March 2, 2008
FULLERTON, Calif. - For the fourth time this season the University of Notre Dame softball team was defeated by a single run when it fell to Cal State Fullerton, 1-0, on Sunday at Anderson Family Field in the final game of the Worth Invitational. The non-conference defeat backed Notre Dame's overall record to 6-6 heading in to Tuesday's (March 4) game at UC Davis.
CS Fullerton (11-7-1) had a chance to take an early lead in the bottom of the second but the Irish defense stepped up to make several clutch plays. Lauren Lupinetti dropped a single just past the glove of a diving Katie Laing, moving Sheila Holguin from first to third. Jenna Wheeler was hit by a Brittney Bargar (5-4) pitch with one out to load the bases. But Bargar provoked a pair of groundouts to third baseman Linda Kohan to relieve the last two Titans of the inning.
Bargar would be tagged with the loss but did not surrender an earned run in 6.0 innings from the circle. The Titans' Christine Hiner (6-3) earned the shutout win after going the distance while allowing three hits.
Catcher Sadie Pitzenberger registered the first hit of the game for the visitors, a third-inning single off the glove of shortstop Courtney Martinez. Erin Marrone and Laing also tacked on hits for the Irish.
The defense stayed under par for the Irish in the bottom of the third. Jessica Doucette's screamer was snagged at third by Kohan, who made the play despite staring into a blaring sun. Not to be outdone, first baseman Christine Lux hitched an equally impressive catch on the next play by laying out in foul territory for the out while receiving a face full of dirt.
It was a different inning but the same story one frame later for Notre Dame. Holguin singled to start things off and moved all the way to third on Lupenetti's sacrifice bunt and a passed ball. Wheeler grounded to Laing at second who held Holguin at third before making the out. Then Anderson ripped a grounder to third that was vacuumed by Kohan who made the throw to first from her knees just in time for the third out.
The Notre Dame defensive corps left a pair of Titan runners on base in the bottom of the sixth and stranded a total of eight in the contest, five of which were in scoring position.