Kasey O'Connor hit her first career home run Saturday at St. John's.

Irish Take Down Red Storm Twice For BIG EAST Sweep

May 8, 2010

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

JAMAICA, N.Y. – Notre Dame escaped the first of two BIG EAST Conference softball games at St. John’s with a 6-3 win and followed with a 10-2, six-inning rout Saturday at Red Storm Field. No. 24 Notre Dame (43-9 overall, 17-3 BIG EAST) hit five home runs in the doubleheader to set the program’s single-season school record by bringing the 2010 total to 70. With two home runs on the day, Heather Johnson also tied Christine Lux’s single-season school record with 16 round-trippers.

The Irish scored seven unearned runs against the Red Storm (18-32, 6-15), who committed four errors on the day.

The two teams square off at 11:00 a.m. (ET) Sunday at Red Storm Field to end the three-game series and the regular season.

-Game 1-

Dani Miller and Christine Lux each went 2-for-4, with Lux scoring twice.

Kacee Cox and Kristi Cady both had two hits for St. John’s.

Miller recorded the first hit of the game, a second-inning double for the Irish. It was one of eight hits off of Linzee Sumrall (5-17), who received very little support from her defense when it mattered most. Sumrall surrendered one earned run but five more Irish scores came courtesy of three Red Storm errors.

The first Red Storm hit came in the bottom of the third, an inning in which St. John’s left runners on first and second. St. John’s left four runners on base for the game.

Johnson put Notre Dame on the board in the fourth with a solo home run to left, her 15th of the season and 60th RBI. Lux followed with a single and Alexia Clay later drew a walk. With the two runners on the corners, a delayed double-steal resulted in a pair of Red Storm throwing errors which scored both runners, putting Notre Dame on top by a 3-0 count.

St. John’s answered with a pair of early hits in the bottom of the fourth, and Cady singled home Cox to deprive Jody Valdivia (34-4) of the shutout.

Notre Dame posted three more in the sixth. Lux doubled and scored an unearned run on a Red Storm throwing error. Kasey O’Connor and Sadie Pitzenberger also added RBI-singles that yielded unearned runs.

Valdivia struck out three, walked one and added the win to her resume after giving up three earned runs on six hits. Shauntain Harris hit a seventh-inning solo home run off Valdivia in her final home appearance for the Red Storm.

-Game 2-

The Irish manufactured a run in the second with Miller paving the way by wearing a pitch to start the frame. Clay sacrificed her to second and Brianna Jorgensborg singled her home with a soft hit to left.

St. John’s duplicated the feat in the bottom half of the frame behind the efforts of Cady (single), Julia Sanchez (sacrifice) and Stacia Dopudja (RBI-single) to tie the game.

After Notre Dame scored two unearned runs in the third, Cox hit a two-out, solo home run to left-center in the bottom half to bring St. John’s within one, 3-2.

Jorgensborg stayed hot with a solo home run to right-center in the fourth to keep Notre Dame ahead and break the program’s single-season home run record (67). O’Connor landed a home run – the first of her career – next to Jorgensborg’s to add another tally to the Irish total. Johnson doubled in Pitzenberger and Lux doubled home Johnson before Miller singled home Lux to round out the five-run frame.

Notre Dame added two of its 11 hits in the sixth inning on solo home runs by Johnson and Miller.

Johnson had two RBI on two hits and scored three times.

Miller, Maldonado and Jorgensborg also added two hits. Maldonado and Clay also had sacrifices.

Cox had two hits for St. John’s, as pitcher Kat Lawrence (11-10) took the loss after 3.1 innings of five-hit ball. The Red Storm pitching corps recorded one strikeout.

Valdivia struck out four and got the win after tossing 4.0 frames. Brittany O’Donnell fanned three in 2.0 innings.