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Saturday, May 25, 2024
The Observer

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Notre Dame avoids a sweep with walk-off against Clemson

Irish take one of three winnable games, walking off on Sunday

The Irish softball team took one win and two losses this past weekend against the Clemson Tigers, now making them 24-20 on the season so far and 8-13 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Game One

After a total of 10 innings, the Irish took the 8-5 loss against Clemson in the opening game. 

Neither team scored in the first or second inning, but Clemson put its first run up on the board in the top of the third inning. Notre Dame came back and added two runs of its own in the bottom of the third inning, making the score 2-1. The Tigers were quick to respond, adding four runs onto the board after neither team put runs on in the fourth inning, making the score 5-2 in favor of the Tigers.

With neither team scoring in the sixth inning, the Irish managed three more runs in the seventh inning, tying the score at 5-5. The game then went into extra innings. Neither of the teams scored in the eight or the ninth inning but, in the 10th inning, the Tigers managed to put up three runs, making the final score 8-5. 

Offensively, senior catcher Carlli Kloss, sophomore outfielder Mickey Winchell and freshman infielder Addison Amaral each added on two hits. Kloss added two doubles, drove in a run and scored once herself, Winchell scored twice herself and senior infielder Cassidy Grimm added on two runs for the Notre Dame offense. 

Graduate student Alexis Laudenslager started in the circle for the Irish, throwing 4 1/3 innings. Laudenslager allowed seven hits and four runs (three of which were earned) and struck out four. Sophomore Micaela Kastor came on in relief, throwing into the 10th inning. Kastor gave up six hits, four earned runs and struck out five batters but ultimately suffered the loss. Junior Shannon Becker finished out the game for the Irish, recording one out.

Game Two

The second game also went Clemson’s way, as the Tigers took an 11-6 win on Saturday. 

With two scoreless innings to start again, Clemson jumped ahead in the top of the third, adding the first run of the contest and then adding two more in the top of the fourth, making the score 3-0. But the Irish did not let that stop them as they put up four runs of their own in the bottom of the third to pull ahead, making the score 4-3. The Irish kept going, adding on two more runs in the fifth inning to make the score 6-3 in favor of the Irish. But the Tigers managed to make a comeback, scoring two runs in the sixth and six in the seventh to make the final score 11-6 in favor of Clemson. 

Amaral led in the box for the Irish, finishing with a 2-for-4 effort. Amaral had a total of three runs batted in, scored twice herself and hit her eighth home run of the season. Grimm, Kloss, Winchell, senior infielder Karina Gaskins, junior outfielder Jane Kronenberger and junior outfielder Emily Tran all added a hit for the Irish. 

Becker started in the circle for the Irish in game two, throwing five innings. Becker allowed seven hits, four runs (three earned) and struck out four. Laudenslager was the first pitcher to come into relief, throwing an inning and a third. Laudenslager allowed four hits, four earned runs and delivered one strikeout in suffering her seventh loss of the season on the mound. Kastor closed out the game for the Irish, giving up three earned runs and allowing five hits with one strikeout.

Game Three

After two losses, the Irish battled back to win a close, 6-5 game over the Tigers. 

Notre Dame jumped ahead early in the third game, putting up four runs in the first inning. Clemson managed to add three runs on the board in the top of the sixth inning after no runs scored in the second through the fifth inning, making the score 4-3 in favor of the Irish. Clemson then added on two more runs in the seventh inning, making the score 5-4 in favor of the Tigers. Notre Dame did not let that stop its push, though. The Irish added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh to make the final score 6-5 in favor of the Irish. 

In the first inning, Winchell and Kloss made it on base. Then, as Amaral reached on an error, Winchell advanced to second and Kloss scored the first run for the Irish. Junior designated player Rachel Allen then hit a home run to drive in Winchell and Kloss, bringing the score to 4-0 in favor of the Irish. In the seventh inning, the Irish battled back, and, with a single to left field from Gaskins, Tran and junior pinch-runner Mikayla LaPlaca scored to take the lead over the Tigers and win the game.

Laudenslager started in the circle, throwing 4 2/3 shutout innings for the Irish. Laudenslager allowed four hits but had five strikeouts. Becker came on in relief for the Irish, pitching 2 1/3 innings. Becker allowed six hits, five runs (three earned) and had one strikeout. 

The Irish now look ahead to hosting Central Michigan at home this Tuesday, April 23, at 5 p.m.