Fighting Irish Halted By Fifth-Ranked Michigan, 9-4

March 19, 2011

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FULLERTON, Calif. - Separated by less than 200 miles in the Midwest, Notre Dame and No. 5 Michigan faced off on the West Coast for the first time Saturday in the 18-game series history. The Wolverines used a four-run third inning to post their 10th straight victory over the Irish with a 9-4 win at Anderson Family Field. Notre Dame finished the Judi Garman Classic with a 2-4 record, as three of the four defeats came to top 20 teams.

Notre Dame heads home with a 16-6 record and hits the field Wednesday (March 23) for a doubleheader against Eastern Michigan. The opening game at Melissa Cook Stadium will begin at 5:00 p.m. (ET).

Notre Dame got out of the first with a 5-3 double play started by a swift scoop at third by Heather Johnson.

Johnson singled to left in the home half of the first.

Michigan (29-1) left two on in the second after singles by Caitlin Blanchard and Marley Powers.

Dorian Shaw smashed a 2-2 pitch to left as the Wolverines took a 2-0 lead with one out in the third.

Ashley Lane drove in Amanda Chidester later in the frame with a one-out double to right. Blanchard followed with an RBI-single to push the Michigan lead to 4-0, the eighth hit of the game for the Wolverines. Michigan scored its four runs on six hits in the inning.

Michigan added a pair in the fourth, an inning that saw centerfielder Alexa Maldonado commit her first fielding error on the season. In fact, it was Maldonado's first error in 132 chances, a streak that began two weeks into her 2009 freshman campaign.

The Irish had to wait until the fifth inning for their second hit, a double by Alexia Clay down the leftfield line.

Michigan put together two runs in the fourth and three more in the sixth.

Lauren Stuhr added a single for Notre Dame in the bottom of the sixth. Stuhr went to second on a wild pitch and collected another bag on Katie Fleury's one-out infield single.

Miller brought both runners home with a grounder which was booted by shortstop Amy Knapp.

Hitting a spurt in the seventh, Clay and Brianna Jorgensborg each singled in the final frame. Jackie Bowe drew a walk to load the bases and Stuhr's long single brought in a pair of runs.

After posting eight straight wins to begin the season, Laura Winter (8-2) suffered her loss in as many appearances. Winter fanned a pair but scattered nine hits and four earned runs in 3.0 innings.

Valdivia finished the game for Notre Dame and tossed 4.0 innings of seven-hit ball.

The win went to Stephanie Speierman (13-0), who stayed undefeated with a 6.0 inning six-hit effort. She allowed four runs with six strikeouts.

Seven players had multi-hit efforts for Michigan, paced by three knocks by both Chidester and Lane.

Notre Dame totaled eight hits, paced by two apiece from Clay and Stuhr.



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