Downward spiral continues as multiple errors cause double defeat for softball
The softball team was outscored 13-1 in a sweep by Notre Dame in a Wednesday doubleheader in South Bend, Ind.
The Pirates continued their recent struggles with errors against the Fighting Irish, committing four combined errors on the day, three of which came in a shortened game because of rain.
Notre Dame’s sweep of the Hall drops the team’s record to 20-27, with a 2-14 record in the Big East.
“You have to have that winning mindset by cutting down mistakes,” head coach Ray Vander May said. “We can play against these teams.”
In the second game, Notre Dame scored first in the fourth inning after designated hitter Jackie Bowe hit a single to left field bringing home left fielder Emilee Koerner.
The Pirates tied the game 1-1 in the fifth inning after second baseman Maria DeLuca, who reached base on a double, was brought home after a throwing error from second baseman Jenna Simon.
The Fighting Irish opened the game up in the fifth inning, scoring four runs.
Catcher Amy Buntin singled to center field, and advanced to third on a throwing error. Right fielder Kelsey Thornton and Simon scored on the play.
With a 0-1 count, first baseman Dani Miller sailed one over the fence to center field, bringing in Buntin, for her 10th homerun of the season.
In the first game of the doubleheader, a game delayed by over three hours, the Pirates lost 8-0 in five innings. Notre Dame pitcher Laura Winter allowed only one hit in five innings, striking out 11 Pirates.
Notre Dame scored first as catcher Buntin singled through the right side, bringing home centerfielder Alexa Maldonado.
In the next inning, the Fighting Irish poured on runs, starting with an infield single on a 2-2 count from the No. 9 hitter Simon, which scored Miller.
The next batter, rightfielder Kelsey Thornton, laid down a bunt-single to third base, scoring designated hitter Lauren Stuhr, who reached base on a throwing error by Pirate third baseman Meredith Henze.
Maldonado singled to left center and advanced to second on a throwing error from center fielder Sam DeMasi.
Simon and shortstop Chloe Saganowich scored on the play, taking a lead.
Thorton scored on a wild pitch from Casey Moses, giving the Fighting Irish a 6-0 lead.
Miller smacked a home run to left centerfield on the first pitch she saw in the third inning, knocking Moses out of the game. Brooke Tull came in to relieve Moses.
Maldonado drew a walk later in the inning, bringing Stuhr home to give the Fighting Irish a commanding 8-0 lead, and halted Tull’s 13-inning scoreless streak.
“Errors are mental,” Vander May said. “When you get a lot of errors in a row, they become mental.”
According to Vander May, the first game was an aberration to his team.
“The first game you can throw right out, that’s what I basically told them after the game,” Vander May said. “Everything that could have went wrong, went wrong.”
The Pirates return to action Saturday at 12 p.m. with a doubleheader against the DePaul Blue Demons.
TJ Brennan can be reached at email@example.com.