March 26, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - After six weeks on the road, the University of Notre Dame softball team returned home on Wednesday to pick up an 8-0 non-conference win over IUPUI at Ivy Field. The Irish needed only five innings of work to improve to 16-9 overall on the season.
The Irish are now 7-0 in home openers under head coach Deanna Gumpf, with each of the last two coming over IUPUI (1-9 overall, 0-3 Summit). It was also the second shutout win for Notre Dame after handing Western Michigan a 2-0 defeat in the team's previous outing on March 20.
Notre Dame will take to the road again with contests at Illinois-Chicago (March 27) and No. 17 DePaul (March 30) looming ahead.
Freshman pitcher Jody Valdivia (4-4) worked her way out of pair of jams to strand four Jaguars on base. She earned her third shutout win of the season after allowing three hits and fanning seven of the 19 batters that stepped to the plate. IUPUI starter Meeghan Raynes (1-3) took the loss after tossing 3.0 innings of five-hit ball and surrendered five earned runs.
Smith doubled in the first and later scored on a wild pitch, with Lux adding a run to Notre Dame's total in the second with her third homer of the season - a solo shot - that carried over the scoreboard in right-center.
Katie Laing drove in two runs in the bottom of the third when she followed consecutive singles by Pitzenberger and Smith with a triple to rightfield. Laing scored soon after on a wild pitch.
The Irish made it a 7-0 game in the bottom of the fourth when Pitzenberger popped a two-out single to left that plated Lux and a hustling Linda Kohan.
Katie Fleury was walked to begin the fifth for the Irish and made her way to second with her fourth stolen base of the season. She was able to trot home for the final score of the abbreviated contest when classmate Shannon Kelly ripped a double to left.
Lux and Smith finished with two runs apiece, and Laing teamed with Fleury for team-highs with two RBI.