Feb. 10, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The University of Notre Dame softball team completed play at the Charlotte Fast Pitch Classic Sunday with an 8-5 win over Presbyterian at the DL Cooper Complex.
The Irish (2-2) previously dropped a heartbreaking 6-5 decision in 11 innings to Wisconsin (4-1) earlier in the day on a walkoff home run from Mary Massei.
Brittany O’Donnell (2-0) earned her second victory in as many games for the Irish, walking one batter in 5.2 innings pitched.
Laura Winter (0-2) took the hard luck loss against Wisconsin, striking out eight batters in 10 innings of work.
Jenna Simon led all Notre Dame hitters with six hits, four stolen bases and four runs scored during Sunday’s play. Chloe Saganowich, Emilee Koerner and Kelsey Thornton each finished with four hits apiece.
The Irish next travel to the Campbell/Cartier Classic Feb. 15-17 in San Diego, Calif.
The Irish got off a fast start against Presbyterian (1-3), as Jenna Simon came around to score on a first-inning fielder’s choice to give Notre Dame a quick 1-0 lead. A Katey Haus base hit plated Kelsey Thornton from third to extend the advantage to 2-0.
Presbyterian answered in the top of the second inning, as Jennifer Marshall cleared the bases with a three-run triple to give the Blue Hose a 3-2 lead. Jill McLean knocked a single up the middle off Brittany O’Donnell to bring Marshall in from third to extend the Presbyterian advantage. A bloop single off the bat of Cat Tarvin upped the lead to 5-2. O’Donnell induced a Kersten Legacki pop out to shortstop to end the inning.
Chloe Saganowich ripped a double to straight away center field to wake up the Irish bats in the bottom of the second, and was brought home after a sharp Kathryn Lux single through the infield to trim the deficit to 5-3. The Irish pushed a second run across to narrow the gap to 5-4 after two full innings.
The Irish kept up the momentum against reliever Kelsey Barnette in the bottom of the fourth. Lux singled to start the inning, and then moved to second on sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Casey Africano. A slap single by Simon moved Lux to third base, where she ultimately scored on a fielder’s choice to give Notre Dame the lead back at 6-5. Simon later scored on a Blue Hose throwing error to put the Irish in front by two (7-5).
O’Donnell hung a third straight scoreless frame on the board in the fifth, with the only damage coming from a Tarvin double. O’Donnell jammed Erin Ruff with Tarvin at third base and two away, popping the Presbyterian pinch hitter up to Haus at third for the inning’s final out.
Presbyterian sent the tying run to the plate in the top of the sixth inning following a Marshall single against O’Donnell with two outs. Reliever Allison Rhodes forced Tera Powell to line out to Saganowich at short for a crucial third out.
Simon continued her blistering series at the plate with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, bringing Lux across from third to up the Irish cushion to 8-5.
Rhodes worked a 1-2-3 inning to log her first career save.
Jenna Simon clocked a single to open the top of the first for the Irish, and moved into scoring position thanks to a bunt single by Emilee Koerner. A steal by Koerner moved both Notre Dame runners into the scoring zone. Wisconsin third baseman Michelle Mueller put out Simon trying to advance home on a grounder by Amy Buntin, and Badger starter Cassandra Darrah struck out Irish third baseman Katey Haus swinging to close the inning.
Laura Winter breezed through the bottom half of the second inning, retiring Mueller, Marissa Mersch and Kendall Grimm in order to keep Wisconsin off the scoreboard.
The top of the Irish order nearly pushed home the game’s first run in the third inning. Simon reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and moved to third base on a Kelsey Thornton single. Darrah induced a Buntin fly out to left field to end the threat.
Cassidy Whidden worked a four-pitch walk to lead off the top of the fifth, and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Chloe Saganowich. The Badgers kept the Irish scoreless, as a Simon pop up and 6-2 put out of Whidden at the plate ended the Notre Dame surge.
Wisconsin got its first hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Mersch ripped a single through the left side off Winter to open the stanza. Winter sat down Grimm and pinch hitters Stefanni LaJeuneese and Caitlyn Warren to retire the side on strikes.
Notre Dame had base runners on the corners after back-to-back Badger errors in the sixth, but starter Cassandra Darrah punched out Stuhr looking for the inning’s second out. Darrah forced Micaela Arizmendi to swing through a 3-2 offering to end the frame.
Winter continued her sterling performance, capping a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth inning with her sixth strikeout of the game.
Thornton dropped a beautiful bunt in front of the plate to open the eighth inning, moving Simon to third base. Thornton swiped second to give Notre Dame a pair of runners in scoring position. Emilee Koerner knocked a single into left field, plating Simon to give the Irish a 1-0 advantage. A wild pitch from Darrah allowed Thornton to score from third to up the lead to 2-0 going to the bottom half of the inning.
With one away in the eighth, Katie Christner blasted a two-run home run to left center field, scoring Grimm in the process to tie the game at 2-2. Winter picked up the final two outs to continue the contest.
The Irish re-seized the momentum in the top of the ninth, as a Saganowich blooped a two-run single to center field to score Katey Haus and pinch runner Carly Piccinich (4-2). For the second straight inning, the Badgers answered with a two-run home run, this time off the bat of Shannel Blackshear, tying the game at 4-4.
Notre Dame regained the lead in the top of the 11th after Simon hustled out a slap single to plate the go-ahead run and make it 5-4 in favor of the Irish.