Heather Johnson had a solo home run for the Irish in a 2-1 loss to San Diego.

Irish Open Long Beach Invite With Two-Game Split

March 12, 2010

Game 1: Box Score | Box Score Get Acrobat Reader
Game 2: Box Score | Box Score Get Acrobat Reader

LAKEWOOD, Calif. – Jennifer Ellenbeck hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to give San Diego a 2-1 non-conference softball win over Notre Dame Saturday at Mayfair Park, snapping a 12-game winning streak for the Irish. Notre Dame (13-5) opened the Long Beach Invitational with a 1-0 win against Buffalo in the first game of the day.

Notre Dame out-hit San Diego, 6-4, while receiving a triple from Alexa Maldonado and a fourth-inning solo home run by Heather Johnson. The Irish left five runners on base against San Diego (5-9) and six more against Buffalo (6-9).

Sadie Pitzenberger had three of Notre Dame’s 10 hits on the day, including her third triple of the season. Pitzenberger and Erin Marrone now share for team-high honors with 20 hits through 18 games.

Notre Dame faces UNLV at 3:45 p.m. (PT) and Long Beach State at 6 p.m. on Saturday (March 13). Live stats will be available at UND.com and in-game updates can be followed at twitter.com/NDSoftball.

-Game 1-

For the second game in a row, Pitzenberger kicked off the offense with a triple in her first at-bat. Notre Dame was left scoreless when a two-out shot by Christine Lux was caught by Kristen Gallipani in center, leading Gallipani into and through the temporary fencing.

Buffalo got its first runner on base in the fourth when Alyssa Ward was hit by a Jody Valdivia (9-2) pitch. The first of two hits for the Bulls came in the fifth on a Jaime Sheffler single to right-center. Buffalo had two on base with two outs in that inning when Pitzenberger ended the visitor’s half with an incredible diving catch in shallow left.

Notre Dame sacrificed its way to the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth. Lux hit a lead-off single to right and moved to second on Marrone’s sacrifice bunt. Lux advanced to third on a passed ball and Alexia Clay drew a walk to put Irish runners on the corners for Dani Miller. Miller blasted a sacrifice fly to right to score Lux for the 1-0 win.

Valdivia gave up two hits and struck out seven with one walk in 7.0 innings for her third straight shutout. Buffalo’s Sharon Barr (5-5) gave up four hits and one unearned run.

-Game 2-

Brittany O’Donnell (4-1) suffered her first loss in an Irish uniform, surrendering a pair of earned runs on four hits in 5.0 innings.

Notre Dame allowed a second-inning run for the first time all season when Allison Stalberger’s infield grounder scored Taylor Hensley from third.

Ellenbeck’s home run gave San Diego the lead for good in the fourth, soon after Johnson had tied things in the top half of the inning with a solo homer to left.

Singles by Amy Buntin and Kristina Wright in the seventh went for naught, as both were left on base when Cathy Velovich made a diving effort to stop Maldonado’s two-out shot to second base, flipping the ball from her stomach to first for the final out.

Ellenbeck (4-3) also got the win from circle, striking out five with one earned run on six hits.

Jackie Bowe had two strikeouts in 1.0 inning of relief for the Irish.