May 4, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Dani Miller demolished a game-one homer as the 21st-ranked Notre Dame softball team rattled off eight unanswered runs in an 8-1 BIG EAST Conference win over Pittsburgh Wednesday at Melissa Cook Stadium during a doubleheader televised nationally on ESPNU.
Notre Dame (41-8 overall, 16-1 BIG EAST) did not allow an earned run in the opener and Brittany O'Donnell surrendered just a pair of infield hits in game two en route to an 8-0 shutout victory.
The Panthers (31-16, 10-8) entered the doubleheader on a seven-game winning streak and after seeing that streak snapped in game one, managed a pair of infield singles on O'Donnell to end the evening.
Alexia Clay went yard with a two-run job to right during a four-run fourth inning in game two during a 3-for-3 effort. Clay also scored three times.
Irish registered double-figure hit totals in both games, a feat accomplished in six of the last nine affairs.
Notre Dame will travel to Connecticut this weekend (May 7-8) to end the regular season with a three-game BIG EAST series.
Laura Winter (22-3) sent Yvette Bravo away on strikes to leave a pair of Panthers stranded in scoring position in the top of the first.
While Pittsburgh opened the scoring column with an unearned run on an illegal pitch by Winter in the top of the third, the Irish posted a trio of tally marks in the bottom half which included an RBI single by Heather Johnson and a two-RBI single by Pitzenberger.
Four more runs were tacked on in the fourth, highlighted by Miller's two-run jack to right-center.
Alexa Maldonado went 3-for-3 as the Irish collected 12 hits in the game. Pitzenberger added a pair of knocks and each of the eight Irish runs were scored by different players.
Lauren Stuhr kept her hot hitting alive with a 2-for-3 showing.
Winter gave up five hits with seven strikeouts, and the loss went to Alyssa O'Connell (13-4) after her complete-game performance. Five of the runs allowed by O'Connell were earned as the Panthers committed two errors.
Kelly Hmiel had two infield singles and that would be all the offense Pittsburgh could muster against O'Donnell. O'Donnell stayed flawless with a 9-0 record behind a nine-strikeout blanking of the Panthers.
On the other hand, Maldonado racked up three more hits and Clay added three of her own. Clay also belted a two-run home run, her sixth of the season.
Miller was the third Irish player to total three hits.
Notre Dame teamed up to record 15 hits in the contest, only three of which went for extra bases.
The Irish started to score in the third on a two-RBI single by Miller.
Six hits produced four runs in the fourth to put the game into cruise control.
Stuhr added an RBI single in the fifth, and Miller ended the game with a walk-off single in the sixth after Clay singled and Johnson doubled earlier in the frame.
Cory Berliner (10-7) lasted 4.0 innings and gave up 11 hits and six runs. Two of those runs were earned.
Pittsburgh did not strike out a single Irish batter.