April 29, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Senior Christine Lux's final regular season game at Melissa Cook Stadium nearly yielded the same results as her final regular season game at Ivy Field in 2008. Lux went 4-for-4 with two home runs - including a grand slam - and tied a program record with seven RBI in an 11-3 rout of Wisconsin in five innings Thursday afternoon.
With the two round trippers against the Badgers, Lux became the program's single-season leader with 16 home runs, breaking the record of 15 she set in 2008 and 2009. The seven RBI tied a record Lux shares with Megan Ruthrauff. Lux last accounted for seven RBI in a five-inning win over Eastern Michigan in 2008, the final Irish softball game before closing the door on their former facility, Ivy Field.
No. 25 Notre Dame (41-9) finished the regular season with a 19-0 record in the friendly confines of Melissa Cook Stadium, with Lux batting .510 while posting a 1.143 slugging percentage on eight home runs and seven doubles in front of the home crowd in 2010.
Lux's first shot was a blast to the gap in left-center on a 1-0 first-inning offering, while the grand slam came on the first pitch she saw in the second, which nearly hit the scoreboard in the same gap.
Sadie Pitzenberger also steadied the Irish at the dish as she went 4-for-4 and scored three times while knocking in a run in the second. Heather Johnson also knocked her 59th RBI of the season in the second inning on a bases-loaded walk, which gave the Irish an early 8-0 lead as part of a six-run frame.
Wisconsin (16-28) was able to plate a run in the top of the fourth on a double off the top of the left-center wall by Molly Spence. The Badgers were able to get to Notre Dame pitcher Jody Valdivia (32-4) again in the fifth, loading the bases for the second time and scoring twice in the frame.
However, the Notre Dame offensive output continued in the fourth as Brianna Jorgensborg plated two runs on a single up the middle. Jorgensborg was one of four Irish batters to have a perfect day at the plate, joining Pitzenberger and Lux, while Dani Miller also went 2-for-2.
Lux capitalized on her last home at-bat in the bottom of the fifth when she doubled down the rightfield line, scoring Pitzenberger from second to end the game.
Valdivia went 5.0 innings, scattered five hits and struck out three. Her counterparts, Meghan McIntosh (5-7) and Letty Olivarez, combined to permit 13 hits, 11 runs, five walks and one strikeout.
Valdivia went 15-0 at home during the regular season with a 1.12 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 81.1 innings. She also had nine shutouts.
Notre Dame will enjoy the weekend off before it gets back into BIG EAST play with a three-game league series at St. John's (May 8-9) to conclude the regular season.