March 13, 2013
FULLERTON, Calif. – The University of Notre Dame softball team logged its second consecutive shutout of its spring break tournament slate Wednesday, downing Cal State Fullerton 3-0 in the first game of the Judi Garman Classic at the Anderson Family Field.
The Irish (15-6) have won 11 of their last 12 contests, and have not surrendered a run in 17 innings. Notre Dame also improved to 3-1 during its spring break road trip after picking up a pair of victories at the Arizona State Diamond Devil Invitational last weekend.
Starter Laura Winter (8-4) cruised through the Titan order in the bottom of the first inning, striking out Ariel Tsuchiyama, Ashley Carter and Desiree Ybarra in order to post a zero on the scoreboard. The junior right-hander kept the momentum rolling in the bottom of the second, retiring the side once more on strikes. Eight of the first nine outs recorded by Notre Dame in the game were by way of a strikeout.
Cal State Fullerton (11-14) broke through against Winter the second time through the lineup in the bottom of the fourth, as Tsuchiyama dropped a double in down the left field line for the first Titan hit of the game. An infield single by Carter put runners on the corners with nobody out. A pair of infield pop outs and a strikeout looking by the Irish defense held the Cal State Fullerton surge in check.
Amy Buntin got the Notre Dame offense going in the top of the fifth inning, shooting a one-out single up the middle off Titan starter Jasmine Antunez (7-9). Katey Haus followed by drawing a full-count walk to give the Irish multiple base runners for the first time in the contest. Kathryn Lux made the most of the RBI opportunity, drilling a double deep to center field that scored Buntin from second base and gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead. An RBI groundout by Micaela Arizmendi pushed Haus across to extend the cushion to 2-0.
Winter posted another 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth, striking out Melissa Sechrest, forcing Antunez to line out to the circle and getting Lauren Mario to swing through a two-strike offering to end the frame.
Winter allowed three hits over seven innings, walking none and striking out 11 batters to complete her second consecutive shutout. Winter has not surrendered a walk in her last 35 innings pitched.
The Irish kept the pedal down in the top of the sixth. Winter ripped a double off the left field fence and Lauren Stuhr reached on an infield single to move pinch runner Carly Piccinich to third base. An RBI single from Buntin off Cal State Fullerton reliever Ybarra scored Piccinich and gave Notre Dame a 3-0 advantage.
Buntin led all batters with a 2-for-3 day at the plate, adding an RBI and a run scored. After walking in the fourth inning, Emilee Koerner extended her team-best on-base streak to 21 straight games.
Notre Dame returns to the field Thursday at 1:30 p.m. against No. 14 Arizona for its final game of the Judi Garman Classic.