Feb. 20, 2010
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Leading 7-0 through three innings against Southern Mississippi, Notre Dame gave up six unanswered Golden Eagle runs but held on to defeat the host team, 7-6, Saturday night to start action at the Mizuno Classic. The Irish also defeated Louisiana Tech in the day's opening contest, 2-1, while improving to 3-4 on the season.
Jody Valdivia (2-2) earned one win while leading the Irish from the circle at the Southern Miss Softball Complex. She went the distance against Louisiana Tech, and then notched the save while gracing the rubber on two occasions against Southern Miss. The save dealt Southern Miss (6-1) its first loss of the season.
Notre Dame will wrap up the tournament Sunday (Feb. 21) against Stephen F. Austin at 10 a.m. (ET) with a second game versus Alcorn State at 12:30 p.m.
Valdivia struck out 13 of the 27 batters she faced in the opener with Louisiana Tech (2-2). The righty got the complete-game win while allowing three hits and issued just one walk. Her defense helped strand six Techster runners, as Louisiana Tech's Meghan Krieg (1-1) gave up an unearned run and two hits but was hindered by three of her team's fielding errors.
The lone run of the game came in the bottom of the third. Alexa Maldonado singled to right field and stole second. Sadie Pitzenberger singled and advanced a bag as Maldonado was called out at third on the play. The first of three Techster errors came on Katie Fleury's shot back to the circle, which was good enough for Pitzenberger to plate an unearned run.
Christine Gamboa recorded the Techsters' first hit of the game, a sixth-inning single. Louisiana Tech had two on base in the seventh with one out before Valdivia sent away the next two batters.
Erin Marrone had three hits and three RBI to lead the Irish over the Golden Eagles. Alexia Clay and Heather Johnson each chipped in two RBI while Johnson joined Christine Lux in the two-hit category. In fact, each of the first six batters in the Notre Dame lineup recorded at least one hit, with the Irish totaling eight in the contest.
Fleury, Marrone and Clay each doubled with Johnson tacking on her second home run of the season.
Courtney Ramos (3-1) lasted 1.2 innings for Southern Miss and was tagged by the Irish for four hits and six runs. She faced 12 batters before being pulled for Gabby Luciani, who gave up another four hits and one earned run in 5.1 frames.
The Irish scored their seven runs in the first two innings, with four coming on two hits and one error in the first. Pitzenberger reached on a fielding error to start the game and went to second on Fleury's sacrifice bunt. Pitzenberger would score on Marrone's two-RBI single up the middle. Clay's double to right-center plated the next two Irish tallies.
Fleury's double to left-center started a two-out rally in the second, highlighted by Johnson's homer to left. Lux came through with a single and scored on Marrone's double to right-center.
Southern Miss scored two in the fourth and four more with one out in the sixth, thanks largely in part to a three-RBI double from Megan Hill. Valdivia reentered the contest and blanked the Golden Eagles for the next 1.2 innings.