March 20, 2005
After dropping the first game of the Buckeye Invitational on Saturday, the University of Notre Dame softball team (12-8) bounced back to defeated Oakland (3-16) 8-0 in five innings on Sunday. The Irish will complete the weekend tournament with a game against Eastern Michigan (IN PROGRESS).
Senior Liz Hartmann, who had two hits in Notre Dame’s 7-4 loss to Marshall on Saturday, led the Irish to victory against Oakland with two more hits and three RBI. Her two-run double ended the game in the fifth inning on collegiate softball’s mercy rule. Senior designated player Carrie Wisen drove in two runs in the game, while sophomore Stephanie Brown, junior Meagan Ruthrauff and freshman Katie Laing each posted two hits in the contest.
Senior starting pitcher Steffany Stenglein, who recorded a no-decision on Saturday against Marshall, struck out 10 Oakland batters in just five innings of action. The 10 strikeouts mark the third time this season that Stenglein has posted double-digit strikeouts and she has reached at least nine strikeouts in her last three starts. Stenglein gave up just three hits and one walk against Oakland.
Stenglein was the story of the game early, as she struck out the first three Oakland batters of the game and her first five outs recorded in the game came via a strikeout. The Irish hitters, on the other hand, were making solid contact but hitting the ball straight to several different Oakland defensive players.
Notre Dame broke open the game in the fourth inning. Ruthrauff singled with one out and pinch runner Sarah Smith moved to third on a single by Laing. Hartmann drove in Smith with a single to centerfield and Wisen followed with a double to left-centerfield, driving in Laing and Hartmann.
The hit parade continued after Gessica Hufnagle replaced Wisen as a pinch runner. Sophomore catcher Carissa Jaquish drilled a triple to right center, allowing Hufnagle to score easily on the play. Jaquish also found herself crossing the plate on the play after an errant throw from the Oakland defense.
Oakland advanced a runner to second base in the fifth inning on a sacrifice bunt, but Stenglein came right back to strikeout the next two batters and quickly end the scoring threat.
The Irish offense came right back after a six-hit inning in the fourth to end the game early in the fifth. Senior Megan Ciolli posted a one-out single, stole second base and moved to third on a single up the middle by Ruthrauff. Laing drove Ciolli in with a double and Hartmann ended the game with a double to left-centerfield, driving in Ruthrauff and Laing.
Notre Dame enjoyed steady production from the bottom of its lineup against Oakland. Number five hitter Katie Laing, #6 Liz Hartmann, #7 Carrie Wisen and #8 Carissa Jaquish combined to go six for 10 with seven RBI and five runs scored.