April 28, 2013
ND vs. DePaul 3
CHICAGO – The University of Notre Dame softball team fell in its final game of a three-game series at DePaul, 5-2, on Sunday afternoon at Cacciatore Stadium. The Irish won the set two games to one, their seventh BIG EAST series victory of the season.
The Blue Demons (28-18, 14-5 BIG EAST) scored all five runs in the final two innings, the last three on a Hannah Penna home run to deep left field that broke a two-all tie in the bottom of the sixth inning (5-2).
Notre Dame (37-11, 17-2 BIG EAST) broke through in the top of first inning, loading the bases against Blue Demon ace Kirsten Verdun (20-10). Cassidy Whidden made the most of the RBI chance, lacing a two-out single through the left side to score Jenna Simon and put the Irish in front 1-0. Amy Buntin was thrown out on a nice play by left fielder Samantha Dodd to limit the damage on the play and end the Notre Dame half.
Laura Winter (23-9) went through the DePaul order 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first, striking out Allie Braden and forcing Dodd to fly out to left and Mary Connolly to foul out to Simon in foul ground behind the bag at first base.
Winter added a pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the second inning, Verdun and Staci Bonezek swinging to keep DePaul from pushing a run across.
Notre Dame took advantage of runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the fourth. Kelsey Thornton laid down a squeeze bunt in front of the plate, freezing the DePaul defense and scoring Whidden from third to extend the Irish edge to 2-0.
Winter held the home team scoreless during the bottom of the fourth inning, punching out Ali Warren swinging on a foul tip back to Buntin to maintain the two-run Notre Dame lead.
Braden got DePaul on the board in the bottom of the fifth, lining a two-out triple into the gap in right center field, scoring Bonezek to bring the Blue Demons within one run at 2-1. Winter forced Dodd to fly out to Emilee Koerner in center field to end the threat.