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Thursday, June 13, 2024
The Observer

Irish Sports Update: Baseball, golf seasons end; track sends nine to NCAAs

Sofia CrimaVaroli
Senior Page Freeman serves the ball in a match against Syracuse on April 14, 2023. The Irish won 4-2 in Notre Dame, Indiana.

The end of the 2022-23 sports season for Notre Dame is nearing. Here's what you need to know from the last week.


Things did not start off strong for the Irish in Durham. Though the bats kept the Irish in the game early, the Irish pitching staff simply could not keep the ball in the ballpark. The Panthers launched five home runs against Notre Dame, striking early and often. A three-run homer by Pitt’s Noah Martinez in the fourth after Notre Dame clawed back to even the score at three put the Irish in a hole they were never able to dig out of. Though they finished with an impressive 15 hits, Notre Dame fell to Pitt by a final score of 9-5.

The Irish also put up a solid offensive output of five runs in their second game of the tournament against No. 1 Wake Forest. However, it was not enough. The long ball burnt the Irish again, as three home runs propelled the Demon Deacons to a 7-5 win. The Irish entered the weekend as one of the projected final four teams in the NCAA Tournament field. However, the losses prevented the Irish from making the NCAA Tournament, with the field being announced on Monday afternoon. It's the first time the Irish have missed the postseason since 2019 (there was no tournament in 2020 due to COVID-19).

Notre Dame Men's Golf

Though the team's season has been over since April, the Irish had a couple of individuals competing on the national stage. Senior Palmer Jackson and freshman Nate Stevens both earned NCAA Regionals invites with their performances this year. Out of 73 golfers to play in the Bath Regional, both golfers placed in the top 30. Jackson dominated the first two rounds, shooting a 70 and 68, before struggling in the final round. Stevens also began strong, going 69-71 in the first two rounds. Like Jackson, he ended his season by shooting a 74 in the final round of play.

Notre Dame Tennis

Both the men's and women's tennis teams were represented in NCAA postseason play. On the men's side, the playoffs offered freshman Sebastian Dominko the chance to bring his stellar freshman season to a close. Dominko won his Round of 64 individuals match against Harvard's Henry von der Schulenburg, 6-4, 6-3. However, he fell in the Round of 32 to Pedro Rodenas of Duke in three sets, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. Dominko also competed in the doubles portion of the tournament with senior Connor Fu. The pair dropped its first match to Hunter Heck and Karlis Ozolins of Illinois, 4-6, 6-1, 1-0(8).

The women's team sent three athletes to the NCAA Championships–senior Page Freeman, junior Julia Andreach and sophomore Carrie Beckman. Like on the men's side, Freeman reached the second round in singles play while the doubles pair of Andreach and Beckman were eliminated in round one. Andreach and Beckman fell 6-2, 6-3, to the No. 33 doubles tandem of Ayana Akli and Sarah Hamner from the University of South Carolina. Freeman beat Anna Arkadianou of Florida State in the first round before falling to the University of Florida's Carly Briggs in her next match.

Notre Dame Track and Field

Finally, several members of the Irish track and field team competed in the NCAA East Regional qualifiers this week. Sophomore Erin Strzelecki, senior Tom Seitzer and junior Carter Solomon all performed well enough to earn a spot at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin from June 7-10. Strzelecki came in 11th in the 10,000-meter with a time of 33:57.37. Seizter reached the NCAA Championships for the second straight year in the 300-meter steeplechase, coming in with a time of 8:49.92 in qualifiers to sneak into the top 12. Solomon breezed into second place with a time of 13:53.59 to punch his NCAA Championships ticket in the 5,000-meter.

Additionally, senior Olivia Markezich also punched her ticket with a first-place finish in the steeplechase, while graduate student Katie Thronson came in fourth in the same event to join her teammate in Austin, reemphasizing Notre Dame’s informal “Steeple Chase U” title in the track and field scene. Finally, sophomore Siona Chisholm also took fourth in the 5000M with a time of 15:37.01.

In the field events, junior Madison Schmidt took the No. 12 spot in the women’s high jump to notch her place in the NCAA Championships, securing her first Championship bid after qualifying for regionals all three years in her tenure at Notre Dame. Graduate student John Keenan and senior Michael Shoaf will join her after coming sixth in the javelin event and ninth in the shot put, respectively, rounding out the group of nine Notre Dame athletes heading to Austin.