March 22, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Staring at a 4-3 deficit and down to its last out, the Notre Dame softball team got back-to-back home runs from Katie Fleury and Brianna Jorgensborg in the bottom of seventh to defeat St. John's at Melissa Cook Stadium on Sunday. The closing game went the way of the Irish, 5-4, while the Red Storm won the opener, 4-3.
With the game-two victory Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf earned her 300th career victory, all of which have been won with Notre Dame.
Game one marked the Irish (11-11 overall, 1-1 BIG EAST Conference) league opener for the season as the two teams combined for 15 hits. St. John's (9-12, 2-2) received multi-hit efforts from Roxy Struble and Kacee Cox as Stacia Dopudja and Kristi Cady each turned in doubles.
Dani Miller doubled with a rocket through the infield in the second, and St. John's got its first hit with a Shauntaine Harris single in the third.
Miller's second hit of the game scored Christine Farrell in the bottom of the fourth. Farrell was pinch running for Heather Johnson, who started the inning with a hard single up the middle. It was one of six Irish hits off Linzee Sumrall (5-5), who was sharp from the rubber for St. John's with nine strikeouts in the win. Her counterpart Brittney Bargar (7-6) gave up nine hits and four earned runs in the losing effort.
A four-run inning for the Red Storm gave the visitors a 4-1 lead in the sixth. Consecutive singles by Chelsea Durning and Struble opened the field for three doubles that pushed all four runs across.
Things got interesting in the final frame when a two-out homer by Linda Kohan brought the Irish to within one run of the Red Storm. However, Sumrall stayed on top of her game and got Johnson to fly out which gave St. John's its first ever win over Notre Dame.
Alexa Maldonado singled in the first and Notre Dame's next hit did not come until the fourth, but it was worth the wait. Kohan's single to left paved the way for Christine Lux's fifth home run of the season to make it a 2-0 Irish contest.
Another four-run output in the fifth gave St. John's a 4-2 egde. Harris singled to left and stole second before Erin Harris doubled to right-center. Struble boomed a three-run homer and the Red Storm appeared to take the air out of the Irish for the day.
An offensive spurt in the bottom of the fifth brought the Irish within one (4-3) as Fleury singled, stole a bag and scored on Pitzenberger's chop single over the third baseman's head. One inning later, Fleury and Jorgensborg each homered to left field to secure the split.
Kat Lawrence (4-7) gave up five earned runs and seven hits in 6.2 innings, while Jody Valdivia (4-5) left with the victory after a complete-game six-hitter. She struck out five and gave up six hits while walking only one batter.
Notre Dame's seven-game home stand continues Tuesday (March 24) against Ball State. The game is scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. (ET). Live video, audio and stats will be available at UND.com.