Feb. 14, 2004
The University of Notre Dame softball team (3-1) capped a great day at the UNLV Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday, Feb. 14, defeating the host team UNLV (x-x) 3-1 on the heels of its upset victory over #8/9 Nebraska earlier in the day.
Pitching and defense carried the Irish to victory over the Rebels, as junior Steffany Stenglein picked up her first victory of the season with a complete game 10-strikeout performance. For offense, Notre Dame turned to sophomore Kellie Middleton, who had two hits, two stolen bases and an RBI in the contest.
Notre Dame made a solid defensive play in the top of the first to avoid UNLV getting on the scoreboard. With one out and the bases loaded, Pauline Glenn dropped a hit into short centerfield which no Irish outfielder could get to in time. Ciolli eventually reached the bloop single, but UNLV’s Lisa Sampson did not go far enough down the line. Ciolli gunned her down at the plate, with freshman Carissa Jaquish making a solid tag.
The Irish wated little time making sure to get some runs in the game. Ciolli led off the bottom of the second with a double to right-centerfield. She moved to third on a hit from Stephanie Brown and scored on a sacrifice fly from Liz Hartmann. Brown then stole second base and scored on a double from Kellie Middleton to put the Irish ahead 2-0.
UNLV put together a rally in the fourth inning when Stenglein lost a bit of her control and walked two consecutive batters. Bridget Byrne then came through with an infield hit deep up the middle. Schoonaert was able to get to it for the Irish, but the runner from second scored on the play to cut Notre Dame’s lead to 2-1.
Notre Dame responded with another run in the bottom of the inning, keyed by the quick feet of Middleton. The Norcross, Ga., native posted a one-out single, then stole both second and third and eventually scored on a Mallorie Lenn RBI single. UNLV quickly snuffed out any more scoring opportunities, however. Nicole deFau drew a walk to put pinch runner Gessica Hufnagle at second base, but Carissa Jaquish grounded out to third base. Rebel Pauline Glenn picked up the ball, stepped on third to force out Hufnagle and throw to first in time to get Jaquish and turn UNLV’s first double play of the year.
GAME NOTES: Steffany Stenglein’s 10-strikeout performance is the third of her career and first since she sat down 10 against Seton Hall in 2002 … Nicole Wicks received her first at bat of the season in the top of the seventh with two outs and struck out swinging … Liz Hartmann, after hitting two home runs in the first game of the day, hit two more balls to the warning track against UNLV, including one caught half way up the fence in centerfield.