March 25, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind.- Freshman Heather Johnson (Los Alamitos, Calif./Mater Dei) put together her second three-hit performance of the week to lead Notre Dame’s softball team (14-12), 4-0 BIG EAST) to a doubleheader sweep (2-1 & 9-1) of conference rival Seton Hall (3-18, 0-4 BIG EAST) on Sunday, March 25 at the Ivy Field.
Johnson, who had started her week with a three-hit game against IUPUI (March 22), tied the feat with a 3-for-3 performance in the second game against Seton Hall. All three of Johnson’s hits were doubles and she also knocked in four runs on the day. Junior Katie Laing (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) also had a three-hit afternoon with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBI. Sophomore Linda Kohan (Westminster, Calif./Westminster) drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and also walked and scored two runs in the doubleheader. Sophomore Erin Glasco (Johnston City, Ill./Johnston City) and senior Stephanie Brown (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) each had a pair of hits on the day.
Both Irish pitchers were outstanding. Sophomore Brittney Bargar (Corona, Calif./Corona) pitched a complete game one-hitter in the first game with the only blemish being an unearned run in the fourth inning. Bargar also struck out nine with three walks. Senior Kenya Fuemmeler (Salisbury, Mo./Salisbury) was steady in the second game, as she only allowed four hits and one run with no walks and four punch outs.
Game One Recap
Notre Dame started the afternoon by pushing a run across in the second inning of the first game. Laing started the inning with a double to left centerfield. She then stole third and came in to score the first run as the throw of Christa Leighton, the Seton Hall catcher, sailed into left field on miscommunication on the theft of third base.
Glasco would follow with a single up the middle. Junior Sarah Smith (Oklahoma City, Okla./Heritage Hall) was brought in to pinch run for Glasco and promptly stole second. For Smith, it was her second stolen base of the year. Freshman Christine Lux (Glendale, Ill./Glenbard West) hit a ball to the Seton Hall first baseman, Shannon Pease, that could not be handled for the second Pirates error of the game. Smith took third on the play, as the Irish looked to be in envious position with no outs and runners on first and third. Senior Carissa Jaquish (Highland Ranch, Calif./Redlands East Valley) grounded out to the shortstop to advance Lux to second while was Smith forced to keep her position at third. Bargar then in came in for the right fielder Stephanie Mola (Naples, Fla./St. John Neumann) at the plate in a batting change between the Irish pitcher and flex and promptly lined into an inning ending double play, as Smith was caught off third base on the hard line drive.
The game remained the same heading to the fourth when Seton Hall managed to plate an unearned run. The trouble for the Irish began after the first two batters were retired in order. Allison Gengler drew a walk and moved to third on Kealan Waldron’s single to right centerfield. Gengler would come into tie the game as Waldron, in a designated play, got herself in a run down on a steal attempt. The Irish first baseman’s throw was low and away from the catcher and allowed Gengler to score from third with an unearned run.
Just a quickly as the game was tied up, Notre Dame’s offense got back in gear and got the run back in the bottom of the fourth. Just as she had done previously, Laing started another rally with a double. A Glasco sacrifice bunt moved her to third. Laing would score the eventual winning run on Lux’s big two-out hit through the right side.
Notre Dame’s offense threatened for an insurance run in the sixth inning. Kohan was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. Freshman Ashley Ellis (Pikeville, Tenn./Bledsoe County) pinch ran for Kohan at second and went to second and then third on the throwing error from Seton Hall’s pitcher Kim Schweitzer as she fielded the sacrifice bunt from Laing. Laing would also reach first and then second on the error. After foul out to the leftfielder, Ellis tagged up and attempted to score from third but she was gunned out at the plate by Jenna Best.
Bargar proved the insurance was unnecessary, as she completed the masterpiece with a one, two, three inning in the seventh for her 13th complete game of the year.
Game Two Recap
The Notre Dame offense took the lead early in the first game with a run in the opening inning. Kohan hit a two-out single off the Seton Hall third baseman, Waldron, to start things for the Irish. A wild pitch moved the sophomore to second and she came in to score the first run of the game on Johnson’s first double of the game.
The Pirates would rally and tie the game up in the top of the second inning. Pease hit a one-out single down the leftfield line to start the frame. A sacrifice bunt moved Pease to second before Danielle Steinseifzer drove her in with a single to left field to tie the game up at one all.
The game remained tied until the third when Notre Dame exploded for three, again after two were out. Senior Gessica Hufnagle (Middlebury, Ind./Northridge) hit a single to left center. She moved to second on Kohan’s walk. The second of Johnson’s doubles plated Hufnagle for the first run of the frame. Laing then came through with a two-run double to score both Kohan and Johnson.
The Irish offense kept its foot on the gas with a four-spot in the fourth inning. Glasco started the inning with a single to right field. Junior Brittany Glynn (Seymour, Conn./St. Joseph) pinch ran for Glasco and stole second to move into scoring position. After a pitching change, sophomore Beth Northway (Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood) was hit by a pitch to put a pair of runners on base. Glynn was then erased, as Mola hit into a fielder choice on a popped up bunt to the third baseman. Brown followed by ripping a single through the right side to load the bases. Hufangle then put her body in harms way and was hit by a pitch to drive-in Northway from third. A Kohan sacrifice fly drove in Mola, from third with the second run of the inning. Johnson completed her afternoon with her third double to score Brown and Hufnagle for the seventh and eight runs of the game.
After a scoreless top of the fifth by Fuemmeler, Notre Dame completed the run shortened game with a run in the bottom of the frame.. Glynn, who had stayed in the game as the designated player, walked with one retired. Jaquish then walked as pinch hitter to move Glynn to second base. Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf continued to empty her bench as Ellis came in to pinch hit and she laced a single up the middle to load the bases for Brown. Brown would hit a fielder’s choice back to the pitcher. The Seton Hall relief pitcher, Danielle Zanzalari, elected to try to get the charging Glynn at home but her throw was high allowing Glynn to slide underneath the SHU catcher with the ninth and final run of the game.
Next, Notre Dame will continue the homestand with a single non-conference game against Toledo at 6 p.m. on March 28.
Irish Notes: Notre Dame has now won a season-best five games in a row … the complete game by Bargar was her league-leading 13th of the season … Fuemmeler’s complete game was her fifth of the season … the five consecutive home wins to start the season is the fourth year in a row and the eighth time in the last 10 years this has happened … for Johnson this was her third three-hit performance of the season ..Johnson’s three doubles in the second game ties the Notre Dame record held by Sara Hayes for most two-baggers in a game