March 13, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Freshman Jenna Simon hit a two-out two-RBI single in the top of the seventh inning to send the Notre Dame softball team to a 4-3 win over Loyola Marymount on Tuesday afternoon at Smith Field in Los Angeles.
Trailing 3-2 with three outs remaining in the game, the Irish went to work. Senior Dani Miller opened the inning with a single through the left side. Freshman Emilee Koerner put down a sac bunt to advance pinch runner Jackie Bowe to second. Sophomore Lauren Stuhr put runners at the corners with a single through the right side. After the second out, starting pitcher Laura Winter walked to load the bases, setting the stage for Simon. With a 2-1 count the Granger, Ind., product clocked a single to center field, allowing Bowe and Stuhr to round the bases for the game-tying and game-winning runs.
Winter (5-5) picked up the win, striking out 11 Lion batters in giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits. She also went 1-for-2 at the plate with an RBI. Miller had the only multi-hit day for Notre Dame.
The Lions struck first, scoring a pair of runs in the first inning. Winter struck out Nelson, but a wild pitch put her on first base. Sam Fischer advanced the runner on a single to put runners at first and second. After another strike out, Kathryn Dutton knocked a single to center field that scored Samantha Nelson. A fielding error by center fielder Alexa Maldonado in center field allowed Fischer to come around third for an unearned run and give LMU a 2-0 lead.
Winter helped her cause in the third inning, driving in freshman Katey Haus with a single up the middle. Haus reached base on a bullet double to center field.
Miller cracked her team-leading fifth homer of the season to knot the score at two in the fourth inning.
The homer was Miller's 37th of her career, moving her into second place in the career record books. She surpassed Jarrah Myers (1999-2002), who had 36. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native also inched to within one RBI of tying Sara Hayes (1992-95), who had 137 RBI in her career.
The Lions reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth on a solo homer from Fischer, her 13th of the season. Fischer, who is batting .529 on the year, is in the top three in the nation in both categories.
With the win the Irish improve to 9-8 on the year and even their Spring Break record to 2-2. They now turn their attention to the elite Judi Garman Classic, which gets underway on Wednesday with a matchup with the host Cal State Fullerton Titans at 4 p.m. (PT).