Notre Dame wins 10th-straight home game with 8-1 victory over WMU
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame (18-12) extended its home win streak to 10 games with an 8-1 victory over Western Michigan (8-18) Wednesday.
Senior Alexis Holloway (8-6) started at pitcher and earned the win, while junior Payton Tidd and senior Morgan Ryan also saw time in the circle.
At the plate, the Irish compiled 13 total hits to Western Michigan’s 5, in addition to forcing four WMU errors. Holloway, junior Emma Clark and senior Sarah Genz noted three hits each, with one of Holloway’s being the go-ahead run on a solo homer in the fourth inning.
Notre Dame was also active on the base paths, stealing a total of five bases on the day. Clark led the team with three, and Holloway and senior Abby Sweet added one each.
Freshman Cassidy Grimm earned her first-career start, manning third base for the entirety of the game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Even with a two-out walk in the first inning, quick defensive play from graduate student Chelsea Purcell ended the Western Michigan initial batting campaign without a score. The Irish took the plate, and with one out, junior Emma Clark singled, advancing to second on a WMU throwing error. Clark stole third for her first SB of the day, and came home on a graduate student Katie Marino RBI single to end the inning up 1-0.
The Broncos immediately responded in the second, leading off with a solo home run to tie it. After allowing one more hit, Holloway responded with a strikeout, and Grimm, in her first-career start, took care of the remaining two outs. In the bottom half of the inning, Holloway singled, but two fielder’s choice balls and an error ended the inning with an even 1-1 score.
Both teams went scoreless in the third, as Purcell and Marino made showstopping plays for outs. In the fourth, the Irish allowed one hit with no runs, and to lead off the bottom of the inning, Holloway stepped up to the plate and fired a solo home run to the outfield bleachers to take the 2-1 lead. Later on in the inning, with two outs and Purcell on second, Sweet delivered an outfield single to score Purcell, giving the Irish a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Tidd entered to pitch and Western Michigan was again sat down with one hit and no runs, and the Irish took their chance to open it up. Marino led off with a walk, advancing to second in a single from sophomore Leea Hanks. Tidd then doubled to score Marino, putting the Irish up 4-1. Holloway immediately followed with a well-placed bunt, reaching first and scoring Hanks to go up 5-1. After Holloway stole second, Genz doubled to bring both Tidd and Holloway home.
After two outs were made, Sweet forced a WMU error to reach first, placing Genz on third. Then, Clark delivered an RBI single to score Genz. The Irish made it all the way through the lineup and then some, and the inning ended with an 8-1 Irish lead.
Notre Dame was able to hold Western from scoring any more runs in the sixth, and in the bottom of the sixth, sophomores Macie Eck and Miranda Johnson and freshman Mac Vasquez all pinch-hit for the Irish, but no runs were pushed across.
In the top of the seventh, Ryan entered to close, striking out the first batter as Genz and Marino took care of the second. Ryan then fired another strikeout to seal the 10th-straight home victory for Notre Dame.
The Irish remain home for the program’s inaugural series with No. 18 Clemson, which will begin Friday, April 9, with a 5 p.m. ET game. The teams will take on a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, and the fourth game of the series will begin on Sunday at Noon ET. All games will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.