April 18, 2004
he University of Notre Dame softball team (34-13, 8-0 BIG EAST) swept Providence (25-15-1, 5-7) in doubleheader action at Ivy Field on Sunday afternoon. The Irish won game one 1-0, followed by a 7-1 victory in game two.
The two victories came in decidedly different fashion for the home team, with Heather Booth pitching a brilliant first game to get the shutout win, followed by the Irish offense finally breaking out in game two. Booth moves to 17-5 on the year and 4-0 in conference play with her win on Sunday, in which she allowed three hits and struck out five.
Steffany Stenglein earned the second pitching victory for Notre Dame in game two, going six innings, striking out nine with just two hits allowed (one a home run for Providence – the first BIG EAST earned run of the year allowed by Stenglein). Carrie Wisen finished off the game with a scoreless seventh inning.
On the offensive side, sophomore Sara Schoonaert walked away as the star of the day for the Irish. She was four for six in the two games with four RBI – including the game winner in the first contest on a bases loaded single. In game two she finished three for three with a single, double and triple while driving in three runs – including the game winner.
Notre Dame’s other offensive stand out was junior Megan Ciolli. Ciolli finished the day five for seven with and RBI and run scored.
The Irish will be making a trip to Northwestern for a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 20. The game will begin in Evanston, Ill., at 2 p.m. Notre Dame will be looking to avenge two losses to the Wildcats at home last season.
GAME ONE RECAP:
Notre Dame’s offense came up with six hits in the game off PC starting pitcher Cori Van Dusen – but could not get the big RBI when needed to break the game open. Van Dusen ended up walking four and did not record a strikeout in the first game, as Notre Dame was retired on six pop ups/fly outs and 15 ground balls.
While Van Dusen was working her way out of trouble – Heather Booth was in cruise control for the Irish. The Friars only threatened once in the game, when Jaclyn Treveloni led off the sixth inning with a double. Booth immediately buckled down to strike out the next two Friar batters and escape the inning on a pop up.
Needing to get on the board in the bottom of the sixth, Notre Dame finally was able to put something together. Mallorie Lenn led off the inning with a single up the middle and was replaced by pinch runner Steffany Stenglein. Liz Hartmann then drew a walk, followed by another free pass to Nicole Wicks to load the bases. After Carissa Jaquish bounced into a fielder’s choice (with Stenglein getting forced out at the plate), Sara Schoonaert came through with a solid single to leftfield. Hartmann scored what would turn out to be the winning run, but Wicks was cut down at the plate to limit the Irish to just one run in the inning.
Booth would make sure her first and only lead of the game would stand up., getting a ground ball, pop up and strikeout to end the contest.
GAME TWO RECAP:
Providence called on Van Dusen again in game two, and the ploy worked until a big fifth inning by the Irish. Notre Dame did score first, putting up two runs in the bottom of the second on and RBI double by Schoonaert and a two-base error which allowed the Irish shortstop to score.
Van Dusen helped her own effort in the next inning, hitting a lead off solo home run to cut the Irish lead to 2-1. Van Dusen’s shot just cleared the left-centerfield fence and might have been aided a bit by a very strong wind which was blowing out most of the afternoon.
The score remained unchanged until the Irish bats finally woke up in the fifth inning and Van Dusen started to show signs of fatigue. Nicole deFau led off the fifth with a double into the left-centerfield gap. She soon scored on an RBI single from Megan Ciolli – who moved to second on the throw home. Van Dusen got one out when Meagan Ruthrauff popped up, but Lenn laced a single to centerfield to drive in Ciolli and moved to second on the throw home.
Hartmann was due next but she ended up getting hit by a pitch to put two runners on for Nicole Wicks. Wicks answered the call by crushing a double to leftfield, allowing Lenn to score and Hartmann to move up to third base.
Providence called on Sara Surosky in relief at this point. The first batter she faced was Carissa Jaquish, who bounced a ground ball back to the pitcher. Surosky looked to third, then turned to throw to first. She was slow on the play, however, and Jaquish beat out her eventual effort to first base to load the sacks for Schoonaert.
Shoonaert delivered yet another big hit, driving a single through the middle of the Providence defense for two more RBI on the day. After Stephanie Brown singled, the inning finally ended when deFau (who began the scoring spree) grounded out.
DOUBLEHEADER NOTES: Notre Dame improves its overall record vs. Providence to 19-0- … Sara Schoonaert’s four-hit day moved her batting average from .155 to .181 at the end of the day … Mallorie Lenn was three for six in the two games with one RBI … Lenn caught the first game for Notre Dame, then moved to DP (Jaquish caught game two) … Notre Dame spoiled an opportunity to jump on Providence in the bottom of the first inning in both games … the Irish left the bases loaded in the first contest then left two on in the first inning of game two.