March 12, 2007
LAKEWOOD, Calif.- Notre Dame’s softball team (8-8) split its two games in the Long Beach Invitational on Sunday, March 11 in Lakewood, Calif. The Irish started the day with a 10-2 victory over Eastern Kentucky (6-11) but fell in the second game of the afternoon to No. 12/16 UCLA (21-6) 9-3.
Sophomore Stephanie Mola (Naples, Fla./St. John Neumann) had a strong individual performance, as she was three-for-five with an RBI in the two games. Senior first baseman Stephanie Brown (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) also had a three-hit afternoon with a triple, three runs scored, two RBI and a pair of walks. Senior Kenya Fuemmeler (Salisbury, Mo./Salisbury) pitched in both games of the doubleheader and had nine strikeouts in her eight innings in the circle.
In the first game against Eastern Kentucky, the Irish plated three runs in the first inning. Brown started the inning with single and moved to second on the bunt single from Beth Northway (Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood). An error by the Eastern Kentucky’s pitcher, Kalyn Fox, off the sacrifice bunt from Linda Kohan (Westminster, Calif./Westminster) brought in Brown with the first run of the game and advanced Northway to third. Junior Katie Laing (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) then delivered a two-out two-run double to score Northway and Kohan with the second and third runs of the game.
After Eastern Kentucky drew to within a run with a pair in the third inning, the Irish rallied with a three spot in the fourth inning. Mola poked a two-out single and went to second on the Sarah Smith (Oklahoma City, Okla./Oklahoma City) single. Brown then tripled in both Mola and Smith and came into score herself on the error by the Colonels shortstop off the ball hit by Northway.
The Irish kept the offense going in the fifth with a pair of runs. Gessica Hufnagle (Middlebury, Ind./Northridge) drilled a single and advanced to second on the Laing’s walk. Junior Brittany Glynn (Seymour, Conn./St. Joseph’s), in her first hitting appearance of the season, came through with a single to score Hufnagle. After a pitching change and walk to senior Carissa Jaquish (Highland Ranch, Calif./Redlands East Valley), Laing would scamper in with the eighth run of the game on the error from the EKU third baseman, Shyenne Hussey.
The Notre Dame offense added insurance runs in the sixth and seventh inning. The sixth saw Kohan leadoff with a walk and come in to score on the double from Heather Johnson (Los Alamitos, Calif./Mater Dei). In the seventh, Smith hit a single, stole second base and scored on the double from Northway.
Fuemmeler (2-4) pitched one of the finest games of her collegiate career, limiting the Colonels to two runs (one earned) on four hits with eight strikeouts.
After the Bruins scored a run in the first inning of the second game, the Irish would take the lead back with two in the second. Johnson drew a leadoff walk. Glynn then pinch ran for Johnson and moved to second on the sacrifice bunt from Laing. A Hufnagle single moved Glynn to third. Glynn would come into score on a pass ball. A two-out Mola single would drive-in Hufnagle with the second run and give Notre Dame a 2-1 lead.
The lead would be short lived as the Bruins tallied three runs in the third inning. UCLA shortstop Jodi Legaspi would score the ultimate winning-run on the single from Megan Lagenfeld.
Notre Dame would answer with a run of its own in the third as Brown singled, stole second, advanced to third on a pop out and scored on a dropped third strike.
The Bruins added three more runs in the fourth inning. The key blow of the frame was a two-run home run by Lisa Dodd. Lagenfeld finished the scoring off with a two-run single in the sixth inning.
Sophomore Brittney Bargar (Corona, Calif./Corona) (6-4) took the loss for the Irish in the second game, with six strikeouts and 11 hits allowed in her six innings from the circle.
Notre Dame will next travel to the Judi Garman Tournament from March 15-18 in Fullerton, Calif. The Irish will face off against No. 3/6 Arizona State (March 15, 9 a.m. (PT)), Fresno State (March 16, 1:30 p.m. (PT)) and No. 13/15 Louisiana-Lafayette (March 16, 8:30 p.m. (PT) before participating in pool play the last two days.
Irish Notes: Six different Irish players drove in a run on the afternoon … 11 Notre Dame softball players would have a hit on the day.