April 29, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Half of Notre Dame's eight runs in the fourth inning of Sunday's 14-2 win over Providence came from Dani Miller's second career grand slam at Raymond Field after first doing the deed as a freshman in 2009. Alexa Maldonado added two homers as the Irish needed only five innings to help complete the sweep of the weekend's three-game BIG EAST Conference softball series with the Friars.
The Irish (32-13 overall, 13-3 BIG EAST) have now won a season-best 11 straight games and each of their last eight BIG EAST contests. Saturday's doubleheader sweep of the Friars (15-34, 6-12) earned the Irish a spot in the 2012 BIG EAST Championship set for May 10-12 at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Notre Dame has defeated Providence 10 straight times while holding a 36-2 cushion in the all-time series.
The scoring began in the second soon after Katey Haus advanced Amy Buntin and Miller ahead on the basepaths with a sacrifice bunt. Buntin and Miller reached via singles and Kasey O'Connor's infield grounder was bobbled to buy enough time for Buntin to score.
Maldonado doubled the Irish lead with a solo home run in the third and landed a three-run shot a few feet away from the first bomb in the fifth inning to put the Irish ahead, 13-2.
Maldonado finished 2-for-3 from the leadoff spot with three runs and four RBI.
Notre Dame scored eight runs on four hits and a Providence error in the fifth. Miller's grand slam was her seventh home run in the last 10 games and 14th of the campaign, putting her three round-trippers away from tying the program's single-season record shared by Heather Johnson and Christine Lux. Johnson and Lux each slammed 17 home runs during the 2010 season.
Shanelle Harrell singled off of Laura Winter (22-8) in the fourth for the Friars' first hit of the contest. Jessie Bryant's two-out single down the rightfield line scored two runs for Providence.
Winter fanned six and walked one while giving up three hits on the day.
The Irish tallied 11 hits with Miller contributing two.
Notre Dame now returns home for midweek contests against Northern Illinois (May 1) and Eastern Michigan (May 2). Live video, audio and stats will be available at UND.com.