March 8, 2009
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Notre Dame wrapped up its two-day showing at the UNLV Invitational with a Sunday split at Eller Media Stadium, blanking Texas Tech by a score of 5-0 before falling to the Runnin’ Rebels, 5-3. The Irish finished the invitational with a 3-1 record.
Across the four games, the hot bat of Brianna Jorgensborg was not to be outdone by the desert sun. Jorgensborg had five hits in nine at-bats (.556) for a slugging percentage of 1.889, which included three triples and two home runs. Her 17 total bases helped drive home five runs as she also scored three times. Sadie Pitzenberger proved to be one of the toughest outs of the invitational, as the speedster totaled eight hits (.533) on the weekend.
Notre Dame (6-6) takes an even slate into Tuesday’s showdown at UCLA, which begins at 2 p.m. (PT). Live stats will be available at UND.com.
A disciplined small-ball attack with the power of an extra-base hit by Alexia Clay – her first hit in an Irish uniform – help Notre Dame post four runs in the second inning of the opening win against Texas Tech (6-16). Heather Johnson drew a lead-off walk and Linda Kohan reached on a sacrifice bunt. Christine Lux drove in a run with a single through the right side and then Clay’s triple down the right field line scored Lux and pinch-runner Kasey O’Connor. Clay was rewarded for her efforts with a run of her own after Pitzenberger popped a single to center.
Kohan drew a walk in the third and scored on Jorgensborg’s third triple of the weekend, as Notre Dame climbed to a 5-0 lead. In the former half of the inning, the Irish used Johnson’s hustling catch at third to double-off a Red Raider on first. Katie Fleury ended the defensive portion of the inning with a diving grab at shortstop.
Jody Valdivia (2-4) held Texas Tech without a hit until the top of the sixth. Stephanie Drewry beat out a bunt to third base for the first hit as the Red Raiders would proceed to load the bases. Valdivia helped her cause by keeping the ball out of the grass for three straight outs en route to the shutout win. She tossed 7.0 innings and allowed two hits with one walk along with seven strikeouts.
Ashly Jacobs (4-7) started the game for Texas Tech and went 3.0 innings in the loss. She gave up five hits and five runs.
Lux led all players with two hits and Clay took home game-high honors with a pair of RBI.
The Runnin’ Rebels (16-8) earned a 2-0 lead after the home half of the first with three consecutive hits to start the game. That rally was highlighted by Brittany Bolinger’s RBI-double, but Brittany Bargar (4-2) struck out the last three UNLV batters to keep the damage to a minimal. Bargar would give up eight hits and just two earned runs with strikeouts in the loss.
Continuing her trend of drawing free passes, Kohan was walked in the second and came home on Jorgensborg’s dinger that sliced over the right-center boundary.
Bargar and the Irish defense could not overcome three errors for the game, with UNLV scoring three unearned runs in the second. UNLV’s three hits and Notre Dame’s second fielding error of the game put them ahead by a 5-2 count.
UNLV also threatened to score one more in the third. Tara Bendt singled to right field but Stephanie Mola scooped the grounder and put her throw on the line to home plate just in time for Kristina Wright to tag out Laura Briones for the final out.
The deficit dwindled to 5-3 after the Irish manufactured a run in the top of the sixth. Mola worked the count until she knocked an infield single that scored Lux. Jorgensborg was in close pursuit on the play and attempted to slide around the catcher’s tag, but was called out to end the inning.
The seventh started with Pitzenberger’s single up the middle giving Notre Dame the tying run at the plate for three consecutive batters, which were all retired by reliever Trace Odegard who earned the save. Jessica O’Connor (7-2) took away the win after giving up three runs in 5.2 frames of work.
Jaci Hull was 2-for-3 with two RBI for UNLV. Notre Dame received hits from eight different batters throughout the lineup.