April 13, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Ten runs on nine hits in the final game of Sunday’s BIG EAST Conference doubleheader at Melissa Cook Stadium helped the University of Notre Dame softball team earn a two-game split with Villanova. The 10-5 win followed a 4-1 setback to start the day, but it was enough to give the program its 200th BIG EAST regular-season win, as the Irish are now 200-38 (.820) in league affairs since becoming members in 1996.
Notre Dame’s doubleheader against Rutgers has been rescheduled for Monday (April 14). The two games will be played at Melissa Cook Stadium beginning at 11 a.m. (ET).
All the Wildcats (15-17-1 overall, 4-8 BIG EAST) needed was a three-spot in the top of the second to open the day, answering one run by Notre Dame (25-11 overall, 6-2 BIG EAST) in the bottom of the first. The Irish got their run when Katie Laing registered the first-ever hit in Melissa Cook Stadium – a single up the middle – to cross Katie Fleury from second.
Sarah Smith had two hits and one stolen base to lead the Irish. Both Jackie Dempsey and Meghan Morese tallied two hits each for Villanova.
Brittney Bargar (18-7) suffered the loss, giving up four earned runs on eight hits. She struck out seven, while Laura Determan (7-6) did not allow an earned run and fanned eight to get the win in the complete-game effort. For Bargar, it was the first game she allowed more than one earned run since a 5-2 loss at No. 7 Florida on Feb. 24.
The defeat was also the first time Notre Dame dropped a BIG EAST home opener since 2000, when Connecticut handed the Irish a 4-1 loss on March 31.
Each of the squads stole three bases but 10 Irish runners were left on base and four different Wildcats scored one run apiece.
Villanova kept its bats swinging to start off the second game and put up two runs in the top of first, collecting two hits in that period which included Morese’s two-run homer.
Three Irish runners were on base in the bottom half of the first with one out when Linda Kohan shot a grounder between Danielle Maricle’s legs which found its way to the fence to bring in three scores.
A two-inning Irish scoring drought was snapped to bring the home team within one, 5-4, when Laing singled home Fleury from second in the bottom of the fourth. Five more runs would follow as Notre Dame batted through the order. Erin Marrone drove in Laing and Smith when the bases were loaded by dropping a single into right. Christine Lux and Marrone scored a bit later after Beth Northway ripped a two-out double down the leftfield line, leaving the count at 9-5 in favor of Notre Dame.
One more run in the sixth sealed the deal for the Irish. Lux walked and went to second on a wild pitch by Megan Hord. After Jorgensborg singled to right she jetted around to steal second one play later. When Jorgensborg made her move, throw from the Wildcat catcher sailed into the outfield which allowed Lux to score from third.
Multi-hit efforts came from Smith and Laing in game two with 2-for-4 performances. Fleury, Smith, Laing, and Lux all crossed the plate two times. Eryn Teague went 2-for-3 for the Wildcats and added a stolen base.
Jody Valdivia started the game for Notre Dame and last 1.1 innings, giving up six hits and four earned runs. Bargar took the circle for the rest of the day and let one earned run score in 5.2 frames, striking out for and surrendering one hit. Starting the game and taking the loss for Villanova was Nicci Ward (4-7), who went 3.2 innings and scattered seven hits and nine runs.