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Sunday, March 3, 2024
The Observer

Tri-Campus Sports Roundup: Irish lacrosse moves onto postseason, Saints capture tennis titles

Gabriel Zarazua
Gabriel Zarazua | The Observer

Men thrash Tar Heels, both Irish teams onto postseason

The Notre Dame men's lacrosse team ended its regular season on a high note Saturday, defeating No. 17 North Carolina 18-9. For the second time in two weeks, the No. 3 Irish beat up on the Tar Heels. The Irish came out firing in their regular season finale, scoring six goals in the first quarter and taking a commanding 10-3 lead into halftime that was never seriously threatened. Nine different Irish players found the back of the net, with junior midfielder Eric Dobson, senior attacker Jake Taylor and sophomore attacker Chris Kavanagh all registering hat tricks. Kavanagh finished with five goals, tying his season high.

Now it's on to the NCAA Tournament for both the men's and women's teams. The men's team earned the right to host their first game against Utah at Arlotta Stadium. The first-ever meeting between the Irish and Utes begins at 2:30 p.m. The women's team will make the trip to Gainesville, Florida for a Friday night showdown with Mercer at 7:00 p.m.

Inconsistency again sinks Irish baseball against NC State

It looked like the Irish bats would pick up where they left off last weekend against NC State. After a midweek game against Bowling Green was canceled, Notre Dame took the series opener Friday night thanks to a nine-run, 14-hit outburst. Down 6-4 after five innings, a three-run sixth and stellar relief work by sophomore Radek Birkholz and graduate student Will Mercer gave the Irish a needed boost. Graduate student catcher Vinny Martinez delivered the decisive blow, a tie-breaking two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth that made the difference in the 9-7 contest. The game was Martinez's fifth multi-hit effort in his last seven contests.

However, Martinez's home run Friday drove in the same amount of runs as the Irish scored in the final two games of the series, marking their lowest output across any two-game stretch all season. The Irish managed just two extra-base hits total during their 6-1 and 5-1 losses to the Wolfpack. The Irish will look to get their bats back on track this weekend against Akron. Friday's game starts at 7:00 p.m., followed by a pair of day games on Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., respectively. All three games will take place at Frank Eck Stadium.

Irish softball bows out early in ACC Tournament

Notre Dame softball fell in the first round of the ACC tournament Wednesday, losing 8-1 to Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets put forth a dominant display from start to finish at Melissa Cook Stadium. Georgia Tech scored in each of the first four innings to amass an impressive 7-0 lead. Senior infielder Joley Mitchell was able to get a run back for the Irish with a fourth-inning solo homer, but it wasn't enough. Notre Dame's bats struggled all game, mustering up just five hits.

The Irish didn't make things any easier for themselves by struggling in the field. Notre Dame committed three errors, all of which either directly or indirectly resulted in Yellow Jacket runs. The most brutal instance came in the third inning, when an errant throw turned what could have been an inning-ending ground ball into a two-run E6.

The loss likely dooms any realistic chance of Notre Dame earning an NCAA tournament bid. The Irish have reached 23 consecutive NCAA tournaments and are yet to miss the big dance under head coach Deanna Gumpf. Notre Dame will now await their fate for the next week, with the tournament selection show set for Sunday at 7 p.m.

Irish golf teams send three members to regionals

While neither the Irish men's nor women's golf teams as a whole qualified for the NCAA Regionals, there will still be Notre Dame representation at each tournament. Senior Lauren Beaudreau has already competed at the Westfield Regional, shooting a 74 and 72 in her first two rounds before finishing with a 71 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the men's team will send a pair of golfers in senior Palmer Jackson and freshman Nate Stevens to the Michigan State Regional, which takes place from May 15-17.

Saints men's, women's tennis teams win first CCAC championship

No tri-campus program has fared better over the last two weeks than Holy Cross tennis. Both the men's and women's teams won their first ever CCAC Championship. The No. 18 Saints women's team defeated the University of Saint Francis (Ill.) in decisive fashion, winning the match 4-0. The Saints took home each of the three doubles and singles matches. Senior Clara Ruediger and junior Diane Maillotte earned a 6-0 victory. Ruediger secured the championship with a singles win, taking both sets 6-2. Ruediger, Maillotte and juniors Kia Carvalho-Landell and Anna Beer all earned singles wins as well.

Things were a bit tighter on the men's side. The No. 19 Saints fell behind in doubles, losing both of the matches against No. 16 Cardinal Stritch. But the Saints responded by taking four of the five singles competitions. Junior Will Page, freshman Polis Koursaros and sophomores Ciaran McCarthy and Perry Gregg all earned singles victories. Koursaros' match went the distance, with him taking the final set 6-3.

Both teams will make their first trip to the NAIA Championship on May 16. The women's team takes on No. 15 Loyola University at 10:00 a.m. The men's team will follow at 2:00 p.m. when take on No. 14 College of Coastal Georgia. Both matches will take place in Mobile, Alabama.

Belles lacrosse, softball teams see seasons conclude

After concluding their regular season on April 28, the Belles lacrosse team began its MIAA Tournament run May 3. Saint Mary's rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit to defeat Alma 16-13 after losing their regular season finale to them. Senior midfielder Molly Mullett and freshman defender/attacker Alyssa Grant were both forces to be reckoned with, tallying six goals apiece. The pair notched all of Saint Mary's six fourth quarter goals. Grant tallied four straight  in a 4:15 burst.

However, the Belles were not able to capture the conference title, falling three days later to Hope. Once again, Saint Mary's found themselves down multiple goals at halftime and were unable to shrink the deficit in the final 30 minutes. Mullett, senior midfielder Erin Dotson and sophomore midfielder Valentina Rubio each registered hat tricks. But it was not enough to overcome Hope's balanced attack and Julia Brown's stellar six goal showing.

The Belles softball team wrapped up its regular season over the past week with its final six games. The stretch started well for Saint Mary's, as they rattled off a season-best four straight wins. However, disaster struck in their final two contests, as they fell to Calvin 12-0 and 18-0 in five innings each during a Saturday doubleheader. The Belles finish their season 11-25, with a 4-12 record in conference play.