March 30, 2008
CHICAGO, Ill. – Freshman Jody Valdivia pitched a five-hit shutout to help the University of Notre Dame softball team defeat No. 17 DePaul in the backend of Sunday’s BIG EAST Conference doubleheader at Cacciatore Stadium. The 2-0 win came after Notre Dame dropped a 2-1 decision to open the day.
Valdivia (5-4) got the win and went 5.2 innings and struck out three with Brittney Bargar stepping in to finish the final 1.1 frames to earn her first save of the 2008 campaign. The duo teamed to end DePaul’s 25-game regular season conference winning streak that dated back to April of 2006. It was Notre Dame’s first win at DePaul (20-10 overall, 1-1 BIG EAST) since the 2005 season.
Linda Kohan crushed her first homer of the season over the centerfield fence to put Notre Dame (17-10 overall, 1-1 BIG EAST) on top, 1-0, in the second inning of the doubleheader finale.
Katie Fleury worked the count for a walk in the top of the fourth and stole second before scoring Notre Dame’s second run of the game when Erin Marrone’s fly to shallow left was bobbled, giving time for Fleury to trek in from second.
Lauren Frankiewicz (7-3) fanned nine Irish batters in the complete-game effort while taking the loss for DePaul. She also had a game-high two hits.
Despite out-hitting DePaul without allowing an earned run, Notre Dame was not able to overcome the Blue Demons’ late-inning game-one rally.
Bargar (12-6) retired the first nine batters and did not allow a hit until the bottom of the fourth in her four-hit effort. The junior ace went 6.2 innings and walked three without surrendering an earned run. She matched a career-high mark with 12 strikeouts and at one point fanned five consecutive batters. The win went to Becca Heteniak (10-5) who struck out seven and left the field without giving up an earned scored to stay undefeated from the circle in career BIG EAST regular season play (11-0).
Notre Dame got its score in the top of the third from Sarah Smith. Smith reached base when shortstop Shea Warren bobbled a flyball and scored when the Blue Demon defense mishandled Christine Lux’s infield shot.
The game was tied after six frames when DePaul’s Marcy Wilus connected on the second of her team-high two hits to bring home Sandy Vojik, who was on base courtesy of an Irish error.
Another Irish error and a pair of walks left the bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Jackie Tarulli-Fisher singled to right-center to drive in the winning run.
Sadie Pitzenberger led Notre Dame with two the team’s five hits. Both teams left eight runners on base and combined to commit five errors in the field.
The Irish return home for an April 1 (Tuesday) meeting with Ball State. The game will be played at Ivy Field and is slated to start at 5 p.m. (ET).