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Saturday, March 2, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame softball swept by No. 4 Florida State

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Notre Dame softball endured a tough weekend, losing to Florida State in a three-game sweep in South Bend.

The series’ first game would prove to be the biggest heartbreaker for the Irish. Notre Dame jumped out to a quick lead on the fourth-ranked Seminoles, going ahead 4-0 at Melissa Cook. The Irish had a chance to expand the lead further, but senior infielder Joley Mitchell’s two out RBI double was chalked off due to junior infielder Carlli Kloss leaving second base early. 

The would-be 5-0 lead would quickly become pertinent. Florida State would chalk up four runs of their own in the top of the sixth inning, tying the game. Then, in extras, the Seminoles would push ahead. A calamitous fielders choice rundown turned into a 12-minute umpire review that resulted in a Florida State runner on third with two outs. A wild pitch by freshman reliever Micaela Kastor scored the runner soon after, and the Seminoles had the lead for good.

Games two and three were decidedly less close. The Florida State bats ran wild against Notre Dame’s staff, chalking up 11 runs in game two and 12 in game three. A particularly brutal fourth inning defined said game three rout. The Seminoles plated eight runs before the Irish could stop the damage. Florida State put their first five batters on base. 

A strikeout gave Notre Dame one out, but the Seminole offense kept on clicking. Three consecutive singles followed a two run home run.

The Irish offense proved a stark contrast to Florida State’s explosion. Mitchell’s double in the fourth kept Notre Dame from being no-hit, but that proved to be the only production the Irish could muster.

While errors didn’t decide the game, they were an uncharacteristic problem for Notre Dame on Sunday. The Irish committed four, three of which directly resulted in Seminole runs.

The sweep now puts Notre Dame in a precarious position heading into ACC tournament play. The Irish currently sit on the NCAA Tournament bubble. A win over the highly-ranked Seminoles would have done a lot to help the team’s position. Notre Dame instead will have just a single out-of-conference game against Central Michigan and then an unfavorable ACC Tournament draw to prove themselves to the committee before selection day. 

Notre Dame softball will be back in action Tuesday against Central Michigan. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.