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Friday, April 12, 2024
The Observer


Irish softball looks to continue winning streak against North Carolina

Two years after sweeping UNC, Notre Dame seeks a similar result

Notre Dame softball, now 20-10 on the season after sweeping NC State, is now preparing to play the University of North Carolina. The Tar Heels have also had a successful season thus far, going 22-8. 

It has been almost two years since the last time these two teams played. In April of 2022, the Irish won all three games against the Tar Heels. 

In the first game that ended in a 4-1 Irish victory, former pitcher Payton Tidd threw a full game for the Irish — her eighth complete game of the season. She only allowed four hits and an unearned run, but tied a season best in 2022 with eight strikeouts. 

The Irish were able to pick up 10 hits. Former outfielder Emma Clark got a hit and drove in a run and scored once herself, Leea Hanks added on a hit for the Irish, Karina Gaskins added on a hit and two RBI, Marina Johnson drove in a run off of a fielder's choice hit and Abby Sweet also added on a hit for the Irish. Gaskins, now a senior, is the only one left on the team. 

In the second game where Notre Dame won 7-5, former pitcher Alexis Holloway started on the mound for the Irish, throwing 5.2 innings. Holloway allowed seven hits and four runs (three earned), but was able to get three strike-outs. Then-freshman Shannon Becker came in relief in the sixth inning and closed out the game for the Irish throwing 1.1 innings. 

Hanks and then-freshman Jane Kronenberger each had a home run, Clark went 2-3 at the plate scoring twice herself, Sweet added a hit for the Irish and Carlli Kloss and Hanks each added an RBI. 

In the last game of the 2022 series, Becker started in the circle for the Irish, throwing the first four innings. She allowed four hits and one earned run. Tidd came in relief for the Irish, allowing four hits and two earned runs. 

Hanks, Clark and Joley Mitchell accounted for 11 hits during the game. Clark and Hanks both finished the game going 2-for-4 in the box while Mitchell went 2-for-3 in the box. Kronenberger also added two RBIs. The Irish would win that game 4-3. 

Right now, UNC is coming off of a 2-1 series against Georgia Tech.

Alex Coleman leads the Tar Heels in the box with a .526 batting average. Coleman also leads the team with a total of runs scored so far in the season and a total of 50 hits on the season so far. 

The Tar Heels have had four main pitchers this season: Britton Rogers, Kenna Raye Dark, Nikki Harris and Bailey McCachren. Rogers leads the bullpen with 8 wins on the season and has a total of 51 strikeouts through 49 innings.

The Irish will travel to Chapel Hill, with the first game starting at 1 p.m. on Thursday.