Feb. 28, 2003

Box Score

The University of Notre Dame softball team (3-5) suffered its fifth loss of the season at the Louisiana Classics tournament to Northwestern State (1-7) on Friday afternoon. The Irish will return to action on Friday evening against the host team, Louisiana-Lafayette at 6:30 p.m.

Notre Dame ended up surrendering three runs early in the game before rallying for two runs in the top of the sixth inning. NW State’s Amanda Ortego shut down the Irish in the seventh, however, to earn her first victory of the season. Ortego worked seven innings, giving up eight hits and striking out nine. Nicole deFau led the Irish offensive effort with a three-for-three performance, while Meagan Ruthrauff and Andrea Loman both posted two hits each for Notre Dame.

Irish starting pitcher Carrie Wisen found herself in trouble early in the contest. NW State’s Nicole Martin led off with a double (her first of three hits in the game) and immediately stole second. Sarina Noack singled to second base to score the run and put the Irish down one run early in game.

Lindsey Dansy then posted a bunt single for the Demons to put runners on first and second with no outs. Lindsay Leftwich moved the runners over with a ground ball out to third base. The Notre Dame defense rose up to throw out Noack at home on a fielder’s choice to get one out away from escaping the inning.

Ortego then helped herself out by drilling a ground ball deep the left side hole, Irish short stop Andria Bledoe smothered the ball but had no play at first base. She caught Shay Hunt off the base at second and Alexis Madrid made the tag to get the third out. Unfortunately for the Irish, however, Dansy had scored the second run of the game before the final out was recorded.

Meagan Ruthrauff led off the second inning with a hit through the right side for Notre Dame and Sara Schoonaert came in to pinch run. Schoonaert was immediately caught stealing and the Notre Dame momentum disappeared.

Northwestern State continued to pound Wisen in the second inning. Krystle Nichols led off with a single but was taken out at second base on a fielder’s choice. Dawn Normand then drew a walk to put runners at first and second and Martin posted her second double of the game to drive in a pinch runner for the third Demon run and drive Wisen out of the game.

Heather Booth was called in for relief and after walking the first batter she faced, struck out Dansy and Leftwich to end the inning.

The Irish were unable to string enough hits together to get back in the game during the third through fifth innings. Nicole deFau singled in the third, Andrea Loman doubled in the fourth and deFau singled in the fifth but they ended up as the only Notre Dame hits in each inning.

The Irish finally broke through in the top of the sixth. Megan Cilolli led off with a single through the right side. After Madrid flied out to left field, Loman doubled into the left-center field gap to score Ciolli. Ruthrauff followed up with her second hit of the game, a double to right field, to score Loman. Ruthrauff moved to third on a ground out by Bledsoe and Mallorie Lenn struck out to end the inning and the Irish scoring threat.

NW State scratched a hit in the sixth, but Booth got out of the inning on a fine defensive play by Loman on a line drive.

Down to their final three outs, Notre Dame would get a one-out single from deFau before Liz Hartmann and Megan Ciolli both struck out swinging to end the game.

GAME NOTES: Heather Booth ended up working 4.2 innings with three hits and five strikeouts … Notre Dame’s one, three and four hitters had five of the team’s eight hits … Ruthrauff was batting clean up for the first time this season.