March 24, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind.- Freshman Christine Lux (Glendale Heights, Ill./Glenbard East) had a perfect afternoon at the plate and drove in three runs to lead Notre Dame’s softball team (12-12, 2-0 BIG EAST) to pair of shutout victories, 8-0 and 3-0, over visiting conference rival St. John’s (3-18, 0-2 BIG EAST) on Saturday, March 24 at Ivy Field.
Lux was a perfect 2-for-2 on the afternoon with two walks and three RBI to helped lead the Notre Dame charge. Junior Katie Laing (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) chipped in a pair of hits to go with her two RBI and two runs scored. Seniors Gessica Hufnagle (Middlebury, Ind./Northridge) and Stephanie Brown (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) each had two hits and two runs scored.
After going the first 22 games without a shutout, both Notre Dame hurlers each threw one against the Red Storm. Sophomore Brittney Bargar (Corona, Calif./Corona) (8-7) went the distance in the first game only allowing two hits with eight strikeouts. Senior Kenya Fuemmeler (Salisbury, Mo./Salisbury) (4-5), not to out done, also threw a complete game with four hits allowed and seven strikeouts.
Game One Recap
After allowing a leadoff walk to Danielle Estrada to start the game, Bargar would set the next three down in order, two by the strikeout, to keep the game scoreless.
The Irish would threaten in the second inning. Laing started the frame with a single. She moved to second on Lux’s one-out sacrifice bunt but that was a far as she could advance as the next two Irish batters were retired.
Sophomore Linda Kohan (Westminster, Calif./Westminster) and freshman Heather Johnson (Los Alamitos, Calif./Mater Dei) each walked with two away to start the Irish rally in the third inning. Junior Brittany Glynn (Seymour, Conn./St. Joseph) then pinch ran for Kohan at second. Laing would follow with a big two-run double to left-center field to plate both Glynn and Johnson. Laing would advance to third herself on the attempted play at the plate on Johnson, in which the freshman wisely slide around the waiting catcher. Lux then guided a ball through the right side to score Laing from third for the third run of the inning.
Notre Dame offense kept it in gear with another three-spot in the fifth inning. Hufnagle hit a leadoff single through the left side. She took second as Kohan beat out her bunt attempt at first. After a strikeout and a foul out, sophomore Erin Glasco (Johnston City, Ill./Johnston City) walked to load the bases. Lux showed a patient eye at plate and walked herself to drive-in Hufnagle from third. Sophomore Beth Northway (Kentwood, Mich./East Kentwood) got into the act next and drove a single down the left field line to score both Kohan and Glasco for the fifth and sixth runs of the game.
The Irish offense finished the game off with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hufnagle again started the trouble with a one-out walk. Kohan was hit by a pitch to move Hufnagle to second. The senior then stole third for her fifth theft of the season. A Johnson walk loaded the bases for the second consecutive inning. After foul out, Glasco finished the run-ruled game off with a single up the middle to score Hufnagle and Kohan.
Game Two Recap
The second game was more of a pitcher’s duel with both Fuemmeler and St. John’s Kim Lerch locking up in a thrilling game.
The Irish threatened in the first inning with Brown reaching first as the STJ first baseman, Spring Montgomery, was unable to handle the throw from Lerch. A Hufnagle sacrifice bunt moved Brown into scoring position but Lerch tightened and recorded a fly out and a ground out to escape the inning unscathed.
St. John’s got a leadoff single from Brandy Reyes to start the second inning. Tiffany D’Alessandro pinch ran for Reyes and moved to second on the sacrifice bunt from Estrada but the was a far as she would get as Fuemmeler induced a line out and strikeout to keep the game scoreless.
The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning when Notre Dame pushed a run across. Johnson punished a Lerch offering for a single to left-center field. Junior Sarah Smith (Oklahoma City, Okla./Heritage Hall) pinch ran for Johnson at first and went all the way to third on Laing’s sacrifice bunt, in which she also reached first and then second on the throwing error from St. John’s catcher Reyes. After a ground out, Lux drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to left field.
The Irish added another run in the fifth inning. Brown pushed a single to third and went all the way to third base on Hufnagle’s single through the right side. Kohan then delivered a sacrifice fly to score Brown for the second run of the game.
Notre Dame added one more tally to its lead in the sixth inning. Laing started the inning with a walk. She went to second on a base on balls from Lux. Lux was then was forced out at second, as Laing took third on Northway’s fielder’s choice. Northway stole second as the catcher’s throw went into centerfield, when no one covered the bag, to score Laing from third for the third and final run of the gamer.
Next, Notre Dame will finish the weekend with a pair of conference games against Seton Hall (3-14) on Sunday, March 25 starting at 11 a.m.
Irish Notes: Notre Dame has now won three games in a row … the complete game by Bargar was her league-leading 12th of the season … Fuemmeler’s complete game was her fourth of the season … the consecutive shutouts thrown by the Irish pitching staff, was the first time since May 14, 2006 (against Pittsburgh and No. 18 Louisville) in the BIG EAST Championship … the two shutouts against the same team on the same day was a first since Notre Dame also shutout St. John’s in a doubleheader on May 7, 2006 … the three consecutive home wins to start the season is the fourth year in a row and the eighth time in the last 10