March 13, 2010
LAKEWOOD, Calif. - One day after seeing its 12-game winning streak come to an end, the Notre Dame softball team posted a pair of non-conference victories Saturday at Mayfair Park on the second day of the Long Beach Invitational. Jody Valdivia (11-2) pitched 10.1 innings in the two games and was credited with both wins. She gave up a total of four hits and one earned run with 15 strikeouts.
Notre Dame (15-5) defeated UNLV, 4-1, and host Long Beach State, 4-2. The Irish will face Purdue on Sunday (March 14) at 9 a.m. (PT).
Heather Johnson and Sadie Pitzenberger each had four hits and a 1.000 slugging pct. on the day for Notre Dame. Pitzenberger also scored three times with Dani Miller driving home a team-high three runs. With hits in both games, Pitzenberger stretched her current streak to 15 games.
Pitzenberger went 3-for-4 and scored Notre Dame's first two runs. In her first at-bat, she christened the contest with a triple for the third times in four games. Pitzenberger would score in the first when Johnson roped a one-out double down the leftfield line.
Erin Marrone brought home Pitzenberger in the third on a one-out, bases-loaded single.
The Rebels (16-9) scored one run on two hits in the fifth. Alyssia De La Torre doubled to left and scored from second on a Paige Emerson fielder's choice.
Notre Dame added an insurance run in the sixth after Marrone trotted home on Dani Miller's single up the middle. Marrone started the inning with a ground-rule double to left. Alexa Maldonado laid down a gorgeous bunt to put runners on the corners and Pitzenberger drove in pinch-runner Brianna Jorgensborg with a double to right, giving Notre Dame a 4-1 lead.
Valdivia went the distance, striking out 10 batters and gave up one earned run on three hits. Kylie Wagner (6-2) gave up 10 hits and four earned runs.
Three Irish pitchers graced the rubber against Long Beach (7-12), with Valdivia starting and finishing the contest. She sandwiched Jackie Bowe's scoreless 3.0 innings of three-hit ball and Brittany O'Donnell's two strikeouts in 0.2 innings of middle relief. Valdivia gave up one hit and struck out five in 3.1 frames for the win. It was her 10th win in as many decisions.
Three Irish runs in the first inning put Long Beach on its heels. Hits by Johnson, Christine Lux and Miller helped yield the tally marks, led by Miller's long two-RBI single off the fence in left. Johnson drove in Pitzenberger with an RBI-double to left.
Long Beach left three runners on base in the fourth and Notre Dame took a 4-0 lead in the sixth when Alexia Clay scored an unearned run on a passed ball.
The 49er's scored their two in the bottom of the sixth when O'Donnell walked in a pair of runs. Long Beach had the tying run at the plate in the seventh but Notre Dame stood tall to preserve the win.
Brooke Turner (3-4) gave up three earned runs on eight hits in the loss.
Johnson was one of seven Irish players with hits, pacing the squad with two.