April 23, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team ran its BIG EAST Conference winning streak to nine games with a 6-0 decision in game one and an 11-1 win in five innings in the second game of a Tuesday doubleheader at Melissa Cook Stadium.
The victory in the nightcap for the Irish (35-10, 15-1 BIG EAST) was the 500th career win for Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf. Gumpf improved her career record to 500-202-1 (.711) in her 12th season in charge of the Notre Dame program.
USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week Laura Winter (22-8) earned a win and save in the circle during the twin bill, scattering three hits in 7.1 shutout innings with 12 strikeouts. Brittany O’Donnell (11-2) earned the game two victory with 3.2 innings of one-run softball.
Emilee Koerner paced the Notre Dame offense with a 5-for-7 performance (.714) at the plate, with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored. Amy Buntin added a team-high four RBI, including her fourth home run of the season, and scored three times.
Notre Dame travels to DePaul for a BIG EAST Conference three-game series April 27-28 in Chicago.
Laura Winter put the finishing touches on a 1-2-3 Connecticut (22-22, 6-10 BIG EAST) half in the top of the second inning, striking out Jacklyn Dubois swinging to retire the Huskie side. Winter added a pair of K’s in the top of the third, getting Jessica McDermott swinging and Maddy Schiappa looking.
The Irish broke out in the bottom of the fourth inning. Cassidy Whidden doubled down the left field line off Connecticut starter Kiki Saveriano (14-11) to move Katey Haus into scoring position at third base. Lauren Stuhr worked a full-count walk to bring Chloe Saganowich to the plate with the bases loaded. Saganowich inside-outted a bases clearing double down the right field line, scoring all three Notre Dame runners to give the Irish a 3-0 lead.
Following a three-up, three-down inning for Connecticut in the top of the fifth, Emilee Koerner drilled a leadoff single up the middle to start the Notre Dame fifth inning. A double by Amy Buntin two batters later scored Simon to put the Irish in front 4-0. A Winter sacrifice fly scored Buntin (5-0), and Saganowich added another RBI on an infield single, scoring Haus to make it 6-0 Notre Dame.
Allie Rhodes worked a perfect top of the seventh inning to clinch the win for Notre Dame.
The Huskies struck first in the top of the first inning against Irish starter Brittany O’Donnell, as a Marissa Guches single scored Lexi Gifford to give Connecticut a 1-0 lead. O’Donnell retired the next two batters to escape the jam.
Notre Dame got its offense moving in the bottom of the third. Emilee Koerner laced a two-out single to right center field off starter Lauren Duggan (5-5) and moved into scoring position on a Jenna Simon single to left field. An Amy Buntin base knock up the middle scored Koerner to tie the game at 1-1. Laura Winter followed with a two-run single into left field, clearing the bases to put Notre Dame in front 3-1.
Connecticut threatened in the top of the fourth inning, loading the bases against O’Donnell with two outs. Winter went to the circle from first base and promptly struck out Alyssa Gardea swinging to strand all three Huskie runners.
The Irish erupted for eight runs on six hits in the bottom of the fourth to put the game out of reach. Casey Africano, Koerner and Katey Haus each contributed RBI doubles during the Notre Dame half, while Buntin crushed her fourth home run of the season over the right field fence. After a 30-minute rain delay, Cassidy Whidden was hit by a pitch for the second time in the inning, ultimately scoring the final Irish run on a Connecticut fielding error to make it 11-1 in favor of Notre Dame.
Winter allowed a single Huskie hit in the top of the fifth, striking out Maddy Schiappa and Guches to close the contest.