Feb. 25, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Notre Dame used eight hits to produce a 6-3 win over Penn State and used 12 more to down host North Carolina, 6-5, for another non-conference softball victory Saturday at Anderson Stadium.
Alexa Maldonado and Lauren Stuhr each homered in Notre Dame’s opening game of the Carolina Classic with Maldonado adding a second in the latter contest. Dani Miller also added her third home run of the season against the 24th-ranked Tar Heels (9-1).
Laura Winter (1-3) notched a win and a save, using 8.0 innings and 14 strikeouts across the two games to complete the deed.
With the luxury of a strong wind into centerfield, the Irish collected 20 hits on the day and did not commit a single fielding error.
Notre Dame (3-4) returns to action at 9:00 a.m. (ET) on Sunday to face Minnesota before once again matching up with the Tar Heels to end the weekend.
Penn State (1-4) committed an infield error in the first, second and third innings to put an Irish runner on base, though all three were left stranded.
Neither team managed a hit until Alyssa Renwick dropped a single into left to begin the bottom of the third. Lauren Yao laid down a sacrifice bunt which moved Renwick all the way to third and Shannon Hutchinson singled and hustled to second to put two runners in scoring position. With one out in her favor, Winter went into shutdown mode and struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Miller ripped a single in the fourth for Notre Dame’s first hit of the contest and the Irish had to wait until the fifth to get on the board.
Stuhr singled to center, Kathryn Lux laid down a sacrifice bunt and Chloe Saganowich singled up the middle to push across the first Irish score. Maldonado stepped in to smack a two-run homer to put the Irish ahead, 3-0.
The Nittany Lions knotted it at 3-3 in the home half of the fifth on a Lisa Akamine two-RBI double.
Stuhr saved her three-run dinger for the sixth to give Notre Dame the lead for good. Stuhr finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI and was one of seven Irish players with at least one hit.
Seven of the eight hits given up by Winter were singles. Winter struck out a career-high 13 batters and walked one in 7.0 frames.
Alyssa Renwick and Shannon Hutchinson each had two hits for Penn State. Akamine (1-2) gave up five earned runs on seven hits in 5.0 innings for the loss.
Two three-run outputs in the first game gave way for two three-run outputs in the second game.
Multi-hit efforts by Maldonado, Miller, Saganowich and Amy Buntin helped the Irish total 12 hits off Tar Heel ace Lori Spingola (6-1) to hand North Carolina its first loss of the season.
Saganowich was responsible for starting the Irish rally in the third with her single up the middle. Jenna Simon then followed with a single and both players would score when Buntin roped a two-RBI double. Miller singled home Buntin to give the Irish a 3-0 lead.
The lead doubled in the fifth after Brittany O’Donnell (2-1) left the bases loaded in the fourth after two of her four strikeouts on the day.
Maldonado smacked a one-out bomb to right and Buntin’s doubled came before Miller went yard to deep center.
North Carolina crossed a run in the fifth and the Irish left two runners on base in the sixth.
Trailing 6-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Kelli Wheeler hit a solo home run to left for the Tar Heels and Haleigh Dickey went yard with a three-run shot to make it a one-run contest.
In stepped Winter, who retired the next three batters in order for her second save of the season.