March 31, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind.- Despite having to wait through an over two-hour rain relay, sophomore Brittney Bargar (Corona, Calif./Corona) and senior Kenya Fuemmeler (Salisbury, Mo./Salisbury) both shutout Pittsburgh (14-21, 2-3 BIG EAST) by the scores of 4-0 & 4-0, as Notre Dame’s softball team (17-12, 6-0 BIG EAST) extended its season long winning-streak to eight games on Saturday, March 31 at Ivy Field.
Bargar (11-7) threw the first game for the Irish and was solid with two hits allowed, four walks and eight strikeouts in winning her 11th win of the season. In home games this season, Bargar is now 5-0 with five complete games and 35 strikeouts in 34 innings pitched. Fuemmeler (6-5) was also steady in throwing her sixth complete game of the season. Fuemmeler went the distance with only three hits allowed, one walk and seven strikeouts. This was the second consecutive Saturday that Bargar and Fuemmeler have shutout a BIG EAST opponent in back-to-back games.
Senior Stephanie Brown (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) went 5-for-7 with two runs scored and two RBI in the two games. Sophomore Beth Northway (Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood) also had a strong doubleheader with four hits and three runs scored. Senior Gessica Hufnagle (Middlebury, Ind./Northridge) had a three-hit afternoon with a run scored and driven in.
Game One Recap
Notre Dame threatened in the first inning of the first game. Brown pushed a bunt single to third and move to second on the sacrifice bunt from Hufnagle, but that was as far as she could get as a fly out and a ground out ended the threat.
The Irish broke through for a pair of runs in the third inning. Northway drilled a single down the rightfield line and then stole second to get into scoring position. An infield single from Brown moved her to third. Hufnagle then hit a single through the right side to score Northway, as Brown was thrown out at third attempting to take the extra base. Junior Katie Laing (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) then popped a single into the gap to score Hufnagle, who had taken the extra base on the previous play at third. Freshman Heather Johnson (Los Alamitos, Calif./Mater Dei) then walked to put runners on first and second. Freshman Christine Lux (Glendale Heights, Ill./Glenbard West) followed with a single up the middle. Laing, attempting to score from second on the hit, was thrown out at the plate on an excellent throw from centerfielder Joey Scarf to end the inning.
The Notre Dame offense would tack on two-spot in the fourth inning. Sophomore Linda Kohan (Westminster, Calif./Westminster) started the inning with a double to left-center field. Junior Brittany Glynn (Seymour, Conn./St. Joseph’s) pinch ran for Kohan. After a ground out, a one-out single from Northway moved Glynn to third base. Northway then stole her second base of the afternoon to move into scoring position. Brown punished a Laura Belardinelli offering up the middle to score both Glynn and Northway with the third and four runs of the game.
The Panthers had their best chance to score in the sixth inning. Sheena Hellon reached first on a fielding error from the Notre Dame shortstop. She was quickly erased on a fielder’s choice ground out back to the pitcher from Samantha Card. Card took second on the walk to Alex Shoemaker. A walk to April Ghiroli loaded the bases but a ground out to the Irish third baseman ended the threat.
Notre Dame had their second player thrown out at the plate in the sixth inning. Sophomore Stephanie Mola (Naples, Fla./St. John Neumann) drew a walk. Junior Sarah Smith (Oklahoma City, Okla./Heritage Hall) then pinch ran for Mola and moved all the way to third on a fielding error from the Pittsburgh second base, Shoemaker, as Brown reach first. Brown then stole second. Hufnagle then hit a single into left field. Smith, after advancing to third on the hit, was thrown out at the plate from Morgan Howard to Hellon to Heather Connor.
Game Two Recap
The Irish pushed a run across in the first inning of the second game. Brown started the game with single through the left side and into left field. Brown stole second, took third on a sacrifice bunt and came in to score the first run on Laing sacrifice fly into foul territory in left field.
Notre Dame threatened in the third inning. Freshman Ashley Ellis (Pikeville, Tenn./Bledsoe County) walked and moved to second on fielding error from the Pittsburgh hurler, Kayla Zinger, off the sacrifice bunt attempt from Brown. A pop, a ground out and fly out ended the inning without either runner able to advance any further, though.
Brown started a two-run rally in the fifth inning with a one-out double. The senior centerfielder wisely moved to third on a wild pitch. Brown would scamper home with the second run of the game on a two-out ground out from Laing, in which the Pittsburgh first baseman dropped the throw from Hellon. Laing would show off the wheels and score all the way from first on Johnson’s double to left field.
Notre Dame would score an insurance run in the sixth inning. Northway started the frame with one-out single through the right side. Sophomore Erin Glasco (Johnston City, Ill./Johnson City) then hit a single through the first and second base gap to moved Northway to second. Ellis would plate Northway with her single down the left field line.
Next, Notre Dame will continue the homestand with a conference doubleheader against Syracuse (April 1) at noon.
Irish Notes: Notre Dame’s eight-game winning-streak is a season-best… the complete game by Bargar was her league-leading 15th of the season … Notre Dame is now 19-0 all-time against Pittsburgh … the three hits by Brown, in the first game, was her fifth three-hit performance of the season … Notre Dame is now 8-0 at home this year … the Irish are 5-3 overall in white uniforms.