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    Notre Dame Drops Valentine's Day Heartbreaker To No. 1 Washington

    FIGHTING IRISH Junior Katie Fleury had Notre Dam'es only hit Sunday against No. 1 Washington.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Junior Katie Fleury had Notre Dam'es only hit Sunday against No. 1 Washington.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Feb. 14, 2010

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    TEMPE, Ariz. - Notre Dame stayed stride-for-stride with No. 1 Washington and held the defending national champions scoreless for all but one inning Sunday at the Tempe Sports Complex. And that one inning happened to be a five-run output by the Huskies as Notre Dame was blanked, 5-0, at the Tempe Sports Complex.

    Reigning National Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie (3-0) tossed a complete-game one-hitter aided by a solo home run in the fifth. She struck out 13 Irish (1-4) batters without a walk and was joined in the home run department by Jenn Salling. Lawrie and Salling hit back-to-back jacks in the fifth, with Salling's coming in the form of a grand slam to break open a scoreless game and put Washington ahead, 4-0.

    The defeat was Notre Dame's third to a Pacific-10 Conference team in as many days as the Irish finished with a 1-4 record at Arizona State's season-opening Kajikawa Classic. It was also the third loss for Notre Dame in four tries all-time against a top-ranked opponent.

    Washington (5-0) totaled five hits, led by Kimi Pohlman who finished with a pair. The Huskies were stifled at times by the Irish defense, which hustled around the field to strand eight Washington runners.

    Lawrie retired the Irish side in the first with Notre Dame responded by stranding a pair of Huskies on base as Jody Valdivia (1-2) record a strikeout and induced a pair of Washington pop-ups.

    Katie Fleury halted Lawrie's no-hitter in the top of the fourth with a one-out single through the right side of the infield. Fleury was caught stealing two pitches later and Heather Johnson became Lawrie's eighth strikeout victim to end the inning.

    Salling flew out to left to start the bottom of the fourth although the next three Huskies got on base courtesy of two walks and a hit-by-pitch. Valdivia kept her cool by fanning Shawna Wright and Hooch Fagaly, leaving the scoreboard blank to escape the inning.

    Amy Buntin was Notre Dame's second base runner of the game, reaching first on a dropped third strike in the top of the fifth. Kristina Wright slammed the next pitch to deep left-center but the two-out rocket could not carry enough to clear the fence and ended the inning.

    Alyson McWherter was issued a lead-off walk in the bottom of the fifth to get the Huskies' top of the lineup back around to the plate. Pohlman doubled to left-center as McWherter was held on third. Bailey Stenson knocked a fielder's choice back to Valdivia and Salling made the Irish pay with a grand slam. Lawrie completed the back-to-back effort with a solo shot to center.

    Valdivia was replaced by Brittany O'Donnell in the sixth after giving up five earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts in 5.0 innings. O'Donnell struck out the first Husky batter she faced and kept Washington scoreless in her 1.0 inning of relief effort.

    Notre Dame will now travel to the Southern Miss Mizuno Classic (Feb. 20-21) in Hattiesburg, Miss.

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