April 14, 2007
PROVIDENCE, R.I.- Senior Gessica Hufnagle (Middlebury, Ind./Northridge) had a career effort in the first game, with a home run and five RBIs, to lead Notre Dame’s softball team (20-14, 9-1 BIG EAST) to a 10-1 victory over Providence College (15-15, 4-8 BIG EAST) on Saturday, April 14 at Raymond Field in Providence. The Irish fell in the second game to the Friars 9-0.
Hufnagle, on the afternoon, was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a home run and five RBIs. Sophomore Beth Northway (Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood) had three hits and two runs scored on the day. Freshman Heather Johnson (Los Alamitos, Calif./Mater Dei) drove in a pair of runs, while senior Stephanie Brown (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) crossed the plate three times.
Sophomore Brittney Bargar (Corona, Calif./Corona) (13-7) went the distance in the run-shortened first game, only allowing one run on four hits with four strikeouts for her 13th win of the year. Senior Kenya Fuemmeler (Salisbury, Mo./Salisbury) (7-7) took the loss in the second game, as she allowed six runs in one and a third innings pitched.
The Irish would threaten in the first inning of the first game. Brown led off the game with a single through the left side, she moved to second on a Hufnagle sacrifice bunt, but was thrown out at the plate attempting to score on Johnson’s single to left field.
The Friars had an early chance to score in their half of the first. Katelyn Revens reached on an infield single and moved to second on the walk to Samantha Pittman, but both runners were stranded as Bargar induced to two groundouts to third to get out of the frame.
The Irish wasted a great early chance in the second on a leadoff double from freshman Christine Lux (Glendale Heights, Ill./Glenbard West).
Notre Dame broke through for three in the third inning. Brown reached first on a one-out error from the Providence first baseman, Christy Becker. Hufnagle would walk to put a pair of runners on base. Junior Katie Laing (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) then ripped a double to right-center field to score Brown from second and advance Hufnagle to third. Johnson would follow with a single to center to plate both Hufnagle and Laing.
The Irish offense kept the heat on with three more runs in the fourth inning. Northway started the frame with a bunt single to the pitcher. A ground out moved her to second and Brown’s infield single moved her to third. Hufnagle would then unload her second home run of the season to score Northway and Brown and give Notre Dame a 6-0 cushion.
Sophomore Linda Kohan (Westminster, Calif./Westminster) began the fifth inning with a walk. Freshman Ashley Ellis (Pikeville, Tenn./Bledsoe County) pinch ran for Kohan and moved to second on Northway’s walk. A fielder’s choice from Bargar loaded the bases. Junior Sarah Smith (Oklahoma City, Okla./Heritage Hall) was then inserted back in the game for Bargar. An error by the Providence shortstop, Jenna Garcia, off the Brown grounder scored Ellis. Hufnagle would follow with a double to score Northway, Smith and Brown and make the score 10-0 Irish.
The Friars would plate their lone run of the game as Katie Ross scored on Garcia’s two-out single.
The second game saw Providence hit a three-run home run in the first, second and fifth innings, to win 9-0. Rachel Bartholomew hit the first, Garcia hit the second and Becker hit the third. Northway had a two-hit performance in the second game for Notre Dame.
Next, Notre Dame will continue the road trip with a doubleheader against conference rival Connecticut (15-15, 4-5 BIG EAST) starting at 10 a.m.
Irish Notes: Brown, after extending her hitting streak to 10 in the first game, saw the streak snapped in the second game against the Friars … this was Notre Dame’s first conference loss of the season … after winning 10 in a row, the Irish have now lost two of the last three.