Feb. 16, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. - A pair of close contests turned into losses for the University of Notre Dame softball team Saturday at the Tempe Sports Complex. A back-and-forth battle with Western Kentucky resulted in a 6-5 defeat and a scoreless game through four innings with No. 3 Texas A&M finished with the Aggies pulling out a 4-1 win during day two of the Kajikawa Classic.
The Irish (1-2) fell behind Western Kentucky (3-1) when Lindsay Antone let loose with a solo homer in the bottom of the third. But Notre Dame would make its move in the fifth frame, starting with Ashley Ellis' single to right. Erin Marrone lined a shot off WKU's third baseman to put a pair of Irish runners on base. WKU pulled starting pitcher Jennifer Kempf for Ryan Rogge (1-1) before Sadie Pitzenberger doubled to drive in two scores.
Pitzenberger was snagged out while trying to pick up an extra base on the play. Katie Fleury was hit by a pitch, Katie Laing singled, and Heather Johnson was walked to load the bases for Christine Lux. Lux would fly out to center to advance each of the runners to make it a 3-1 game in favor of Notre Dame.
WKU clawed its way back and loaded the bases in the top of the fifth. With one out, Rebecca Horesky launched a grand slam to put the Hilltoppers back on top, 5-3. Brianna Jorgensborg stopped the bleeding by making an overhead catch at the fence to end the inning.
Pitzenberger led the seventh off with a double but was stranded on base after the next two batters were retired. Facing a 2-2 count, Heather Johnson crushed a two-run homer to left-center to tie the game, 5-5.
The Hilltoppers would plate the game-winner in their half of the seventh inning off an Irish throwing error.
Jody Valdivia (0-1) made her Irish debut from the circle and gave up five hits while striking out nine in the losing effort.
On the backside of Saturday's doubleheader, Notre Dame and Texas A&M held each other scoreless through four innings of play. The Aggies loaded the bases in top of second after a trio of Brittney Bargar (1-1) walks. With two outs, Bargar got herself out of a jam by fanning her third Aggie of the inning to keep the nation's third-ranked team at bat.
Bargar would strikeout nine Aggies in 7.0 innings of work and allowed three earned runs.
Pitcher Amanda Scarborough (3-1) carried a no-hitter through five innings and would limit the Irish to only two hits, also adding a homer in the top of the sixth to put the Aggies up, 4-0. Fleury's two-out single to left broke up the no-no in the bottom of the sixth. Laing would later drive in the lone Irish score with a single that plated Pitzenberger.
Notre Dame returns to the field Sunday against California at 9 a.m. (MT).