PORTSMOUTH — Defeating visiting Trimble 14-0 in a sectional final, the Notre Dame Lady Titans left little doubt as to why they were voted the No. 1-seed in Division IV in the Southeast District.
In the five inning victory, the Lady Titans (16-1) combined for 15 hits (four home runs) and sophomore pitcher Gwen Sparks faced the minimum — tossing a perfect game as no Lady Tomcat batters reached base.
Freshman Kaylyn Darden went deep twice in the same game for the first time this season — going 3-of-3 at the plate with four runs scored and a team-high four RBI.
Sophomores Kyndall Ford and Katie Strickland also had home runs for Notre Dame — Ford going deep in the first on a two-run blast and Strickland with a solo shot in the home half of the fourth.
Notre Dame jumped on Trimble offensively out of the gate — scoring six runs in the first and four more in both the third and fourth frames.
“Really proud of everyone’s at-bats today. Seemed like everybody was seeing the ball really well and when you see it well come tournament time, that’s definitely a good thing,” ND coach Shad Ford said, of his team’s offensive production. “I hope we keep that momentum, proud of everyone 1-through-9 today and the four home runs is a big bonus.”
Junior Annie Dettwiller delivered three hits and three RBI, senior Maddie Brown and freshman Maddie Entler each had a pair of hits, and freshman Bree Hicks and junior Libby Kelly each had a hit in the victory.
Wednesday was the fifth time this season that Notre Dame’s pitching allowed no hits — and the team’s second time they’ve faced the minimum in a victory.
Sparks struck out 14 of the 15 Trimble batters she faced in the circle for her second solo no-hit bid of the season, and this time of course being a perfect outing.
“Gwen was on today. When she’s on like that, she’s a difference maker and can flat-out dominate games,” Ford said. “Proud of her effort today.
Notre Dame is next in action on Tuesday, May 17 when they’ll face No. 9-seed Peebles at the University of Rio Grande in a Division IV district semifinal with first pitch set for 4:30 p.m.
The district semifinal will be a rematch of last season’s D-IV regional semifinal that saw the Lady Indians secure a 10-9 win in their Regional Runner-up finish.
The winner will face the winner of No. 4-seed Symmes Valley and No. 5-seed Manchester on Saturday, May 21 at 2:00 p.m. in the district final back at Rio Grande.
“As we’ve told this team all season, let’s keep it simple, make the routine plays, put the ball in play and run the bases with our speed, let our pitchers help when they can. We just have to take it one game at a tie, play our game, and take care of business.”
Trimble 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 0 0
Notre Dame 6 0 4 4 X — 14 15 0
Notre Dame hitting
Bree Hicks 1-2, 2R, BB
Gwen Sparks 0-1, 2BB
Annie Dettwiller 3-4, R, 3RBI
Libby Kelly 1-3, R, 2RBI
Mia McPheters 0-0, R, BB
Kyndall Ford 1-2, R, 2RBI, HR
Katie Strickland 2-2, 2R, RBI, BB, HR
Maddie Brown 2-3
Kaylyn Darden 3-3, 3R, 4RBI, 2HR
Maddie Entler 2-2, R, 2RBI, BB
Notre Dame pitching
Gwen Sparks (ND) 5IP, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 14K (W)
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