March 23, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Nine runs in each of Notre Dame’s two contests during a Tuesday home doubleheader with Eastern Michigan provided enough offense for the Irish to sweep the twinbill by respective scores of 9-0 and 9-3. It was the team’s first home appearance after starting the season with a 22-game road swing. Notre Dame improved its overall record to 19-5 while Eastern Michigan fell to 6-13.
The Irish are now 20-2 all-time in season openers, and stay at home for a doubleheader at 4 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday (March 24) at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Christine Lux and Kristina Wright were each good for one home run and one double on the day, as half of Notre Dame’s 22 hits went for extra bases (11 doubles, four home runs, one triple). Dani Miller and Heather Johnson contributed four RBI apiece, with Johnson’s entire load coming in the first game.
Jody Valdivia (14-2) tacked on her 13th straight win from the circle in game one. She needed 5.0 innings to toss the four-hit shutout.
Pitzenberger went 3-for-4 and started the game by launching the first pitch for her fifth triple of the season. It was also her fourth lead-off triple. She would score the first of her two runs in the game on Katie Fleury’s follow-up double. Johnson brought home Fleury with a single and pinch-runner Kelsey Thornton made it a 3-0 game after trotting around on a Miller single to center.
Four more runs in the second put Notre Dame ahead, 7-0. Johnson creamed a three-run home run to right and Alexia Clay’s double to left scored Lux after the lefty drew one of three walks in the twinbill.
The Irish waited until the fourth to score again. After Lux singled up the gut, Miller popped her third home run of the season to center to close the scoring at 9-0.
Notre Dame out-hit Eastern Michigan, 12-4, and left seven runners on base.
Johnson led all players with four RBI and Miller added three.
Jamie Melchert (2-5) faced five batters in the first inning and gave up three earned runs on four hits in 0.1 frames. Jenny Ignowski picked up from there and gave up six earned runs on eight hits in the remaining 3.2 innings.
This time it was Eastern Michigan jumping out to the early lead in game two. Riding a bit of momentum after leaving three Irish runners stranded in the bottom of the first, the Eagles loaded the bags in the second and scored a pair on a Nellie Coquillard single past a diving Fleury at shortstop. Notre Dame scored the first four of nine unanswered runs in the bottom of the second, using four hits and even leaving a pair on base. Pitzenberger bounced a double down the leftfield line to score Kasey O’Connor and Thornton. O’Connor singled to right field earlier in the inning, the first hit of the sophomore’s career. Miller singled to left to score Fleury and Johnson hustled home on a wild pitch to put Notre Dame ahead, 4-2.
The Irish would score in each of the next four innings as well. Wright bombed a solo home run to center in the third and Lux doubled to left to score Fleury in the fourth.
Lux had the green light on a 3-0 count in the sixth, curving the fourth pitch around the pole in leftfield for her seventh dinger of the season.
The Irish had 10 hits and Eastern Michigan posted three of its five hits in the seventh. The Eagles scored one run in the final inning but left three on base.
Wright was 3-for-4 and Pitzenberger drove in three runs for Notre Dame.
Stacie Skodinski had two hits for the Eagles.
Brittany O’Donnell (5-1) added another tally to the win column with the two-hitter in 5.0 innings. She gave up two earned runs and struck out eight. Shannon Kelly saw her first action this season from the circle, providing 2.0 innings of relief on three hits. Kelly struck out two of 10 batters faced.
Jaclyn Caro (4-2) gave up nine earned runs on 10 hits in 6.0 innings to take the loss.