Feb. 14, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Sophomores Katie Fleury and Sadie Pitzenberger each tallied two hits in the first of two games on Saturday to open day-two action of the Bama Bash, boosting the Notre Dame softball team to a 2-1 non-conference win over East Carolina. On the latter end of the twinbill, Notre Dame fell to No. 1 Alabama by a 10-0 count.
Notre Dame (1-2) wraps up the Bama Bash on Sunday against Wisconsin. Game time has been changed from 11:00 a.m. (CT) to 10:00 a.m.
East Carolina (4-2) showed some aggression on the base paths in the second frame. Charina Sumner singled and stole second, and then tried to make her way home on Sarah Bibee's bloop single to shallow right. An alert Erin Marrone charge in to scoop the ball and delivered a rope to catcher Alexia Clay, who nailed Sumner at the plate.
Notre Dame stretched the field in the bottom of the third, starting with Pitzenberger's second hit in as many at-bats which traveled down the left field line. Two batters later, Fleury went opposite field to single Pitzenberger home.
Angel Barrella walked to start the sixth inning for the Pirates and eventually scored on a two-out infield knock by Cristen Aona.
Tied at 1-1, Fleury belted a solo home run over the left field fence to put the Irish back on top in the bottom of the sixth.
East Carolina sent a trio pinch hitters to the plate in an attempt to foil Brittney Bargar (1-1) in the bottom of the seventh. But the senior right-hander struck out two of the three to extinguish the threat. The win went to Bargar (1-1) after she tossed 7.0 innings without an earned run while fanning seven batters. Toni Paisley (3-1) shouldered her first loss of the campaign, giving up four hits and a pair of earned runs.
Alabama (6-0) had two on base with two outs in the top of the first when Whitney Larsen and her big bat stepped to the plate. Larsen battled off a dozen pitches before driving a deep ball to right, which Marrone tracked just in time to make an acrobatic catch. Marrone would also add a fifth-inning single for Notre Dame.
The draw was cracked in the top of the second when Amanda Locke sent a 2-2 pitch to left-center for a solo home run. Cassandra Reilly-Boccia doubled home a pair of Crimson Tide runners, pushing the count to 3-0 in favor of Alabama after the top of the third. Kellie Eubanks singled up the middle to help plate two more runs in the inning.
The Crimson Tide posted a five-spot in the fifth inning to close the curtains. Alabama finished with 10 hits, while Notre Dame totaled five hits but committed three errors.
Jody Valdivia (0-1) gave up 10 runs - eight earned - in 5.0 innings, but the second-year hurler showed signs of maturity by getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning while facing the heart of the Alabama lineup. Charlotte Morgan (3-0) stayed perfect with the shutout win. She faced 19 batters and struck out three.
Sunday's action at the University of Alabama Softball Complex can be tracked live at UND.com. For up-to-the-minute scores and highlights, sign up for IRISH ALERTS text messaging services at UND.com.