April 23, 2003
The University of Notre Dame softball team (28-11) dominated Valparaiso (7-27) 11-0 and 15-1 (both games in five innings) on Wednesday afternoon. The Irish put up 29 team hits in the two games and 26 total runs, just missing the team record for runs in a doubleheader. Notre Dame scored 28 runs against Bethel College in two games during the 1989 season.
There were a number of noteworthy events in the two games and here are just a few of the highlights. Senior third base Andrea Loman became the first Notre Dame player to hit a home run over the Ivy Field scoreboard in game one, putting up the first of her team’s 11 runs in the contest. Sophomore centerfielder Megan Ciolli ended up with a six for eight afternoon at the plate, reaching a team season high for hits in a game (four in game two) and driving in three runs – and she also hit her third home run of the season.
Current BIG EAST Player of the Week Lisa Mattison continued her hot hitting, going four for seven in the two games with a home run and four RBI.
The offensive superlatives do not end there, but the Irish pitching staff also deserves credit. Freshman Heather Booth started game one and pitched three innings, striking out six while not allowing a run. Jessica Sharron finished off the contest, striking out one. Valparaiso broke up the no-hit bid in the top of the seventh when Tana Barnes managed a lead off infield hit deep into the hole at short stop.
Carrie Wisen started game two for Notre Dame and was not as sharp as she has been lately. Wisen walked three, actually loading the bases in the third (when Valpo scored their only run of the game on a wild pitch). She eventually got out of the jam and gave way to Sharron, who finished off the game with two perfect innings of relief.
Getting back to the Irish offense, the home team put up an incredible 29 hits in just eight innings of offense. Loman’s mammoth home run posted the first two runs of the first game.
In the bottom of the second, Liz Hartmann singled up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice slap bunt by Mallorie Lenn. Nicole deFau singled to drive in Hartmann (moved to second on the throw) and scored one batter later on a Ciolli single (Ciolli also moved to second on the throw). Alexis Madrid followed by bouncing into a fielder’s choice and Loman drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Meagan Ruthrauff then posted yet another single (advance on the throw) allowing Madrid to score and Loman to move to third base. Andria Bledsoe grabbed two RBI next with a single through the left side. Lenn and deFau would eventually post their second hits of the inning (both driving in more runs) as Notre Dame put up eight runs in the bottom of the second.
The 11th Irish run was provided by Mattison, who crushed a home run deep over the leftfield fence for her fourth round tripper of the season.
Game two followed much the same pattern as the first, but this time the third inning saw much of the offense. In a strange twist, all seven runs Notre Dame scored in the third inning of game two were unearned. Valparaiso committed four errors in the inning and the Irish put up just four hits for their seven runs.
Madrid had an RBI double, Ruthrauff an RBI single, Mattison an RBI single, and Wisen a two-RBI double to represent many of the big hits in game two. Ciolli also hit her third home run of the season in the fourth inning.
Notre Dame will be right back in action on Thursday evening at Illinois-Chicago. The Irish and Flames will meet at 6 p.m.
DOUBLEHEADER NOTES: Where to begin? Every starter in each game scored at least one run … Nicole deFau enjoyed her second three-hit game of the year, going three for three with two RBI and a run in game one … Andrea Loman scored five runs in the two games … Andria Bledsoe continued her hot hitting as well, going four for seven with three RBI … Loman, Ciolli and Mattison all extended their hitting streaks to 10 games, just one away from tying Loman for the year’s longest from earlier in the season … Liz Hartmann also has a six-game hit streak going, as she was three for five on the day with an RBI and three runs … five every-day Irish players are now hitting over .300 this season; Loman (.390), Ciolli (.376), Bledsoe (.352), Ruthrauff (.336) and Mattison (.301) … as a team, Notre Dame added .11 points to its batting average, as the Irish are now at .311.