Feb. 17, 2017
RALEIGH, N.C. – Facing a middle-inning deficit, No. 13 Minnesota scored four unanswered runs to complete a 4-1 comeback win over the University of Notre Dame softball team on Friday in game one of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Dail Softball Stadium.
How It Happened
Minnesota (6-0) threatened in the top of the first inning, placing two runners on by way of walks. An infield single to shortstop with two outs was negated when MK Bonamy threw a strike to Maddie McCracken at the plate, retiring a would-be Golden Gopher run for the final out of the inning.
Notre Dame (3-3) starter Katie Beriont found a groove to stonewall Minnesota in the top of the third. A fly ball out and a pair of ground ball outs sat down the Golden Gopher side in order.
Notre Dame found a breakthrough against Minnesota pitcher Sara Groenewegen in the bottom of the third inning. Chelsea Purcell clobbered her first career hit, a double to the right center gap, to get the Irish offense cooking with one out. Groenewegen held the Notre Dame runner in scoring position with back-to-back strikeouts.
The Irish took the first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Morgan Reed ripped a one-out triple down the right field line, and was eventually brought home on an RBI groundout to shortstop by Caitlyn Brooks. The scoring play put Notre Dame ahead 1-0.
Minnesota quickly tied the game with a leadoff home run to open the top of the fifth, squaring the score at 1-1. The Golden Gophers would extend the lead to 2-1 with a one-out long ball in the top of the sixth to take their first lead at 2-1. A wild pitch later in the frame brought the second Minnesota run of the stanza across (3-1).
The Golden Gopher offense scratched out an additional insurance run in the top of the seventh. A bouncing single down the line at third base carried into the outfield, plating the fourth Minnesota run for a 4-1 lead.
The Irish resume the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Saturday. Notre Dame and Michigan are set to take the field at 10 a.m. (ET), followed by the Irish and Minnesota at 12:30 p.m.