April 16, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The University of Notre Dame softball team ran its winning streak to four games with a 2-0 shutout win over Michigan State Tuesday at Secchia Stadium.
Notre Dame (30-10) won the seventh meeting in eight tries all-time against the Spartans (21-18), including the second in as many seasons between the teams. The Irish offense held a 7-3 hit advantage.
Irish starter Laura Winter (19-8) rolled through the Michigan State lineup in the bottom of the second inning, forcing Ellie Stoffer to foul out to catcher Amy Buntin and striking Sarah Bowling and Jenny Ramsaier out swinging to keep the game scoreless.
Emilee Koerner drilled a 2-1 pitch from Kelly Smith (16-10) deep and gone over the right field fence in the top of the third inning. The sophomore center fielder’s ninth home run of the season gave Notre Dame a 1-0 lead.
Winter kept the Spartans at bay in the bottom of the fourth. McKinzie Freimuth singled to open the inning, but a Kylene Hopkins fly out to center, a fielder’s choice putout at second base and a Stoffer foul out to first base stranded a Michigan State runner on base.
Winter threw her fourth shutout of the season, walking none and striking out eight Michigan State hitters on 84 pitches.
Kelsey Thornton opened the Notre Dame sixth inning with an infield single to the left side before moving into scoring position at second with a stolen base. After two Notre Dame outs, Cassidy Whidden lobbed a two-out RBI single into left, scoring Thornton from second to extend the Irish advantage to 2-0.
Thornton led all Irish batters with two hits on the day, and added two stolen bases.
Koerner made a great play on a Hopkins screamer to the gap in right center, snagging the line drive to get Winter out of the bottom of the sixth with a 2-0 lead in tact.
Winter retired the Michigan State side in the bottom of the seventh inning, striking out Jayme O’Bryant swinging and forcing Stoffer to pop out to first base and Bowling to foul out to shortstop to end the game.
Notre Dame is scheduled to host Valparaiso Thursday at 5 p.m. inside Melissa Cook Stadium.