April 9, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. – The University of Notre Dame softball team manufactured three runs in the top of the third inning, but Northwestern stormed back with a nine-run fifth inning to claim an 11-3 non-conference win Tuesday at Drysdale Field.
Amy Buntin worked a full-count walk off Northwestern starter Amy Letourneau (13-8) to load the bases in the top of the first inning. Cassidy Whidden took a Letourneau offering deep to center, but Wildcat center fielder Kristin Scharkey made the catch to strand all three Notre Dame runners.
Northwestern took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, as Olivia Duehr drove a 3-2 pitch from Laura Winter (15-8) over the left field wall for a solo home run. Winter punched out Scharkey looking to escape the frame.
The Irish loaded the bases again in the top of the third, as a passed ball by Northwestern catcher Paige Tonz scored Lauren Stuhr to tie the game at 1-1. Buntin followed with a two-run single off Letourneau to score Emilee Koerner and pinch runner Carly Piccinich to give Notre Dame a 3-1 advantage.
Winter struck Duehr out looking and forced Mari Majam to line out to Chloe Saganowich at shortstop in the bottom of the fourth inning to strand a pair of Wildcat runners on base and keep Notre Dame in front 3-2.
Marisa Bast tied the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, driving a 1-0 pitch deep and gone to straight away center field to tie the contest at 3-all. Andrea DiPrima ripped a double to the gap in right center, scoring Anna Edwards from second to allow Northwestern to retake the lead at 4-3. The Wildcats closed the game with seven more runs in the frame to earn the win.
Kelsey Thornton led the Notre Dame offense with two base hits, while Buntin reached base twice with a pair of RBI.
The Irish return to Melissa Cook Stadium Thursday at 5 p.m. to host Toledo.