Notre Dame softball defeats Harvard, suffers season-ending loss to Arkansas

Notre Dame pitcher Payton Tidd (14) throws against Oregon during an NCAA softball game on...
Notre Dame pitcher Payton Tidd (14) throws against Oregon during an NCAA softball game on Friday, May 19, 2023, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)(Associated Press)
Published: May. 21, 2023 at 11:23 AM EDT
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (WNDU) - The Notre Dame softball team’s 2023 season came to an end late Saturday night after the Irish were eliminated from the NCAA Fayetteville Regional.

Like their showing in the ACC Tournament, the Fighting Irish came out cold, losing their first game of the NCAA Tournament on Friday to Oregon. But unlike the conference tournament, the Irish had another opportunity to keep their season alive with an elimination game against Harvard.

With the game tied at two runs apiece in bottom of the fourth inning, Karina Gaskins hit a three-run homer to give Notre Dame a 5-2 lead. That homer proved to be the difference, as the Irish held onto that lead until the end to eliminate Harvard from the Fayetteville Regional.

Gaskins drove in all five of Notre Dame’s runs, tying a program record for RBIs in an NCAA Tournament game.

While the Irish were able to pull out that gutsy win over Harvard in the first game of the day, fatigue got the better of them against the host Arkansas Razorbacks in the gamer that immediately followed.

Arkansas wasted no time getting on the board, scoring a run in the first and second inning to take an early 2-0 lead. However, Notre Dame couldn’t get the bats going against Razorback pitcher Chenise Delce, who limited the Irish to only three hits.

A three-run homer in the top of the seventh from Rylin Hedgecock gave the Razorbacks a 5-0 lead before Delce retired the side in the bottom half of the inning to eliminate the Irish from postseason play.

Notre Dame ends the season with a 30-19-1 overall record.

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