April 16, 2005
The University of Notre Dame softball team moved its win streak to 15 games with a 1-0 victory at Providence (25-11) on Saturday afternoon. The Irish and Friars will immediately play game two of their doubleheader.
Notre Dame’s run was scored unearned in the third inning, but the story of the game was another brilliant pitching performance by senior Steffany Stenglein. The righthander struck out a personal best 15 Friars in game one, coming three outs away from a no-hitter. Providence’s Shannon Garvin broke up the no-hit bid leading off the top of the seventh with a line drive to the gap in right-centerfield. Notre Dame’s Megan Ciolli made a great attempt for the ball, but it glanced off her glove for the hit.
Stenglein was not rattled by the hit, however, as she came back to get her 14th and 15th strikeout sandwiched around a line out to third base.
Notre Dame’s 15-game win streak, rated third best in the nation entering the week, will be put on the line in game two when junior Heather Booth takes to the circle for the Irish.
Notre Dame scored the first and only run of the game in the third inning, keyed by the bottom of the Irish lineup. Designated player Carrie Wisen led off the inning with a single up the middle and was replaced by pinch runner Sarah Smith. After Mallorie Lenn failed twice to move Smith to second base with a slap bunt, the Irish catcher fouled out to the catcher for the first out of the inning.
Junior shortstop Sara Schoonaert was due next and she laid down a bunt to Providence starting pitcher Nicole Bartholomew. Bartholomew sailed the throw to first over Jackie Treveloni’s head, sending Smith to third and Schoonaert to second on the two-base error.
Back to the top of the order, Stephanie Brown drove in Smith with a sacrifice fly to leftfield. Schoonaert attempted to move to third on the play and was eventually run down by the Friars to end the inning, but the Irish were able to post the all-important first run of the game.
Notre Dame missed out on another scoring opportunity with some over-aggressive base running in the sixth inning. Mallorie Lenn doubled to lead off the inning and was replaced by pinch runner Gessica Hufnagle. Schoonaert followed with a short fly ball to centerfield and Hufnagle attempted to move to third base with one out, but Providence’s Jackie Karsnia made a perfect throw to gun down Hufnagle for the double play. Brown then popped out to end the inning.
Another possible insurance run opportunity was spoiled in the top of the seventh for Notre Dame. Middleton led off with her second hit of the game – a solid single to centerfield. Megan Ciolli moved her over with a sacrifice bunt, but Meagan Ruthrauff lined out to an unassisted double play by Providence’s Kalena Peterson.
The single run was all Stenglein would need in the game, however. The Irish ace sat down six consecutive Friars on strikes during the first, second and third innings and also struck out five straight during the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. A walk to Jackie Karsnia in the sixth inning spoiled the perfect game before Garvin’s hit eliminated the no-hitter opportunity.
GAME NOTES: Steffany Stenglein struck out a career-best 15 Providence batters on Saturday, marking the ninth time she has hit double-digit strikeouts this season … Stenglein has now posted at least nine stikeouts in eight of her last nine starts … Kellie Middleton led the Irish offense with two hits in game one and stole second base (she was thrown out at third for her first caught stealing of the season).