Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Saturday, April 13, 2024
The Observer

20230324, 20230324, Melissa Cook Stadium, Sofia CrimiVaroli, Softball, Syracuse-9.jpg

Notre Dame keeps win streak alive with three victories over NC State

After an 0-4 start to ACC play, the Irish have won five straight conference games

Notre Dame softball, now 20-10 overall, extended its win streak to six with three wins against NC State this past weekend. The Irish won the first game 5-3, the second game 9-4 and the third game 2-0.

Friday: Balanced offense complements Laudenslager's strong start

Graduate pitcher Alexis Laudenslager started in the circle for the Irish, throwing 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight hitters, allowing six hits and conceding three runs (two of which were earned). With the effort, Laudenslager picked up her eighth win of the season. Junior right-hander Shannon Becker came on in relief for the Irish, pitching the rest of the game with one batter on and two outs and making the final out of the game for her fifth save for the season. 

Becker's save also marked the 10th save on the season for the Irish, which ties an all-time record in the program for team saves in a season. The Irish last achieved the milestone of recording 10 saves in a single season back in 1999.

Offensively, the Irish had nine hits from eight different players that helped lead the team to victory in the first game. Senior catcher Carlli Kloss contributed, going 2 for 4 at the plate. Fellow seniors first baseman Karina Gaskins, third baseman Cassidy Grimm and infielder Mac Vasquez all added a hit for the Irish as well. Among the juniors, designated player Rachel Allen and left fielder Emily Tran found hits, while sophomore center fielder Mickey Winchell and freshman second baseman Addison Amaral added on knocks for the Irish. Amaral contributed by driving in two runs during her at-bats alongside Tran and Vasquez, who plated runs of their own. 

Saturday: Becker breezes by Wolfpack to clinch series

The Irish kept their momentum going to take a 9-4 win over the Wolfpack in the second game. 

Sophomore right-hander Micaela Kastor started in the circle for the Irish, throwing one inning. Kastor allowed two hits, four runs (one earned) and struck out one batter. Becker then came into the circle and threw six scoreless innings for the Irish, allowing one hit and striking out two to earn the win. 

Kloss and Grimm led in the box for the Irish, each both going 3 for 4 by the end of the game. Kloss drove in one run, scored twice herself and pulled a walk. Grimm drove in two runs and also scored once herself during the game. Gaskins went 2 for 3 at the plate with a walk, driving in three runs on a home run and scoring twice herself. Additionally, Tran, Amaral and junior shortstop Anna Holloway added hits as well, each scoring themselves. 

Sunday: Irish sweep Wolfpack with shutout win

In the final and very thrilling Sunday game against NC State, the Notre Dame took a 2-0 win against NC State. 

Laudenslager pitched all seven innings for the Irish, allowing six hits but striking out eight hitters. 

Neither team scored for the first four innings of the game, but in the bottom of the fifth, the Irish were able to pull ahead of the Wolfpack by scoring two runs. Freshman outfielder Tenley Sweet reached base and subsequently scored the Irish's first run, thanks to a double by Winchell. Then, with two outs, Kloss made it on base and scored to make it 2-0 with the help of a single to shortstop from Tran. Neither team scored in the sixth or the seventh inning, ultimately making the final score 2-0 in favor of the Irish. 

Irish to host Central Michigan on Tuesday

Last year, the game between Notre Dame and Central Michigan was canceled, making their most recent encounter on March 30, 2022. The Irish last took a 4-1 win against the Chippewas and now are getting ready to face off against them again this year. 

Offensively, neither team scored in the first inning in the 2022 matchup. The Irish scored first in the second inning, putting one run up on the board. Central Michigan was quick to respond, putting up a run of its own in the third inning. Neither team scored in the fourth inning, but the Irish pulled ahead in the fifth, putting another run on the board before scoring two more in the sixth. Neither team scored in the seventh, making the final score 4-1 in favor of the Irish.

Then-freshman Shannon Becker started in the circle, throwing three innings for the Irish. Becker allowed four hits, gave up one earned run and struck out three. After her, Payton Tidd came on in relief, pitching the last four innings for the Irish. Tidd did not allow any batters to get on base and struck out four. 

Looking ahead, Central Michigan is 5-18 on the season and comes off of two wins and one loss in a series against Northern Illinois this past weekend. Central Michigan lost its first game 4-0, won the second game 7-5 and won the third game 7-6 against the Huskies. 

Carly Sleeman currently leads the team in hitting with a batting average of .311, having a team-high slugging percentage of .527 and a total of 23 hits on the season so far. Sleeman, alongside her teammate Skylar Coberley, has a total of 13 runs on the season so far. 

Central Michigan has used three main pitchers this season -- Mackenzie Langan, Grace Lehto and Madelyn Wallace. Each of those pitchers has one win for the season. 

Lehto is the pitcher that the Irish want to look out for. She leads the Chippewas on the circle with a total of 52.1 innings pitched for the season and has started 10 games for Central Michigan. Lehto also leads the team with a total of 40 strikeouts this season. However, Lehto totals 51 runs allowed in the season so far. 

As a team, Central Michigan owns a .937 fielding percentage in comparison to a .953 opponents' mark. Sleeman has a total of 82 putouts on the season, and Coberley has a total of 42 assists in the field for Central Michigan. 

Notre Dame looks ahead to its matchup against Central Michigan at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in Melissa Cook Stadium.