April 22, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team earned a two-game split against Purdue on Tuesday in non-conference action at the Varsity Softball Complex. A 1-0 loss was followed by a 3-1 win for Notre Dame as the team improved to 30-16 overall (9-5 BIG EAST).
Next up for Notre Dame is an April 24 home doubleheader against Loyola-Chicago slated to start at 5 p.m. (ET).
Brittney Bargar (22-10) held Purdue (31-17 overall, 8-6 Big 10) scoreless through the first six innings of the opener but her fifth hit allowed on the afternoon came in the bottom of the seventh. A one-out single to center by Christina Trauger plated Amy Butcher from second for the game-winner as Butcher just beat centerfielder Ashley Ellis’ throw to the plate. The Boilermakers scored one earned run and struck out four times while facing Bargar through 6.1 innings.
Two were left on base in the top of the first for the Irish after Katie Laing singled, Ellis hit into a fielder’s choice that relieved Laing, and Christine Lux was hit by a pitch before Suzie Rzegocki (14-6) got out of the inning with two more outs. The Irish returned the favor in the bottom half of the frame when Beth Cinadr lined a two-out drive off the glove of Linda Kohan that was fielded by shortstop Katie Fleury and thrown to first for the final out to leave a pair of Purdue runners on the pond.
Fleury struck out swinging but made it to first base on a passed ball with one out in the third. She moved up one bag on Sarah Smith’s bunt that lost its steam in front of the pitcher and bought the slapper enough time to reach first. The bases were loaded after Kohan drew a walk but Rzegocki got out of the one-out fix again with two more strikeouts.
Beth Northway came through with a one-out double to right in the fourth to bring her season total to five. A flop single off the handle of Erin Marrone’s bat as she checked her swing put two Irish on base, though Rzegocki recorded her seventh strikeout through four innings by getting Fleury to swing at a low pitch after Jorgensborg popped up to shortstop.
Rzegocki struck out seven batters and walked one while giving up four hits in the win from the circle.
Countering Purdue’s score to end game one, the Irish took a 1-0 lead to start game two on Kohan’s single to center that plated Fleury in the first. One inning later the lead was pushed to 2-0 as Laing put a base hit in the same spot to bring around Smith who had led the inning off with a single of her own.
Candace Curtis put the Boilermakers on the board in the third with a solo home run to left.
Lux’s second double of the contest came in the top of the fourth. But Purdue starter Dana Alcocer (16-11) made sure Lux did not score after each of those two-baggers, retiring the next three batters after the Irish first baseman touched second safely both times.
With a runner on third with two outs in the fourth, Ellis laid out and robbed the Boilermakers of what could have been the game-tying run by logging herself a web gem. Her righthand partner, Smith, saved a pair of runs from scoring in the fifth with her two-out snag.
Stephanie Mola made it to first after wearing a pitch in the top of the seventh, stole second, and hustled to third on Brianna Jorgensborg’s sacrifice bunt. Mola plated an insurance run on Fleury’s two-out screamer down the leftfield chalk.
Bargar retired each of the seven batters she faced including two strikeouts to earn her second save of the campaign, with the win going to Jody Valdivia (8-6) who recorded 4.2 innings of play and gave up four hits with four strikeouts.
Fleury and Lux had two hits apiece to lead an Irish offensive attack that also stole four bags.