Notre Dame Softball | Feb. 8, 2014 | Notre Dame Athletics
The end of the team's first day of play at the Auburn Plainsman Invitational at Jane B. Moore Field Saturday left the University of Notre Dame softball team with a pair of mixed results. The Irish claimed game one 9-1 over Tennessee Tech before falling to North Dakota State in the nightcap 4-1.
More important in the background of the day one split was the return of one of Notre Dame's key players from injury, junior catcher Cassidy Whidden. During the first game of the 2013 NCAA Lexington Regional against Virginia Tech last spring, Whidden suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) attempting to steal second base, ending her season and requiring surgery. The devastating turn derailed what had been a breakout season for Whidden as an all-BIG EAST third team performer.
After nine months of rehabilitation, hard work, and most of all, heart, Whidden triumphantly returned to the Notre Dame lineup against Tennessee Tech, smashing the second pitch she saw over the wall in left center field for what was ultimately the game-winning three-run home run.