Feb. 15, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Senior Linda Kohan notched a pair of hits Sunday in a non-conference matchup against Wisconsin at the Bama Bash, but the Badgers' Letty Olivarez let loose with a two-run homer in the bottom of the third to hand the Notre Dame softball team a 2-0 defeat. Notre Dame drops to 1-3 on the season while Wisconsin improves to 2-6.
After leaving the University of Alabama Softball Complex, Notre Dame will stay on the road for a Feb. 20-22 trip to California to take part in Stanford's Nike Invitational. The Irish open the tournament Friday against Sacramento State and the host Cardinal.
Jody Valdivia (0-2) was a force early for the Irish, and got some help from her defense by leaving four runners on base with three strikeouts through the first two innings. Valdivia allowed two hits and one earned run in 3.1 innings of work, with Brittney Bargar mopping up the final 2.2 innings without allowing a hit. Both pitchers struck out four.
Wisconsin's Katie Soderberg tripled in the fourth but got stuck in a pickle while trying to steal home one batter later, which saved the Irish from falling into a three-run deficit.
Kohan doubled in the second inning and singled to start off the fifth. Alexia Clay was hit by a pitch and both she and Kohan advanced on a wild toss by Olivarez, who had just taken over for Leah Vanevenhoven (2-1) in the circle. Christine Lux popped a fly into foul territory down the right field line, which was fielded and thrown home in an effort to relieve Kohan. After the umpire called Kohan safe, the Wisconsin catcher tagged her on the way back to the dugout, prompting a disputed out call that would eventually be upheld.
The sixth inning started when Brianna Jorgensborg sent the first pitch to left-center for a single, but she became one of three Irish players left on base.
Vanevenhoven tossed 4.0 innings for the Badgers in the shutout win, with Olivarez getting the save after facing nine batters in the final 3.0 frames.