March 2, 2013
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The University of Notre Dame softball team continued its offensive surge, blasting five home runs over two games to defeat Boston College 14-3 in five innings and Georgia Tech 6-2 Saturday at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The Irish (10-5) logged 10 extra base hits on the day, while holding opponents to nine total hits in two contests. Notre Dame also racked up 39 total bases.
Emilee Koerner finished with a .667 batting average (4-for-6), two doubles, a triple, a home run and five RBI, while Lauren Stuhr chipped in two home runs against Georgia Tech (10-11). Kathryn Lux (Boston College) and Cassidy Whidden (Georgia Tech) added home runs for the Irish.
Brittany O'Donnell (5-1) cruised in game one against Boston College (4-5), allowing one earned run while striking out six Golden Eagle hitters in a complete game victory. Laura Winter (4-4) was equally impressive in game two, allowing four hits and striking out nine Georgia Tech hitters in seven full innings.
Notre Dame returns to action Sunday at 11:15 a.m. against LIU-Brooklyn at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
--Notre Dame vs. Boston College--
Emilee Koerner continued her hot string at the plate, lacing a two-out triple to the wall in right field off Boston College starter Andrea Filler (4-5). Filler escaped the jam when Laura Winter bounced a hard-hit ball back to the circle for the inning's final out.
The Irish broke out in the bottom of the second, scoring seven runs. Lauren Stuhr worked a full-count walk and Cassidy Whidden was hit by a pitch with one out. Kathryn Lux drove an RBI single up the middle to score Stuhr and give the Irish a 1-0 lead. A Chloe Saganowich walk loaded the bases for Jenna Simon. An error in the field by Eagle shortstop CJ Chirichigno allowed both Whidden and Lux to score, and extended the Notre Dame advantage to 3-0. Kelsey Thornton was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Koerner. Koerner deposited a 1-0 Filler offering over the fence in right center field for a grand slam, vaulting the Irish in front 7-0.
Notre Dame starter Brittany O'Donnell finished off her third scoreless frame in the top of the third inning, striking out Nicole Koszowski and retiring Jessie Daulton and Megan Cooley on ground outs.
O'Donnell hung another Boston College zero in the top of the fourth inning, striking out Stephanie Lord for the stanza's final out.
The momentum continued for the Irish in the bottom of the fourth inning. Micaela Arizmendi crushed a double to left center field, scoring Katey Haus and Megan Sorlie to up the advantage to 11-0. Consecutive RBI singles from Simon and Kelsey Thornton made it 13-0 in favor of the Irish. Pinch hitter Monica Torres roped a double down the right field line for her first career hit and RBI to cap the Notre Dame scoring at 14 runs (14-0).
--Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech--
Laura Winter cruised through the first six Georgia Tech batters, striking out four Yellow Jackets during a pair of 1-2-3 frames in the first and second inning. Winter struck out the side in the top half of the second, getting Maddie Lionberger and Karly Fullem swinging before freezing Courtney Ziese looking.
The Yellow Jackets had a pair reach in the top of the second inning, as Caitlyn Coffey was hit by a pitch and Ashley Thomas singled through the left side. Winter froze Morgan Taylor and Hope Rush consecutively on 2-2 pitches to escape the jam.
Lionberger broke the scoreless tie with a solo home run to right center field in the top of the fourth inning, giving Georgia Tech a 1-0 lead. Winter induced the Yellow Jackets into a ground out and foul out to cap the inning.
Notre Dame countered in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Lauren Stuhr sent a 1-1 offering from Ashley Clifton (0-2) screaming over the wall in left field for her second home run of the season, tying the game at 1-all.
With two Georgia Tech players out in the top of the fifth inning, Thomas clocked a deep fly ball to center field. Emilee Koerner ran through the center field fence and hung on to the ball to complete a miraculous catch, robbing Georgia Tech of an extra base hit.
The Irish made the most of the great defensive play in the bottom of the fifth. Chloe Saganowich dropped a two-out single into right field, scoring Jenna Simon and Carly Piccinich to vault Notre Dame in front 3-1.
Stuhr kept her hot day at the plate going in the bottom of the sixth inning, hitting a home run to straight away center field. Stuhr's second long ball of the game upped the Irish cushion to 4-1. Koerner followed with a double to the gap in right center. Georgia Tech reliever Kylie Kleinschmidt retired the first two hitters she faced before pinch hitter Cassidy Whidden crushed an 0-1 pitch to straight away center, clearing the wall for a two-run homer to put Notre Dame in front 6-1.