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    Eight-Run Second Inning Bolsters No. 23 Notre Dame Over Villanova

    FIGHTING IRISH Christine Lux had two hits on Senior Day for the Irish.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Christine Lux had two hits on Senior Day for the Irish.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    April 25, 2010

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    NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame scored eight runs in the second inning of Sunday's BIG EAST Conference softball contest against visiting Villanova as the twenty-third ranked Irish blanked the Wildcats, 10-0, in five innings. The Irish (38-9) posted six hits and used three Wildcat errors to do the deed in the second, and improved to 15-3 in league play to cap off a three-game series sweep of Villanova at Melissa Cook Stadium.

    Christine Lux celebrated her Senior Day with a 2-for-3 showing at the plate, and her RBI-single in the second stanza put her in a tie with Jarrah Myers for the BIG EAST's career record (64). Myers set the record as an Irish slugger from 1999-2002.

    Jody Valdivia (30-4) fired home a two-hit shutout with four strikeouts, needing just 69 pitches for her third win against Villanova (18-27 overall, 4-10 BIG EAST) this season. Valdivia's 15th shutout matched the program's single-season record set by Terri Kobata 16 years ago, and her win total matches Brittney Bargar's school record.

    Valdivia permitted singles in the second and fifth innings, both coming off the bat of Amanda Marquez. That was the only offense generated by the Wildcats, contrasted by an Irish attack that finished with 10 hits and saw nine different players score at least one run. Six players chipped in RBI, with Dani Miller's pair leading the way. Sadie Pitzenberger scored twice.

    Pitzenberger crossed the plate in the first on Heather Johnson's one-out single up the pipe. Pitzenberger singled to right and advanced to third when the ball slid under Danielle Maricle's glove, making its way to the fence. Lux singled to center later in the frame and Notre Dame loaded the bases with one away, but Maricle redeemed herself by throwing out pinch-runner Amy Buntin at the plate after Alexia Clay flied out to right.

    A dominating second inning started with Kristina Wright's lead-off walk and Brianna Jorgensborg's single to left. Alexa Maldonado laid down a sacrifice bunt that resulted in one of four Villanova errors which cleared the bases and put Notre Dame ahead, 3-0. Pitzenberger singled, Johnson reached on an error and Lux singled to score two more. Miller sent the first pitch of her at-bat into the bleachers in left for a two-run bomb, and Clay rounded out the scoring when she hustled home on Maldonado's sacrifice fly to right.

    Wright added a solo homer to left-center in the fourth.

    Caitlin Delahaba (8-17) was raked for nine hits and nine runs - four earned - in 1.1. innings from the circle. Her relief came in the form of Molly Manning, who gave up one run on one hit in the final 2.2 frames.

    For the series, Notre Dame outscored Villanova, 29-3, with a slugging clip of .902.

    Notre Dame remains at home and faces Bowling Green (April 28) in a 3:00 p.m. (ET) doubleheader at Melissa Cook Stadium.

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