March 28, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Green Bay scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning Thursday to stun the University of Notre Dame softball team 5-4 in the season’s home opening contest at Melissa Cook Stadium.
The Phoenix loaded the bases in the top of the seventh after a Miranda Reinke pop bunt fell just out of the reach of Notre Dame catcher Amy Buntin. A two-run single by Stacey Butts capped the four-run Phoenix surge to give the visitors a 5-4 lead.
Buntin sparked an Irish (22-8) rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, lacing a one-out double to the gap in right center field off Green Bay reliever Briana Cavin (1-4). Laura Winter was intentionally walked to put the winning runner on first base and move Buntin to second. A groundout by Katey Haus shifted both runners into scoring position. A close play at first on a throw from third base retired Lauren Stuhr to end the game.
Jenna Simon and Kathryn Lux led the Notre Dame offense with two hits each, while Megan Sorlie added a career-high two RBI.
The Phoenix (6-12) struck for two hits in the top of the first inning against Irish starter Winter to kick start the Green Bay offense. Winter struck Hailey Mohrfield out swinging to strand both runners on base.
Winter opened the bottom of the second inning with a single down the left field line off Green Bay pitcher Allison Goecks. Stuhr worked a five-pitch walk to set the table for Lux. The Irish first baseman lined a 0-1 pitch into center field to score pinch runner Carly Piccinich and put Notre Dame in front 1-0. A single by Chloe Saganowich plated Stuhr to extend the lead to 2-0. A sacrifice fly from Sorlie upped the Irish cushion to 3-0.
An RBI groundout by Stacey Butts brought the Phoenix within two runs at 3-1 in the top of the third. Lux made a great play on a Paige Newtols liner, diving back to the bag to put out Marissa Michalkiewicz for the inning-ending double play.
Winter breezed through the Green Bay order in the top of the fourth, retiring the Phoenix in order for a three-up, three-down inning. Winter did the same in the fifth and sixth frames, stringing together nine straight outs, capped by a Shannon Butts strikeout in the top of the sixth inning.
Winter allowed one earned run in a complete game effort, striking out six Green Bay batters to take the hard luck loss.
Notre Dame travels to Georgetown April 3 for a BIG EAST doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.