April 27, 2004
The University of Notre Dame softball team (40-14) came back to win the second game of a doubleheader 2-1, after dropping the first contest 3-1 to visiting DePaul (21-23-1). The Blue Demons, arguably the most successful team against Notre Dame, nabbed game one behind a great pitching performance by Sarah Martz, scattering five Notre Dame hits and allowing just one run. In the process, DePaul grabbed its 10th win at Ivy Field in the series history.
Notre Dame was uncharacteristically sloppy with the softball in the first game. After matching DePaul’s first run with a single run of its own in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Meagan Ruthrauff, starting pitcher Heather Booth committed a throwing error in the sixth inning which allowed the Blue Demon winning run to score. The throwing error also allowed the DePaul runner to reach second base, and pinch runner Ashley Parker scored one batter later on an RBI single by Jessica Evans.
The Irish were able to get two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, but designated player Carissa Jaquish grounded out to second base to end the game.
DePaul jumped out to a 1-0 lead in game two on a solo home run by Sarah Douglas with one out in the second inning. That would be all the offense DePaul would be able to put together against Irish starting pitcher Steffany Stenglein. Stenglein earned her seventh-straight victory with a five-hit one-run four-strikeout performance.
She received a bit of run support in the third inning when the Irish finally put together a string of hits, but ran themselves out of more runs with some poor decisions on the base paths.
Designated player Carrie Wisen singled to centerfield to begin the third, her first hit of the year which broke an 0-15 slump to begin the ’04 season. Sara Schoonaert attempted to move Wisen into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, but DePaul first basemen Saskia Roberson threw the ball wide of first base. Wisen moved to third on the two-base error, with Schoonaert reaching scoring position at second base.
Stephanie Brown then delivered the hardest hit ball by the Irish on the day, drilling a double over the DePaul centerfielder’s head. Wisen and Schoonaert easily scored on the play, but Brown turned too far around second base. The Blue Demons threw behind her and tagged the Irish second basemen for the first out of the inning.
Nicole deFau, the reigning BIG EAST Player of the Week, posted an infield single to continue the inning. Megan Ciolli followed by bouncing a single up the middle to put runners at first and second. Ruthrauff was due next and lifted a fly ball to leftfield – which for a second looked like it might drop in the gap. While the ball was in the air, deFau drifted a bit too far off second base. Martz, now playing leftfield for the Blue Demons, streaked across to make the play and throw a strike to second base – turning a double play to end the inning.
Notre Dame reaches the 40-win plateau for the fifth time in the last six seasons and eighth time in school history … Nicole deFau continued her hot hitting in the doubleheader, going three for six at the plate … Meagan Ruthrauff was two for three in the first game with an RBI … Carrie Wisen enjoyed her first two-hit game of the career after getting the call at designated player in game two … she singled and doubled in the contest.