Tony Jones | February 27, 2017
A second signature victory of the weekend ended, in style, what has been the most daunting schedule to open a season in University of Notre Dame softball history. A pair of late home runs, including a solo blast off the bat of freshman Katie Marino in the seventh inning, was the knockout punch for the Irish on Saturday in a 5-4 win over No. 4/5 Oklahoma.
The victory against the defending NCAA champion Sooners marked the second straight ranked triumph for Notre Dame to close the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at the Big League Dreams Sports Complex. The Irish previously earned a 10-7 decision against No. 11/12 Georgia on Friday.
How It Happened
Oklahoma (9-4) struck first with a diving single into center field with two outs in the bottom of the first, pushing the Sooners ahead 1-0. A deep fly ball to center field with two on and two away was hauled in by Karley Wester to leave both Oklahoma runners aboard.
Notre Dame (6-8) clawed back into the contest in the top of the second inning. Melissa Rochford reached by way of a one-out walk, and moved to second on a wild pitch. Kimmy Sullivan ripped a single through the right side, and a subsequent Oklahoma throwing error allowed Rochford to score and tie the game at 1-1. Madison Heide followed with an RBI single to left center that plated Sullivan for the 2-1 Irish advantage.
Notre Dame starter Katie Beriont looked to be out of danger in the bottom of the second frame, but back-to-back Irish fielding errors allowed Oklahoma to re-take the lead at 3-2 with two outs. Marino then made a great backhand stop at second base to end the Sooner ups.