Brittney Bargar did not allow an earned run Friday against Sacramento State.

Notre Dame Splits Nike Invite's Opening Day

Feb. 20, 2009

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STANFORD, Calif. – Pitchers Brittney Bargar and Jody Valdivia combined to stretch 13.0 innings from the circle without allowing an earned run as the Notre Dame softball team split a pair of games Friday to open Stanford’s Nike Invitational at Smith Family Stadium. The day began with a 4-1 triumph over Sacramento State but ended with a 2-0 loss to No. 5 Stanford.

Heather Johnson and Christine Lux each yielded a pair of hits and Katie Fleury scored twice throughout the twinbill as Notre Dame’s record went to 2-4 on the season.

The Irish are scheduled to face both the Cardinal (10-1) and Hornets (2-1) again Saturday. The opener against Stanford will start at 2:30 p.m. (PT), immediately followed by the capper with Sacramento State.

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Three runs in the sixth opened a 1-1 contest to give Notre Dame its win over Sacramento State. Linda Kohan delivered a two-RBI single in the bottom of the inning to give the Irish a 3-1 lead. Alexa Maldonado started the inning with a triple and scored on Kohan’s hit along with Fleury, who was hit by a pitch earlier. Christine Lux doubled to right field to drive in Notre Dame’s fourth run of the contest.

The Irish tallied their first run in the opening frame when Johnson’s grounder plated Fleury.

Sacramento State had two runners on base with one out in the top of the seventh before the Irish defense backed Bargar (2-1) to help preserve the win.

Jenice Bartee scored Sacramento State’s unearned run in the fifth. She also recorded two of Hornets’ five hits against Bargar, who earned the complete-game win while striking out two.

–Game 2–

Maldonado helped Notre Dame escape the third inning unscathed as the Cardinal had a runner on third with one out. Alyssa Haber doubled and advanced to third – one of her game-high two hits in the game – then tried to advance home on Ashley Hanson’s fly ball to center. But Maldonado would have none of that and gunned Haber out at the plate.

Three Notre Dame runners were stranded on base in the fourth, as the team would strand five throughout he contest. Stanford left six ducks on the pond.

Valdivia held strong by allowing only three hits through four innings, and the scoreboard stood still until Sarah Hassman plated an unearned run on an Irish fielding error in the fifth to boost Stanford to a 1-0 lead. Another Notre Dame error loaded the bases in the sixth but Valdivia helped herself by logging one of her five strikeouts on the day before surrendering another unearned run.

Missy Penna (8-1) earned the shutout win for the Cardinal.