Tony Jones | March 6, 2017
The University of Notre Dame softball team put the finishing touches on an undefeated weekend with a pair of Sunday wins to close the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic. The Irish defeated Chattanooga 9-1 in five innings before blanking Charlotte 4-0 to cap a 4-0 weekend at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
How It Happened
Notre Dame (10-8) struck early on offense in the top of the first inning. Karley Wester reached by way of a leadoff walk and took second with a stolen base. An RBI double down the left field line for Morgan Reed two batters later scored Wester and gave the Irish a 1-0 lead.
From there, the floodgates opened for the Irish attack in the opening frame. Notre Dame would add seven additional runs on three hits and three Chattanooga (6-13) errors to force a pitching change. A two-run single for Maddie McCracken and a two-run Karley Wester double highlighted the surge for the 8-0 Irish advantage.
Chattanooga picked up its first run of the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the second to trim the Notre Dame lead to 8-1. Caitlyn Brooks bounced back with a pair of ground ball outs to halt the Mocs offense in the inning.
Notre Dame tacked on an insurance run in the top of the third inning. McCracken led off with a single through the left side, and reached third after a Bailey Bigler bunt single and error. Ali Wester brought McCracken home with an RBI single to center for the 9-1 Irish cushion.
Katie Beriont pitched the final two innings of relief in the circle for Notre Dame, yielding a lone Chattanooga single while striking out four Mocs batters.