Irish combine for no-hitter to open home slate
NOTRE DAME, Indiana — Notre Dame Softball (13-8, 6-6 ACC) won its home opener Wednesday with a 8-0, six-inning no-hitter over Valparaiso (5-12).
Senior pitcher Alexis Holloway (7-3) earned the win, while senior Morgan Ryan and junior Payton Tidd also saw time in the circle to combine for the no-hitter, the Irish trifecta’s second combined no-hitter of the season (Feb. 14 vs. Alabama State).
At the plate, graduate student Chelsea Purcell led the Irish going 3-3 on the day, including a three-run homer in the third inning, her second shot outside the walls this season. In total, nine different Notre Dame batters recorded hits, as the team totaled 14 in just six innings. Senior Abby Sweet, freshman Karina Gaskins and sophomore Leea Hanks each contributed two hits on the day.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Holloway hurled a leadoff strikeout before stranding one on base to end the first, and Sweet led off the home half of the inning with a double. With junior Emma Clark’s subsequent single, graduate student Katie Marino delivered a sacrifice hit to bring Sweet home. Later, junior Quinn Biggio singled to bring Clark home, and the Irish went into the second up 2-0.
Holloway strung together three-consecutive swinging strikeouts to make quick work of the second, as Purcell led off for the Irish with a single, advancing to third on a Holloway sac bunt. Later, Sweet singled to bring Purcell home, and the inning ended at 3-0.
Valpo was again sat down in order in the third, and Gaskins fired a single to begin the bottom of the inning. With junior Shelby Grimm entering as a pinch runner, Biggio walked before Purcell sent her home run to score all three. Unable to add further runs, the inning ended at 6-0.
Both teams went scoreless in the fourth, as Ryan entered to pitch for Notre Dame, and Valparaiso was retired in order. In the fifth, Ryan and the Irish stranded one on base, keeping Valpo scoreless.
Hanks led off for the Irish in the fifth, singling and advancing on the subsequent Purcell single. Senior Sarah Genz entered to pinch hit, singling to push Purcell to second, while Hanks was tagged out on the play. Sophomore Miranda Johnson also entered as a pinch hitter, and delivered an RBI single to score Purcell, ending the inning up 7-0.
Tidd entered to pitch for the Irish in the sixth, delivered a strikeout en route to stranding one on base with no runs. In the bottom of the sixth, Marino walked, taking second on a wild pitch. Later, sophomore Macie Eck entered to pinch hit and walked. Hanks then doubled to score Marino and end the game 8-0.
The Irish remain home to host NC State in a four-game series March 26-28. All four games will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.