Softball: Wildcats fall to No. 25 Fighting Irish in South Bend

Brianna+LeBeau+dives+into+second+base.+The+junior+infielder+struggled+against+Notre+Dame%2C+going+0-for-3+at+the+plate.

Daily file photo by Brian Lee)

Brianna LeBeau dives into second base. The junior infielder struggled against Notre Dame, going 0-for-3 at the plate.

Melissa Haniff, Reporter


Softball


Northwestern dropped its fourth straight game, losing 3-2 to No. 25 Notre Dame on Wednesday, off of a two-out hit in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Although the Wildcats (20-15, 8-3 Big Ten) were able to keep up with the Fighting Irish (34-11, 13-5 ACC) throughout the game, their inability to rally for runs in the sixth inning left room for a Fighting Irish comeback.

Notre Dame struck first with a second inning sacrifice fly to right field from infielder Sara White, bringing home a runner from third base. Junior pitcher Kristen Wood was able to keep the Fighting Irish at bay for the rest of the inning and ended the second with a strikeout.

At the top of the third, freshman centerfielder Sabrina Rabin raced from second base to home plate on a sacrifice fly from junior Andrea Filler to put the Cats on the board. The sacrifice fly was Filler’s NCAA-leading eighth of the season.

The Fighting Irish scored again at the bottom of the third with a grounder to left field, bringing a runner home from third base.

NU evened the score, 2-2, at the top of the sixth, starting with singles from freshman catcher Sammy Nettling and senior first baseman Julia Kuhn to get the Cats on base. Freshman pinch runner Marissa Panko came in for Nettling and scored on a Brooke Marquez hit to Irish shortstop Morgan Reed.

But the Cats’ rally proved too little, with Notre Dame pulling out the win in walk-off fashion. After retiring all of NU’s batters in the top of the seventh, the Fighting Irish scored on a two-out single followed by a smash through the middle that brought home the runner.

Rabin led the Cats’ batters with two hits and a run, while Wood finished the game with six strikeouts.

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