles’ order without issue. The graduate student ended the day with 7 strikeouts, including one on 8 pitches to end the game.

For Notre Dame to take home their fourth consecutive series next weekend, they’ll face a much tougher task than Boston College. The Irish will welcome Florida State to South Bend, a consensus top-five team across national rankings. The Seminoles have been especially hot in conference play; they’ve swept five of their seven ACC series, including a dominant display on the road against top-10 Clemson.

Notre Dame softball will be back in action Friday at Melissa Cook Stadium against Florida State. First pitch will be 6 p.m. and the ACC Network will broadcast the game.