April 1, 2005
The University of Notre Dame softball team (17-8) won its sixth straight game Thursday afternoon 10-0 over the University of Loyola Chicago (7-14). The Irish pounded out a season-high 16 hits in the game, while junior Heather Booth ended up one out away from pitching her first career solo no-hitter.
Booth, who combined with teammate Carrie Wisen for a five-inning perfect game on Wednesday against Valparaiso, surrendered just one hit to Loyola’s Tricia Oberhaus with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Booth ended up striking out three and walking three in the game, her third shutout of the season.
The Irish offense was led by senior All-American Megan Ciolli, who finished three for four with three runs scored and two RBI. Sophomore Stephanie Brown also had three hits and an RBI, while sophomore Katie Laing, junior Meagan Ruthrauff and senior Carrie Wisen all posted two hits in the contest.
Notre Dame will return to action on the road this weekend at Rutgers (Saturday) and at Villanova (Sunday), the first BIG EAST Conference doubleheaders of the season for the Irish.
Notre Dame notched one hit over the first two innings, but finally got on the scoreboard in the third. Junior Sara Schoonaert led off with a solid single up the middle and was forced out on a ground out by Stephanie Brown. Freshman Katie Laing followed with another force-play ground out, but she stole second on the next pitch to get in scoring position for Ciolli (who singled in her first at bat).
Ciolli came through by drilling a double to leftfield, just missing a home run by a few feet. Laing easily scored on the play and Ciolli soon joined her in the dugout when Meagan Ruthrauff lifted an RBI single into leftfield. Hartmann popped out to end the inning and the Irish had jumped ahead 2-0 on the scoreboard.
Designated player Carrie Wisen posted her second single of the game in the fourth inning, but she was stranded by two ground outs and a deep fly ball by Schoonaert.
While the Irish offense banged out six hits in the first four innings, Booth was cruising along – retiring the first 12 batters she faced.
The Irish added to their run total in the fifth inning, but a base running error cost the Irish a shot at possibly two more runs in the inning. Brown led off the fifth with a bunt single and moved to second on a double into the left-centerfield gap by the hot-hitting Laing. Laing eventually scored the fourth run of the game for Notre Dame on a wild pitch. Brown then scored at home on a great slide at the plate after an infield single by Ciolli – the senior captain’s second RBI of the game.
Loyola starting pitcher Mia Pangere began to tire for Loyola and walked the next two batters (Ruthrauff, Hartmann) to load the bases for Carissa Jaquish (who replaced Wisen as the DP). Jaquish came through with a single through the left side, scoring Ciolli. The Rambler defense had trouble with the ball for an instant, prompting Ruthrauff to attempt to score from second base. Loyola eventually recovered, however, and after two run downs, caught both Ruthrauff and Hartmann off their respective bases. The put out was scored short stop, catcher, third base, second base, short stop – and the double play immediately ended the danger for Pangere. She retired Gessica Hufnagle on a ground ball to end the inning.
Notre Dame’s sixth and runs came off two sacrifice flies from Hartmann and Jaquish in the top of the seventh. Ciolli led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a double into the left-centerfield gap by Ruthrauff. Ciolli scored on a fly ball to centerfield by Hartmann, while Ruthrauff strolled home on fly ball to rightfield by Jaquish.
Hufnagle kept the inning alive with a sharp single through the left side, followed by a walk to Nicole Wicks. Schoonaert drove in Hufnagle with her second hit of the game, a single to leftfield. Brown kept the hit streak alive with a single to centerfield, scoring Wicks with Notre Dame’s ninth run. Laing then made it an even 10 runs for the Irish with an RBI single to leftfield. The inning finally ended with the hitter who started the seventh with a walk – Ciolli – who grounded out to second.