April 28, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Heather Johnson went 4-for-4 with three RBI and scored three times in game two of a non-conference doubleheader with Bowling Green Wednesday at Melissa Cook Stadium. Johnson hit a two-run home run, two doubles and her first career triple while nearly clinching the cycle. Her efforts pushed No. 25 Notre Dame past Bowling Green (10-22) in game two, 10-5, while the Irish downed the Falcons in the opener, 4-1.
Johnson finished the doubleheader with six hits in seven at-bats, five RBI and a slugging clip of 1.857.
In game one, Jody Valdivia (31-4) tossed a two-hitter with nine strikeouts, which earned her the title of Notre Dame’s all-time leader in wins for a single season. Valdivia, who nearly wrapped up the outing with a shutout before Susan Sontag homered to centerfield, leads the nation in wins.
Notre Dame (40-9) is now 18-0 on its own turf this season and wraps up the home portion of the schedule against Wisconsin at 4:00 p.m. (ET) Thursday.
Katie Fleury singled in the third, stole second and scored on Johnson’s first RBI of the day to put Notre Dame on the board in game one.
Fleury’s sacrifice bunt in the fifth opened the door for Alexa Maldonado to score Notre Dame’s second run of the day. Maldonado was hit by a pitch to start the frame and scored on a Falcon throwing error after Sadie Pitzenberger singled to first. Another Johnson single scored Pitzenberger one play later.
Kristina Wright walked to start the sixth. Notre Dame put together a bit of small ball to get her home, starting with Alexia Clay’s single. Maldonado followed with a sacrifice bunt and Fleury racked the RBI with a sacrifice fly to center.
Pitzenberger and Johnson each finished with two hits. Johnson had a game-high two RBI.
Notre Dame out-hit Bowling Green, 7-2, with six of those hits coming off Melissa Bott (5-10). Bott gave up three earned runs in 4.1 innings.
Johnson did it all for Notre Dame, both at the plate and with her glove. The third baseman added three putouts and an assist from the hot corner. But her four hits paced an Irish attack that shelved 13 hits, despite giving up 11 to the Falcons.
Pitzenberger had three hits and Christine Lux added two. Maldonado scored twice, as did Fleury and Pitzenberger.
Both Pitzenberger and Johnson had two doubles in the contest. Maldonado and Brianna Jorgensborg also doubled for Notre Dame. Jorgensborg’s double was her lone hit of the game but went for two RBI.
Johnson’s home run was her 14th of the season, as she and Lux are both poised to break the single-season record of 15 (set by Lux in 2008 and 2009).
Jackie Bowe (2-2) got the win after relieving Brittany O’Donnell in the third. O’Donnell gave up four runs – three earned – on six hits, with Bowe entering with the bases loaded and sending the Falcons back to the dugout on a strikeout to end the inning. Bowe gave up one earned run on two hits and Valdivia earned her second save of the season with 2.0 innings of scoreless three-hit ball.
Bowling Green took a brief lead in the first, going ahead 2-0 before Notre Dame posted a three-spot in the first and second innings. The Irish scored a pair in the fourth and sixth frames to close the door on the visitors.