Softball strikes out at Notre Dame in nonconference game, 7-4
CMU's softball team traveled to South Bend, Indiana to take on Notre Dame in a one-game standoff, but lost the battle 7-4 at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Despite dropping a four-mercy series in their most recent games at Miami (Ohio), the Chippewas (4-14) gave the Fighting Irish (17-8) a fight, but could not pull out the victory.
The Chippewas went down quietly in the first with a pair of strikeouts and a pop fly to the shortstop. Junior pitcher Kaitlyn Bean took the mound for the bottom of the first as the Fighting Irish's Abby Sweet doubled on Bean's first pitch and two plays later would score for Notre Dame's first run. The Fighting Irish pushed across two more to carry a 3-0 lead after one.
CMU and Notre Dame washed the second and the third innings for no hits on either side; Bean earned her first strikeout of the game in the top of the third.
Senior shortstop Morgan Gardner opened the fourth with a single to right center field. Junior first baseman Shannon Stein ripped a two-run home run to left center, but the Chippewas would not score again in the inning. Senior Cloe Mallory stepped in for Bean with one out in the fourth. Mallory allowed one run in the fourth.
CMU went quietly in the fifth before Mallory earned her first strikeout of the day for the second out in the bottom half. At the end of the fifth, the Fighting Irish had scored one more run for a 5-2 lead.
Gardner singled up the middle in the top of the sixth, followed by Stein sending another homer to left center for a two-run RBI for the pair. Notre Dame walked freshman desingated hitter Michaeleigh Vallimont, switching pitchers immediately after.
After striking out and flying out, the Chippewas moved into the bottom of the sixth with freshman Grace Lehto on the mound, allowing a double on her first pitch, and forcing a groundout on the next. Notre Dame's Katie Marino hit a two-run homer to center for the Irish's only long-ball of the day to cap the scoring.
Stein contributed a pair of two-run home runs, paired with Gardner's singles on the plays prior.
Bean (L, 5-0) allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits and one strikeout in 3 1/3 innings of work and 34 batters faced.
Mallory pitched allowed one run on three hits, issuing a walk and a strikeout in 1 2/3 innings pitched.
Lehto pitched the final frame, allowing two runs on three hits.
Notre Dame's Payton Tidd (W, 9-4) allowed four runs on six hits over five innings, striking out four of 23 batters faced. Morgan Ryan earned the save (1) allowing just one hit and striking out two.
The Chippewas will return to Mid-American Conference play in their home opener at 3 p.m. Friday in Margo Jonker Stadium.