April 3, 2003
The University of Notre Dame softball team (14-11) seems to be getting back to form. After an impressive doubleheader sweep at Purdue on Tuesday, the Irish followed up with 7-1 and 3-0 victories over Loyola (Chicago) (15-12) on Thursday afternoon at Ivy Field.
Offensive stars for Notre Dame included senior first base Lisa Mattison (two for four, one RBI, one run, one triple) and senior short stop Andria Bledsoe (two for six, three RBI, two runs). Bledsoe also drilled her second home run in three games during the first contest. Steffany Stenglein (5-4) and Heather Booth (9-5) both picked up victories for the Irish.
Notre Dame jumped out to a 1-0 lead in game one behind back-to-back doubles from lead off hitter Megan Ciolli and senior second base Alexis Madrid. The Irish added another run in the bottom of the second when freshman Mallorie Lenn drilled her first career home run deep over the fence in right center.
Loyola was unable to get any offense going against Notre Dame’s Stenglein over the first three innings. The sophomore righthander would eventually yield one run on a bloop single, followed by a double from Loyola’s Katie Blackmore. The Ramblers could not muster any other scoring chances, however, and reliever Jessica Sharron (2.0 IP, one walk) finished off the game for Stenglein (5.0 IP, three hits, one run, three walks, seven strike outs).
Meagan Ruthrauff doubled to right field in the third inning and scored on Bledsoe’s fifth home run of the season for Notre Dame’s fifth and sixth runs. The seventh run was added in the bottom of the sixth when senior Andrea Loman crushed a towering home run to right field (her fourth of the year).
Game two began well for Notre Dame’s starter, Heather Booth, The freshman righthander struck out the side in the top of the first, putting down the first two batters looking and the third swinging. It took the Irish an inning to get Booth some runs, however.
Liz Hartmann led off the second inning with a single and stole second base to get in scoring position. Lisa Mattison then stepped in and shot a towering line drive down the right field line. Hartmann easily scored on the play and Mattison sprinted around second for a stand-up triple. Loyola third basemen Natalie Martin misplayed the throw, however, and Mattison ended up touching all the bases on the play to put Notre Dame up 2-0.
The Irish added an insurance run in the fifth. Ciolli laid down a perfect bunt single and moved to second on a Madrid ground ball. Loman followed with a solid single to right field which easily scored Ciolli.
Loyola would be unable to threaten in the second game, as Booth ended up with 5.0 IP, two hits, two walks and five strike outs. Sophomore Carrie Wisen was effective in relief as well, working two hitless innings and striking out three.
The Irish return to the road this weekend for a single BIG EAST doubleheader at Providence (11 a.m.) on Saturday. Notre Dame’s make up doubleheader with Pittsburgh is set for Wednesday, April 10.
DOUBLEHEADER NOTES: Megan Ciolli ended up three for seven in the two games with two runs scored … Andrea Loman was thrown out attempting to steal for the first time this season in game two, she has seven stolen bases this season … Notre Dame had a season-high five doubles in game one (Ciolli, Madrid, Ruthrauff, Bledsoe and Middleton) … Jenny Rice took both pitching losses for the Ramblers … the entire Irish roster saw action in today’s doubleheader.