April 22, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame softball team battled to the final at-bat in game one of a Tuesday Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) doubleheader against North Carolina State at Melissa Cook Stadium, and it was Granger native Jenna Simon who provided the dramatics. Simon's RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning scored freshman Karley Wester from second base to give the Irish a 3-2 walk-off win.
North Carolina State (30-14, 14-7 ACC) gained a measure of revenge in the nightcap, downing #21 Notre Dame (30-10, 10-5 ACC) 6-2 to split the series.
Wester led all Notre Dame players at the plate with a 5-for-7 (.714) afternoon, adding an RBI, three stolen bases and two runs. Sophomore Micaela Arizmendi contributed a pair of hits, including her team-high tying 10th home run of the season, while junior All-American Emilee Koerner also chipped in two singles and a run scored.
Senior pitcher Laura Winter (19-4) earned the victory in game one, tossing a complete game seven-hitter while allowing no earned runs. Winter walked only one and struck out five North Carolina State batters. Sophomore Allie Rhodes (6-5) allowed three earned in her five full innings of work in game two to take the loss.
Wester opened the bottom of the first inning of game one with an infield single to the left side, and a sacrifice bunt from Simon and an infield single by Koerner moved the Irish freshman leadoff hitter to third base with one out. An RBI groundout to shortstop by junior Katey Haus brought Wester across, giving Notre Dame a 1-0 lead.
Winter posted a second straight scoreless inning against the North Carolina State offense in the top of the second, popping Scout Albertson up to second base and forcing Sara Lippard to fly out to Wester in left field.
The Wolfpack broke through to tie the contest in the top of the fourth inning. Molly Hutchison began the frame with a leadoff single, and pinch runner Nadia Kemp advanced all the way to third base one batter later on a Notre Dame throwing error. Albertson made the most of an RBI opportunity with two outs, slicing an RBI single to left field to tie the game at 1-1. Lippard followed with a hard lineout to Haus at third base to end the inning.
Notre Dame reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Junior Cassidy Whidden reached after swinging at the first pitch from Emily Weiman (25-11) and clocking an infield single to second base. Senior captain Chloe Saganowich reached safely with a fielder's choice bunt, and senior Lauren Stuhr moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Wester cashed in on the RBI situation with a single to shortstop, allowing Whidden to score to vault the Irish in front 2-1.
North Carolina State quickly tied the game in the top of the sixth inning, as an obstruction call after Wolfpack pinch runner Tyler Ross appeared to have been put out breaking for home following a stolen base awarded the plate to the visitors. Ross' run tied the game at 2-2. Winter retired Chelsea Tate and Albertson on consecutive infield pop flies to end the inning.