March 27, 2004
The University of Notre Dame softball team (22-9) qualified for the championship game of the Hoosier Invitational with a 4-0 victory over Indiana (17-17) on Saturday afternoon. Notre Dame will face Western Kentucky twice on Sunday, once from the tournament schedule, then another match up for the tournament title.
Heather Booth continued her outstanding pitching, shutting down the Indiana offense to allow just two hits. Her strikeout total was just one, however, as the Notre Dame defense was outstanding behind the staff ace – who did not issue a walk in the game.
While Booth was getting routine outs for the Irish, Indiana starting pitcher Mariangee Bogado was keeping Notre Dame off balance. The Irish managed just five hits in the game, but Bogado’s defense let her down by committing five errors behind her.
Notre Dame grabbed an early lead when the hot-hitting Meagan Ruthrauff led off the second inning with a home run to leftfield. It was Ruthrauff’s second home run of the day (she hit a three-run shot vs. Saint Louis) and seventh of the season.
Ruthrauff’s big hit represented all the scoring for both teams over the first six innings of the contest, as Bogado would end up striking out 10 Irish batters. After the home run, Notre Dame posted just two hits over the next four innings (a single from Stephanie Brown and a double from Mallorie Lenn).
The Irish did break through for three runs in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach. Sara Schoonaert drew a lead off walk and Nicole Wicks moved her to second with a sacrifice bunt. After Carissa Jaquish struck out, Stephanie Brown struck out for a possible third out, but reached first when the pitch was mishandled by IU catcher Tory Yamaguchi. Schoonaert moved to third on the play and scored when Bogado uncorked her only wild pitch of the game.
Nicole deFau then drew a walk to put runners at first and second for Megan Ciolli, who delivered a hit and run single. Both the speedy deFau and Brown scored on the play to put the Irish up 4-0. Booth then worked a one-two-three inning to end the game.
Notre Dame will face Western Kentucky at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.
GAME NOTES: Stephanie Brown ended the first day of the tournament three for seven with two runs scored … Meagan Ruthrauff was three for five on the day with two home runs and four RBI … Megan Ciolli pushed her team-high hit streak to eight games with her RBI single in the seventh inning … Booth claims her fifth victory in her last six appearances and has not lost a game since March 11 … Booth is now 11-3 on the season, while Bogado drops to 10-7.