By: Jordan Hirsh

April 21, 2023

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-0) continued their undefeated season by shutting out the Robbinsville Ravens (9-2), 9-0, on Thursday.

The Irish were led by University of Houston commit, Rylee Michalak, who simply dominated the Ravens lineup. She threw a complete game shutout, racking up 9 strikeouts, while only allowing 4 hits and 1 walk.

Michalak also made history in this game. She picked up her400th career strikeout by fanning opposing pitcher, Katie Ziliani, to start the 2nd inning. Michalak knew coming in that she was 4 strikeouts away from 400 and she wasted no time achieving that mark, setting down the first 4 hitters she faced on strikes.

“It’s just such a goal I’ve had. I realized I was getting close to it, so I knew what I was coming into today,” said Michalak. “I knew that second inning I was like ‘I’m getting it right now, first batter,’ and that’s what I did.”

Michalak’s ERA is now down to a minuscule 0.18 on the season. Through 38 innings, she has only allowed 1 earned run and has struck out 71 batters. Simply amazing.

She got more than enough help from her offense in this one as well. She was spotted a 4 run lead before she took the mound due in part to an Emma Marchese 2 RBI single and an RBI single by Michalak herself in the 1st.

After 3 innings, the Irish found themselves cruising, up 7-0, and well on their way to another dominant win. They padded their lead in the 7th after an error allowed Cara Mazzucco and Kayla Delehanty to come around and score.

In the bottom half of the inning, Michalak took to the mound looking to preserve Notre Dame’s 8th shutout victory of the season, and 6th in a row. She retired the first two batters easily, allowed a double to Robbinsville’s first baseman, Raegan Robinson, and then got the next batter, Abby Veisz, to ground out to first.

The Irish were able to rough up Robbinsville ace, Katie Ziliani, who, prior to this game, had only allowed 9 earned runs in 42 innings of work this season. She went the full 7 innings, allowing 9 runs, 6 earned, 10 hits, 3 walks, and struck out 4 on the day.

“It felt so great for us, especially ‘cause [Robbinsville is] having a really good season so far,” Michalak said, speaking about how the win felt for Notre Dame. “We knew coming into today that it was gonna be a battle.”

Notre Dame will look to continue their undefeated season on Tuesday, when they head to Hightstown to take on the 7-2 Rams. Robbinsville will look to get back in the win column on Saturday, when they head to North Hunderton to face the 12-0 Lions.