Feb. 27, 2010
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – As Olympian figure skaters were utilizing the double lutz to earn gold medals in Vancouver, the Notre Dame softball team opted for the double Lux 5,000 miles away Saturday at Virginia’s Cavalier Invite. Sisters Christine and Kathryn Lux each homered at Captains Park, with Christine’s 36th career bomb tying a school record. Kathryn’s two-run shot versus George Washington was the first hit of the freshman’s career. Their efforts helped Notre Dame earn a 12-0 five-inning win over George Washington and a 9-0 blanking of Virginia to run the team’s winning streak to seven games.
Ten of Notre Dame’s 51 hits at the Cavalier Invite were home runs as the Irish finished the four-game event with a .472 team batting average. Notre Dame (8-4) posted a .861 slugging clip and registered double-dig hit totals in each contest.
Alexa Maldonado (.636) had two doubles and two triples at the tournament for a 1.186 slugging percentage. Seven players hit at least one home run, paced by a pair from Heather Johnson, Amy Buntin and Katie Fleury.
Both Brittany O’Donnell (3-0) and Jody Valdivia (5-2) secured two wins from the circle on the weekend. O’Donnell needed just 7.0 innings of work to do the deed, striking out 15 batters and permitting two hits and two free passes without an earned run.
The Irish will head to California for the UC Riverside Aten Construction Tournament (March 6-7) to begin a nine-game West Coast swing.
O’Donnell had three strikeouts in the first while leaving a pair of Colonials (0-3) on base.
Sadie Pitzenberger singled off Kara Clauss’ (0-3) first pitch of the bottom of the first and advanced to third on a Lauren Wilson bobble in left. Fleury duplicated Pitzenberger’s feat but her single went down the rightfield line and she would move to third on another Colonial error, scoring Pitzenberger in the process. Johnson brought Fleury home with a single to center and a third Colonial error put C. Lux on base. Notre Dame finished the inning with two runs on three hits and three errors but left a trio of runners on the pond.
Lauren Wilson singled in the third for the first Colonial hit of the day.
A sacrifice fly by Pitzenberger scored Maldonado after her lead-off triple in the second. Johnson’s groundout to second scored Pitzenberger and a C. Lux double to center crossed Fleury to put Notre Dame ahead, 5-0.
Notre Dame doubled its lead in the third after doubles by Kristina Wright and Maldonado to bring in three more scores. K. Lux’s home run went dead center to bring in Maldonado, and C. Lux followed with a single for Notre Dame’s sixth hit of the frame.
Buntin was hit by a pitch and would score in the fourth on a Pitzenberger single. Pitzenberger went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI, and Maldonado was 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBI.
Notre Dame scored its 12 runs on 12 hits. George Washington committed four errors.
Clauss gave up nine seven earned runs on nine hits in 2.1 innings and O’Donnell needed 3.0 innings of one-hit ball in the starting effort with six strikeouts to get the win. Jackie Bowe hurled 2.0 innings of hitless relief, tacking on five strikeouts.
Valdivia twice got out of bases-loaded jams and Notre Dame left eight Cavalier (3-7) runners on base. She was aided by Pitzenberger’s two-out diving save in the fifth to keep the home half of the scoreboard blank. Valdivia gave up five hits and struck out four. Her counterpart, Melanie Mitchell (3-6), was taken for nine earned runs on 12 hits in 7.0 innings.
Fleury led the Irish with three hits – including two doubles – as Johnson drove in three runs on two home runs. Pitzenberger and Maldonado also added doubles as Fleury, Buntin and C. Lux joined Johnson in the home run department.
Back-to-back doubles by Pitzenberger and Fleury led to two Irish runs in the first. C. Lux tied the school record with her 36th dinger in the fourth to start the inning. Maldonado’s double scored Miller later in the inning.
In the sixth, Fleury and Johnson hit back-to-back home runs and Buntin jacked a two-run rocket with a skyball to left in a pinch-hitting appearance in the seventh.