Duke falls to Notre Dame in ninth inning
Irish centerfielder Mike Vierling drove an RBI walkoff triple into the right-center gap to lift Notre Dame past Duke 3-2 in the series finale Saturday at Frank Eck Stadium.
Notre Dame (22-23, 10-14 ACC) scored two runs in the first but Duke (23-23, 9-15) kept the Irish off the board until the ninth. The Blue Devils plated runs in both the seventh and eighth but went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded six the final three frames.
Identical to the series’ two previous contests, Notre Dame struck for an early lead. Nick Podkul and Kyle Fiala singles sandwiched the first out before a double steal scored the game’s initial run. Ryan Lidge then bounced an RBI grounder, giving the Irish a 2-0 advantage.
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Duke right-hander Ryan Day settled in following the first. He allowed just two singles the next six stanzas and retired 10 straight from the third to the seventh. Day tossed a career-high eight innings in the no decision, allowing the two runs on five hits while striking out five.
Duke was unable to solve Notre Dame’s Brad Bass, as the right-hander faced the minimum through six. A Jack Labosky fifth-inning single accounted for the Blue Devils’ lone baserunner during that span, but a double play erased the threat.
Duke returns to action May 9, hosting Campbell at Jack Coombs Field at 6 p.m.
Elon: The Phoenix was unable to climb out of an early five-run deficit, dropping a 5-3 decision at College of Charleston on Saturday. Kyle Jackson recorded the lone multi-hit performance for the Phoenix, going 2-for-4 with a run and one RBI. On the mound, Kyle Brnovich (5-3) suffered his first defeat in conference play, allowing five runs on six hits while striking out six in seven innings.
Mount Olive: The Trojans placed seven players on the 2017 All-Conference Carolinas first team including Austin Hutchison, who was named the Conference Carolinas Pitcher of the year. Head Coach Carl Lancaster was also named Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year. Drew Ellis, Ricky Surum, Zach Mozingo (RP & DH), David Mayo, and Bruce Zimmermann joined Hutchison on the first team.
The top-seeded Trojans play an opponent to be determined at 7 p.m. Saturday in Burlington.
N.C. State: Highlighted by three runs in the sixth inning, the Wolfpack evened its series with Boston College on Saturday with a 4-1 win at Shea Field. Tyler Ross scored the first run from second on Jade Caraway’s single to left field. She led off the inning with a single through the right-field gap and advanced to second on a BC error. Caraway scored the second run on Moore’s RBI single up the right field line, and a single to left field by Balzer brought in Alyssa Compton from third after she got on base with a hit-by-pitch.
The Eagles scored their lone run in the bottom fo the frame, but solid pitching late in the game sealed the win or the Pack, which improves to 17-33 (10-10 ACC) while the Eagles fall to 28-19 (12-7) on the season.
St. Augustine’s: The Falcons visit Fayetteville State on Sunday for a CIAA softball doubleheader for the league’s Southern Division title. Game 1 is scheduled to begin at noon, with game 2 immediately following from Seabrook Park in Fayetteville. The Falcons (7-1 Southern Division, 15-10 overall) have a half-game ahead over the Broncos (6-1 Southern Division, 17-15 overall), but Fayetteville State hosted a Livingstone team on Saturday which is winless in CIAA games this season. In the event the Broncos won Saturday, the Falcons would need a sweep to win the title outright. If both teams split Sunday, they would be crowned co-champions.
UNC: The third-seeded Tar Heels saw their ACC Championship run come to an end Saturday with a 4-3 loss to second-seeded Virginia in a semifinals match at Rome Tennis Center. The Heels fall to 24-4 on the season and await seeding in the NCAA tournament bracket, which will be announced on Tuesday. Virginia (27-1) will face top-seeded Wake Forest in the championship match at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons advanced to their second consecutive ACC title match following a 4-0 sweep of Georgia Tech on Saturday at the Rome Tennis Center. The Deacs will square off against last year’s opponent, Virginia, once again. A year ago, the Deacs, then the No. 2 seed, defeated Virginia 4-3 to capture the first ACC title in program history. This year, the seeds are reversed as the program looks to repeat as the ACC champion.
Duke: A back-and-forth ACC championship semifinal at the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College saw third-seeded Georgia Tech edge the second-seeded Blue Devils 4-2 on Saturday. Georgia Tech claimed the doubles point but the Blue Devils answered with victories on courts three and four in singles to take a 2-1 lead. Despite the rally, the Yellow Jackets rounded out the match with three straight-singles wins to win the match. The Blue Devils slip to 20-5 with the loss, while the Yellow Jackets improve to 25-3 and advance to Sunday’s title match, where they will face top-seed North Carolina.
UNC: A marathon doubles session that lasted longer than an hour went to the Tar Heels when freshmen Sara Daavettila and Makenna Jones won a tiebreaker in shutout fashion, 7-0, on court three to give the team an early edge over the Hurricanes. The Heels never looked back, winning their three singles points in straight sets to put Miami away in short order. The Heels will defend their 2016 title against third-seeded Georgia Tech in the championship match on Sunday. The match will begin at 2 p.m. at the Rome Tennis Center.
Duke: Notre Dame scored two goals 24 seconds apart in the fourth quarter and held off a last-minute charge from the Blue Devils to pick up a 7-6 victory in the ACC championship semifinal. The Irish advance to play North Carolina in the title game Sunday at noon. The Blue Devils suffered their first loss since March 25 and fell to 11-4 overall, while Notre Dame improved to 8-3. The setback was the first to Notre Dame in postseason play in program history.
Mount Olive: The Trojans have placed six players on the 2017 All-Conference Carolinas teams. Jacob Ball, Cole Groebner, and Will Urban were named to the first team, while Brett Kingston, Thatcher Clark and Skyler King were named to the second team.
Elon: The Phoenix cruised to an 18-4 victory over William & Mary in its regular-season finale after scoring 15 unanswered goals after falling behind 3-1 early in the contest With the win, the Phoenix clinched the No. 3 seed in next week’s CAA championships. For the second consecutive season, Elon will face Towson, who is hosting this year’s championships. The Phoenix improved to 12-5 overall and finished conference play with a 4-2 mark. The 12 wins are the most wins in a single season in program history to date.
Mount Olive: The Trojans earned two major awards and placed eight student-athletes on the two 2017 Conference Carolinas all-conference teamsas announced at Saturday’s Conference Carolinas Tournament banquet. Sophomore Hailey Dobbins was named defensive player of the year and freshman Jackie Kaderabek earned freshman of the year honors. Joining Dobbins and Kaderabek on the all-conference first team were freshman Kiara Burke, sophomore Samantha Thomson, and senior Gina Fader. Freshman Kelly Young, junior Michaela Ciciarelli, and senior Saffron Snethen all earned second-team all-conference honors.
The awards followed a 12-3 victory earlier in the day over North Greenville. With the win, the Trojans earned a trip to the 2017 Conference Carolinas Tournament championship game where they will play the winner between Belmont Abbey and Limestone. The championship match is slated for 4 p.m. Sunday.
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