A veteran Jody Valdivia stayed focused in the circle all weekend for the Irish, leading them to three wins at the Southern Miss Mizuno Classic.

Defense Stands Tall To Leave Bases Loaded In Seventh As Irish Win, 3-0, Over Stephen F. Austin

Feb. 21, 2010

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Notre Dame picked up its third straight non-conference softball win Sunday behind Jody Valdivia’s 3-0 shutout against Stephen F. Austin at the Mizuno Classic. The Irish (4-4) swept the competition at the tournament hosted by Southern Miss and now look forward to next week’s Virginia Invitational (Feb. 26-28) in Charlottesville, Va.

Notre Dame’s second scheduled game at the Southern Miss Softball Complex against Alcorn State was called off due to inclement weather in the Hattiesburg area.

Christine Lux put Notre Dame on the board in the top of the sixth with a two-run blast to center after Katie Fleury’s single.

The lead extended to 3-0 starting with Alexia Clay’s triple one frame later, one of six Irish hits on the day. Clay would score on a Ladyjack wild pitch.

Kayla Gutowski paced Stephen F. Austin (3-6) with a pair of hits, the second being a single through the left side of the infield with no outs in the bottom of the seventh to load the bases. A poised Valdivia found a way to get Karissa Jones to foul out to Lux at first, and struck out both Amber Price and Monika Covington to end the game.

Both Erin Marrone and Kelsey Thornton recorded a stolen base for Notre Dame.

Valdivia (3-2) gave up five hits – three in the seventh inning – with six strikeouts and one walk. Monika Covington (0-4) stayed winless after giving up three earned runs on six hits, but kept the Irish on their toes with 10 strikeouts.