April 17, 2003
The University of Notre Dame softball team (24-11) has matched its longest win streak in two years with a doubleheader sweep of IPFW (14-17) at Ivy Field on Thursday. Notre Dame won game one 10-2 in five innings and took game two 9-1 in six innings. The Irish have now won 14 in a row, matching last season’s string of 14 straight from March 30 through April 14. The team has not lost since a doubleheader sweep at the hands of #22 Northwestern on March 26.
The winning streak will be put on the line Saturday at Syracuse, who coincidentally ended last season’s 14-game win streak at Ivy Field. The Irish and Orangewomen will meet for a doubleheader at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Not only did Notre Dame extend its winning streak on Thursday against IPFW, a number of other noteworthy streaks were expanded as well. The Irish have posted at least 10 hits as a team in the last six games and surrendered less than five hits in the last 12 games. The 14 hits in game two also match the team’s season high (March 23 at Western Michigan).
The stand out offensive force for Notre Dame on Thursday was senior first base Lisa Mattison. The Granger, Ind., native pounded the Mastadon pitching by going five for seven with six RBI, two doubles and a home run. Carrie Wisen (game two) and Liz Hartmann (game one) also hit home runs for the Irish.
Notre Dame wasted little time getting on the board in the first inning of game one. Andrea Loman bounced a single through the left side which allowed Alexis Madrid to score the first run of the inning, while Loman eventually scored on a Andria Bledsoe single.
Three more Irish runs came in the bottom of the third on an RBI single from Mattison and Hartmann’s two-run homer.
Needing at least three more runs to end the game early on the eight-run rule, Notre Dame did even better and scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth. Loman had an RBI single, Rutrauff had a two-RBI single and Bledsoe has a two-RBI double to make up the scoring streak.
Jessica Sharron finished off the game for Heather Booth and gave up two runs in the top of the fifth, but came back to get three consecutive ground outs to end the game.
Booth earned her 14th win of the season, working four innings, giving up just one hit and striking out five.
Notre Dame’s first run in game two came on a Mattison lead off homer to start the second inning. The Irish tacked on two more runs in the third on a Ruthruaff RBI single (after Loman’s first triple of the season) and another RBI single from Hartmann.
Four more big runs were put on the board in the fourth inning, keyed by a two-RBI double from Madrid. Madrid eventually stole home in the inning for the third run and Mattison came through again with an RBI double for run number four.
Starting pitcher Steffany Stenglein was extremely effective in game two, making just one mistake in the fourth inning. IPFW’s Maggie Bruening made Stenglein pay for the mistake, hitting her first home run of the season to left field. It would be the only hit Stenglein would give up in the game.
Carrie Wisen came in for relief in the sixth and worked a solid inning to get the Irish bats back in the box, looking for two more runs to end the game early.
Wisen stepped in to lead off the inning and liked the first pitch she was offered, driving it deep over the wall in left field for her first home run of the season. Bledsoe then walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and Mattison ended the game with a walk-off RBI double.
DOUBLEHEADER NOTES: Lisa Mattison’s batting average sky rocketed to .273 with her offensive explosion … Megan Ciolli was equally impressive in the doubleheader, going five for seven with two runs scored … Andrea Loman finished four for seven with an RBI and four runs … Liz Hartmann’s home run was her sixth of the season, tying teammate Andrea Loman for the team lead … Heather Booth now has five one-hit appearances and three in her last five starts.