March 29, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind.- Sophomore Brittney Bargar (Corona, Calif./Corona) made the first hit of her career count, as she blasted a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Notre Dame (15-12) a thrilling comeback 4-1 victory over Toledo (4-16) on Thursday, March 29 at Ivy Field.
Notre Dame, despite a fine pitching performance from Bargar, headed to the bottom of the seventh inning trailing by a single run. Junior Katie Laing (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) started the Irish rally with a leadoff single to left field. A sacrifice bunt from freshman Christine Lux (Glendale Heights, Ill./Glenbard West) moved her to second. Sophomore Erin Glasco (Johnston City, Ill./Johnston City) then pounded a ball up the middle to drive in Laing from second and tie the game at one all.
Junior Brittany Glynn (Seymour, Conn./St. Joseph’s) pinch ran for Glasco at second as the Irish attempted to put more speed on the bases. Sophomore Beth Northway (Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood) then pinch-hit for freshman Ashley Ellis (Pikeville, Tenn./Bledsoe County) as Toledo made a pitching change to Hannah Rockhold. Rockhold was greeted rudely, as Northway scorched a single past the third baseman to move Glynn to second. Bargar then came in a flip- flop of the flex position and leftfielder Sarah Smith (Oklahoma City, Okla./Heritage Hall). Bargar, on one-strike pitch, drilled the first hit of her Notre Dame career, a dramatic three-run game-winning home run to left field.
Bargar (10-7) won her 10th game of the season, pitching a complete game with only three hits allowed and seven strikeouts. For the sophomore, it was her 14th complete game and the fourth time in as many appearances she has completed a game at home.
The Irish threatened in the first inning when senior Gessica Hufnagle (Middlebury, Ind./Northridge) singled off the pitcher’s glove. Hufnagle was quickly erased on a steal attempt off the strong throw from Allison Hess.
A Lux two-out double in the second again gave Notre Dame an opportunity to break through early, but once again Toledo’s pitcher Stephanie Moore did not break as she recorded a strikeout to end the frame.
Senior Stephanie Brown (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) attempted to get the offense going in the third inning with a two-out single and a stolen base, but again Moore did not relent, recording a groundout to end the inning.
Toledo would break through for a run in the fourth inning. Kate Ricchio had a leadoff single, stole second and moved to third on the bunt hit from Brie Ford. Ricchio would score the first run on the fielder’s choice grounded back to Bargar on the mound off the bat of Leslie Stong. Bargar, perhaps sensing it was going to be a low scoring affair, elected to attempt to get the charging Ricchio at home. But the freshman beat the throw home for the first tally of the early evening.
The Irish nearly tied the game in their half of the inning. Sophomore Linda Kohan (Westminster, Ill./Westminster) drew a leadoff walk. Sophomore Stephanie Mola (Naples, Fla./St. John Neumann) pinch ran for Kohan and took second on freshman Heather Johnson’s (Los Alamitos, Calif./Mater Dei) sacrifice bunt but two consecutive groundouts allowed Moore to escape unscathed.
Another Irish two-out hit in the fifth inning, this one by Smith, was wasted as Moore continued to walk the tight rope very efficiently.
Hufnagle had a 2-for-3 afternoon for Notre Dame. A total of eight different Irish players would pick up hits, but it wasn’t until Glasco and Bargar’s late-inning heroics that the Irish could dent the scoreboard.
Next, Notre Dame will continue the homestand with a pair of weekend conference doubleheaders. The Irish will battle against Pittsburgh (March 31) and Syracuse (April 1) at noon on both days, looking to keep their now six-game winning-streak going.
Irish Notes: Notre Dame’s six-game winning-streak is a season-best … the complete game by Bargar was her league-leading 14th of the season … the home run by Bargar was Notre Dame’s second walk-off home run of the season (Johnson-Tennessee Tech, Feb. 17) … the Irish have now won four games this season in the seventh and eighth inning … Notre Dame is now 9-0 all-time against Toledo … this was Hufnagle’s fourth multi-hit game of the season … Notre Dame is 5-2 when it wears gold uniforms.