May 5, 2012
PITTSBURGH – Notre Dame extended its winning streak to 14 games with a sweep of Saturday’s BIG EAST Conference softball doubleheader against Pittsburgh at Vartabedian Field. Laura Winter tossed a 5-0 shutout in game one and Dani Miller homered twice to lead Notre Dame to a 9-1 victory in game two.
Brittany O’Donnell (11-5) allowed three hits in the latter six-inning contest while Miller bumped her home run total to nine in her last 13 outings.
Miller is now two home runs away from tying Christine Lux’s career record set in 2010 and has belted 16 round-trippers this season.
The Irish (35-13 overall, 15-3 BIG EAST) and Panthers (26-25, 8-13) close the three-game series at noon (ET) on Sunday. Live video, audio and stats will be available at UND.com.
Winter (24-8) notched the shutout and gave up four hits with three strikeouts. The hurler did not issue a walk while winning her ninth straight contest.
Pittsburgh’s Savannah King (19-15) scattered 10 hits and was tagged for four earned runs on the day.
Alexa Maldonado delivered a standup double to start the third and was joined on the base after Kelsey Thornton knocked an infield grounder. Thornton stole second and crossed the plate along with Maldonado after Buntin singled off the rightfield wall.
Trailing 2-0, Pittsburgh recorded its first hit on the day in the bottom of the third, a single by Ciera Damon. Two more singles followed to load the bases with two outs when Holly Stevens fouled away six offerings from Winter before lining out to Miller at first base.
O’Connor doubled to begin the fourth and later scored on a failed pickoff attempt at third by Stevens. Sitting on a 3-0 lead, Notre Dame would leave the bases loaded in the frame.
Notre Dame left two on base in the fifth but gave itself some breathing room when Haus bolted a two-run homer to deep center in the seventh.
The Irish got on the board quickly in the first inning of game two. Maldonado’s infield flyball was misplayed and resulted in a double. Maldonado rounded third and headed home on Buntin’s single to center but was called out at the plate on a banger.
Miller drew a walk and Emilee Koerner singled to left to score Buntin as the Irish claimed a 1-0 lead.
Chloe Saganowich singled to start the fourth and Jenna Simon drew a walk before Maldonado’s bunt single loaded the bases. Lauren Stuhr stepped in to drop a pinch-hit single to left and Miller crushed a three-run homer to left as part of a five-score frame.
Brittany O’Donnell (11-5) held Pittsburgh without a hit until the fourth when Kelly Hmiel homered to left.
Pittsburgh loaded the bases in the fifth but O’Donnell induced an infield groundout to end the threat.
Miller followed Thornton’s infield single with her second home run of the game in the sixth, a two-run shot into the soccer field stands beyond centerfield.
Saganowich singled home pinch-runner Monica Torres with her third hit – and the team’s 15th – of the contest.
Pittsburgh recorded its second hit of the game with one out in the bottom of the sixth.
O’Donnell finished with three strikeouts and allowed one earned run in 6.0 innings.
Five Irish players finished with multi-hit outings let by Saganowich’s 3-for-3 showing. Miller led all players with four RBI.