Dani Miller hit a grand slam against Valparaiso on Thursday.

Defense Carries Softball To 5-1 Win Over Ball State

March 24, 2009

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame softball team received an impressive defensive performance Tuesday to help down visiting Ball State, 5-1, at Melissa Cook Stadium. Irish pitcher Brittney Bargar bounced back from a BIG EAST Conference loss to St. John’s on Sunday to toss a five-hit complete game without surrendering an earned run.

Bargar (8-6) got a pair of double plays from the Notre Dame (12-11) infielders to limit Ball State (9-13) to just one run, an unearned score in the fifth inning. Erin Marrone returned to the lineup after missing several weeks with an injured foot and led all players with two hits.

Catcher Kristina Wright gunned down Alicia Barkley as she attempted to steal second base for the third out in the first inning to give the Irish a spark. The defense held strong in the third as Heather Johnson and Christine Lux pulled the give-and-go from third to first and back to third to end the inning. Lux also went horizontal for a diving grab in the fourth with two runners on base to save a potential run from crossing the plate en route to helping Bargar pick up the non-conference win.

A second double play came in the top of the sixth as Jen Moore grounded to Dani Miller who started the 4-6-3 turnaround.

In the home half of the second, it was Lux who started things off with a walk and moved to second on Miller’s sacrifice bunt. When Marrone singled to center Lux jogged ahead to third, and scored when Brianna Jorgensborg forced a Cardinal throwing error with an infield grounder.

Beth Northway got on base in the third by means of one of the four Ball State errors on the day. Johnson singled before Miller cranked a three-run dinger to left-center to put Notre Dame on top, 4-0.

Jorgensborg reached base on a fourth-inning error and Wright doubled down the left field line, setting the stage for Alexa Maldonado’s sacrifice fly to left that made it 5-0.

Ball State managed its run in the fifth when Kamilah Holle reached home on a two-out passed ball. The Cardinals left seven runners on base.

Cardinal pitcher Elizabeth Milian (7-8) went 6.0 innings and gave up six hits and just one earned run.

Notre Dame stays at home to host Western Michigan on Wednesday (March 25). The doubleheader begins at 5 p.m. (ET) with live stats, audio and video available at UND.com.