April 22, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame softball team split Wednesday’s non-conference doubleheader with North Dakota State at Melissa Cook Stadium. The 2-1 game-one loss was the first home non-BIG EAST Conference defeat for the Irish since 2007, breaking a 14-0-1 (10-0-1 at Melissa Cook Stadium, 4-0 at Ivy Field) streak for Notre Dame. The Irish were a perfect 8-0 on their turf this season against non-conference foes entering the day and bounced back with a 5-0 shutout to end the evening.
Notre Dame (32-14) remains on campus for a Sunday (April 26) conference doubleheader against Syracuse beginning at 11:00 a.m. (ET). Live stats, audio and video will be available at UND.com. For up-to-the-minute scores and highlights, sign up for IRISH ALERTS text messaging services at UND.com.
A pitcher’s duel between Brittney Bargar (18-9) and Andi Padilla (17-9) did not tilt in the Bison (25-16) hurler’s favor until the seventh. Bargar gave up two runs – one unearned – in the last frame as North Dakota State rallied for the come-from-behind win.
The first inning saw Beth Northway knock a lead-off double to deep left, followed by a Linda Kohan sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice fly by Heather Johnson helped manufacture the first Irish run of the day.
Northway added a one-out double to left-center in the third that barely stayed within the friendly confines of the playing field. The designated player was called out one player later for leaving second base early on Kohan’s flyout to center.
The Irish got out of the fourth with a picture-perfect 4-6-3 double play.
The sixth began with walks drawn by Northway and Johnson. When Dani Miller was intentionally walked to load the bases, her 20-game hitting streak came to an end. Padilla flirted with danger but got out of the inning unscathed.
An Irish fielding error led to a two-run Bison rally to take the lead in the top of the seventh. Erin Marrone was walked in the bottom half of the final inning and moved around on Stephanie Mola’s sacrifice bunt. Northway reached base for the fourth time in as many at-bats with another intentional walk before North Dakota State got the final out needed for the win.
Bargar sent back three batters on three strikes and gave up five hits as Notre Dame surrendered a sixth-inning lead for just the third time this season. Padilla gave up three Irish hits and walked six to pick up the win.
Northway was 2-for-2 with two walks and scored Notre Dame’s only run. The Irish left seven runners on base.
Notre Dame tagged North Dakota State for nine hits and five runs to end the day. Northway added two more hits while Kohan was 2-for-3 with three RBI. Kohan accounted for each of the Irish runs by scoring two more as Northway, Christine Lux and Alexa Maldonado added one each.
Jody Valdivia (14-5) continued her hot streak from the circle with the complete-game shutout, her third of the season. Valdivia gave up three hits and struck out six of the 30 batters faced.
Kim Westendorf (6-4) was charged with the loss after getting racked for nine hits and five runs. She walked three Irish batters without recording a strikeout.
Melissa Chmielewski had two hits for the Bison.
Both teams left nine runners on base and North Dakota State committed a pair of errors, one of which led to two unearned Irish runs.
Two runs in the first came courtesy of two Irish hits and the first Bison error. Northway and Kohan singled and moved ahead a space on a Johnson grounder. Lux was intentionally walked and Fleury shot a one-out grounder through the second baseman’s legs to plate two scores.
The lead bumped to 3-0 in the fourth. Maldonado singled to second base and legged her way to third on Northway’s sacrifice bunt. Kohan drove in the run with a sky shot to right field.
Northway hit a one-out single in the sixth before Kohan slugged a two-run dandy to right-center. Her seventh home run of the season snapped a three-game homerless streak for Notre Dame, its longest drought since February.