#20 Irish Host Toledo and Purdue in Final Midweeks – Notre Dame Athletics

#20 Irish Host Toledo and Purdue in Final Midweeks – Notre Dame Athletics

SOUTH BEND, Ind. –  The University of Notre Dame softball team will play host to the Toledo Rockets and the Purdue Boilermakers this week in a pair of midweek games. The Fighting Irish and Rockets will play Tuesday, with Purdue wrapping up the week’s action Wednesday. Both games are set for a 5 p.m. first pitch.
The Irish are on a four-game winning streak after completing the sweep of North Carolina this weekend. In midweek games this season, the Irish are 6-0, notching wins over Detroit Mercy, Western Michigan, Loyola Chicago, Central Michigan, Northwestern and Indiana. Dating back to 2019, Notre Dame has won nine-straight midweek games. The last time Notre Dame dropped a midweek contest was against the Boilermakers in 2019.
Notre Dame’s offense is led by sophomore Karina Gaskins. Gaskins leads the team with a .441 average, 10 home runs and 52 RBI. She owns a .564 on-base percentage which would best the school record set by Abby Sweet during the 2021 season. Sweet has a .485 on-base percentage this season, while hitting for a .387 average. She’s second on the team with a .620 slugging percentage while driving in 23. Jane Kronenberger worked her way into the starting lineup and is third on the team with 26 RBI on the season.
Alexis Holloway, Payton Tidd and Shannon Becker have put together a consistent pitching this season. Holloway owns a 3.01 ERA in 17 starts. She’s logged 100.0 innings with 86 strikeouts and holds opponents to a .215 average against. Tidd has a 2.62 ERA with 117.1 innings and recording 89 strikeouts. Becker owns the top ERA on the team at 1.67. She’s earned a 9-3 mark and leads the team with four saves in 75.1 innings of work. She’s struck out 62 hitters, and limited opponents to just 27 free passes on the year.
The Rockets enter Tuesday’s matchup with a 10-33 overall mark and sit at the bottom of the Mid-American Conference standings. Sunday saw Toledo snap a seven-game losing streak, defeating Kent State 7-6 in extra innings.
Toledo hits for a .233 team average, led by Dayna Denner. Denner is the lone Rocket to have started all 43 games this season as she is hitting at a .333 clip. She leads her team with 21 runs scored, 11 doubles, seven home runs and 24 RBI. Aubrey Reed and Jenna Kroll each have hit six homers this season. Reed hits at a .297 clip with 21 RBI, Kroll at .258 with 23 runs driven in.
Five pitchers have contributed in the circle, led by staff ace Sophia Knight. Knight has started 24 games, 18 more than any other pitcher on staff. She’s earned a 6.35 ERA in 118 innings with 96 strikeouts. Ellie Price has made 19 appearances, 16 out of the bullpen. She’s earned a 4.77 ERA in 44.0 innings with 16 strikeouts.
The Boilermakers enter Wednesday’s contest after playing a Big Ten doubleheader against Indiana Tuesday evening. Entering this week, Purdue salvaged the final game with Michigan State, earning a 3-2 win to snap a seven-game losing streak.
Purdue’s offense hits at a .258 team average, led by Rachel Becker. Becker owns a .411 average having played in all 46 games for the Boilermakers this season. She leads the team with 11 doubles, while also hitting three triples and three home runs. She’s scored a team-best 34 runs this season. Alex Echazarreta provides the power in the lineup. Along with hitting at a .370 clip, she’s hit seven home runs and driven in 28, each leading the team.
Six Boilermakers have logged innings in the circle this season, led by Echazarreta. Echarzarreta has started 13 games, appearing in 23 and leads her team with 87.1 innings. She’s struck out 95 hitters and holds opponents to a .232 average. Breanna Smith also has 13 starts, appearing in 27 total. Smith has worked 82.1 innings, striking out 31 hitters. Alexa Pinarski leads the Boilermakers with 28 appearances while throwing in 62.1 innings. She’s struck out 30 hitters and opponents hit .277 against.
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