Heather Johnson was 2-for-5 with four RBI at St. John's on Sunday.

Comeback Win Clinches BIG EAST Regular Season Title For No. 24 Notre Dame

May 9, 2010

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A decisive 10-run sixth inning capped off a comeback win for No. 24 Notre Dame over St. John’s Sunday at Red Storm Field. The BIG EAST Conference contest was tied, 2-2, heading into the frame before the Irish scratched across the double-digit total on nine hits along with four RBI by Heather Johnson. Notre Dame defeated the Red Storm, 12-2, in six innings.

The win secured a share of the BIG EAST regular season crown for the Irish (44-9 overall, 18-3 BIG EAST). Notre Dame, the defending BIG EAST Tournament champions, will be the No. 2 seeded team heading into this season’s league tournament after dropping two games to co-champion DePaul in a league twinbill earlier this season. The Irish will face the to-be-determined No. 7 seed at 12:30 p.m. (ET) Thursday at Louisville’s Ulmer Stadium.

The regular season title is the 12th in 15 seasons for Notre Dame since joining the league and the first since 2006.

After leaving Katie Fleury on third in the first inning, Notre Dame could not take advantage of two walks and a pair of stolen bases in the second to leave two more runners in scoring position.

Fleury’s second hit of the game went for a double down the leftfield line in the third but she became the fourth Irish runner left on the pond.

St. John’s (18-32, 6-16) used a one-out single to the fence by Kacee Cox to drive in two runs, putting the Red Storm ahead by a pair in the third.

Linzee Sumrall (5-18) got the outs she needed early but the Irish figured her out by the fourth. Alexa Maldonado and Kristina Wright went back-to-back with one-out solo home runs in the inning to tie the contest at 2-2. But the Irish woes continued by leaving the bases loaded in the frame, and two more runners were left on base in the fifth.

Kasey O’Connor tripled to start the sixth and Notre Dame loaded the bases once again for Johnson. Johnson came through this time with a two-RBI single up the middle to give Notre Dame the lead for good. Christine Lux tacked on an RBI-single to center – her 20th of the year in league play – which added to her BIG EAST record for career RBI achieved during game two of Saturday’s doubleheader. Brianna Jorgensborg cranked the first pitch she saw in the inning to center for a three-run homer to put Notre Dame ahead, 9-2, and O’Connor later added her second hit of the inning with a two-out single. Notre Dame sent 15 batters to the plate in the inning.

O’Connor finished with a single, double and a triple while Fleury was a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Fleury was walked twice to find her way on base five times.

Sadie Pitzenberger was 2-for-3 with two runs and Wright also scored twice for the Irish.

Amber Curry had two hits to lead St. John’s.

Sumrall was tagged with the loss after going 5.0 innings and giving up seven earned runs on 10 hits.

Jody Valdivia (35-4) gave up seven hits and two earned runs with four strikeouts in 6.0 frames. Valdivia finished the league slate with a 16-1 record and 1.34 ERA.