May 19, 2017
by Tony Jones
AUBURN, Ala. - Despite a fast start from the University of Notre Dame softball team on Friday, California was able to weather the storm. A five-run rally by the Golden Bears, including three runs in the bottom of the fourth, lifted California to a 6-2 win over the Irish in game one of the NCAA Auburn Regional at Jane B. Moore Field.
How It HappenedNotre Dame (33-22) was the first team on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning. Karley Wester reached by way of a leadoff walk, stole second, and came around to score on a California (31-22) throwing error for the 1-0 Irish lead.
The Golden Bears answered with a double-steal and sacrifice fly of their own in the bottom of the first, tying the contest at 1-1. Rachel Nasland bounced back with consecutive infield outs to stall the California rally.
Notre Dame retook the lead in the top of the second thanks to crafty baserunning and more California miscues. A fielding error and subsequent throwing error by the Golden Bears infield brought Katie Marino across for the Irish, and it was 2-1 Notre Dame.
A second sacrifice fly for California in the bottom of the third inning tied the game once more at 2-2. With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, the Golden Bears utilized a soft slap double up the middle and a two-run home run to take a 5-2 edge.
The Golden Bears would add their final run of the day thanks to a two-out fielding error in the bottom of the fifth inning, pushing the margin to 6-2. Notre Dame's Katie Beriont held the California order hitless for the final 1.1 innings of the ballgame.
Up NextNotre Dame faces ETSU on Saturday in an elimination game at 2:30 p.m. (ET) at Jane B. Moore Field.
For the latest news and updates on all things Notre Dame softball, visit www.und.com/softball, follow the Irish @NDsoftball and @NDcoachGumpf on Twitter and at Instagram.com/notredamesoftball, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men's soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League's Buffalo Bills.