April 26, 2003
Mother Nature tried to wreak havoc with the University of Notre Dame softball team (30-11, 11-0) yet again. This time, the rain held off for the Irish to get in a key BIG EAST Conference victory 11-0 in five innings over Boston College (25-15, 9-2) on Saturday afternoon. Game one was played through a steady light rain, but there was no doubt as to who would come out victorious. Notre Dame piled up five runs on three hits and two Boston College errors in the top of the first to jump out to a five-run lead and never look back. The second game of the doubleheader was cancelled due to rain, making it at least the eighth game the Irish have lost due to inclement weather this season.
Senior first base Lisa Mattison starred for Notre Dame once again, going three for three with four RBI, including a two-run homer in the first inning. Freshman catcher Mallorie Lenn, batting second in the lineup due to the loss of Megan Ciolli to injury, went two for four with two runs scored. Freshman DP Meagan Ruthrauff was perfect offensively, going three for three with an RBI.
On the pitching side, freshman Heather Booth worked a complete-game one-hitter, shutting down a potent Eagle offense. Booth did walk five batters, but did not allow the walks to come back and hurt her in the scoring column. She struck out four batters in five innings of work as well.
The Irish drove three-time BIG EAST pitcher of the week Kim Ryan out of the game after just two-thirds of an inning. Alexis Madrid, batting lead off in Ciolli’s absence, walked to begin the game and moved to second when Lenn slap-bunt singled to third base to put two runners on. Andrea Loman moved them over with a fly ball to right field.
Madrid eventually scored on a wild pitch from Ryan and Ruthrauff drew a walk to put runners at first and second. Both runners then moved up on another wild pitch from Ryan. The second Notre Dame run scored when Lenn came home on a sacrifice fly by Andria Bledsoe. Mattison followed by drilling her first-inning home run, scoring herself and Ruthrauff and driving Ryan out of the game.
Tekae Malandris came in for relief and gave up a single to Liz Hartmann and advanced to second on a passed ball. Nicole deFau then drew the third walk of the inning and Kellie Middleton reached on an error by Malandris to load the bases. Malandris was then pulled in favor Michelle Daly. The third Eagle pitcher uncorked yet another wild pitch which led to Hartmann scoring Notre Dame’s fifth run of the inning and Madrid flied out to end the inning.
Jacqui Goodchild led off BC’s first inning with a walk, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Cara Blumfield then grounded out to short and Goodchild was caught stealing third base to end the inning.
Notre Dame tacked on three more runs in the second inning when Loman singled and was replaced by pinch runner Sara Schoonaert (Loman had fouled a pitch off her ankle earlier in the game, so the Irish wanted to limit any physical stress on the all-star candidate). Schoonaert moved to second on a single from Ruthrauff and after Bledsoe walked, she scored (along with Ruthrauff) on a double from Mattison. Bledsoe scored the third run of the inning on the fourth Boston College wild pitch of the game.
While Notre Dame added one more run in the third, fourth and fifth innings, Boston College could not solve Booth to get on the scoreboard.
The rest of the Irish scoring was provided by a Kellie Middleton solo home run in the third inning, a Hartmann RBI fielder’s choice in the fourth and a Ruthrauff RBI single in the fifth.
Notre Dame heads to Storrs, Conn., tomorrow for a doubleheader with Connecticut at 11 a.m.
GAME NOTES: Saturday’s game was one of the few played in the BIG EAST due to a rain system in the east coast area … the second game will not be replayed this season … Notre Dame should see the Eagles again in two weeks at the BIG EAST Championship … Mattison belted her career-best fifth home run of the season … Mattison also reached a career seasons-best with 28 RBI already this season … three of Kellie Middleton’s 14 hits this season have been home runs … Heather Booth improves to 16-5 on the season with a 1.62 ERA and eight complete games.