May 7, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - Keeping its focus during a two-hour, opening-affair rain delay Saturday at Burrill Family Field, the Notre Dame softball team stayed on track to win both of its BIG EAST Conference games over Connecticut, 8-4 and 9-0.
Erin Marrone drove in five runs with five hits on the day - including a 2-for-2 showing in a five-inning contest to end the doubleheader - which gave No. 21 Notre Dame (43-8 overall, 18-1 BIG EAST Conference) a spot in the driver's seat heading into the final day of the regular season. The Irish play Connecticut again at noon (ET) on Sunday, and a win would give Notre Dame the outright BIG EAST regular season crown.
A pair of singles in the second - the latter off the bat of Marrone - scored Katie Fleury as the Irish took a 1-0 edge. Fleury logged a hit, run and stolen base in the frame.
Fleury went to town in the game with two hits, three RBI and a trio of runs scored.
An infield single in the fifth by Andrea Huelsenbeck snapped Laura Winter's (23-3) no-hitter. Vaughn, who had a potential homer robbed by Alexa Maldonado in the third, got her revenge with a two-run stroke in the fifth.
Kim Silva blasted a leadoff dinger in the sixth to cut into the Irish lead, 5-3.
Julianne Towers added a solo home run with two away in the inning, which was the fourth Husky to hit to score the team's fourth run. One batter later, Winter issued her only walk of the game before a two-hour rain delay stalled action.
Winter resumed to retire the next two Husky batters and Notre Dame received an insurance run in the seventh on Brianna Jorgensborg's double off the top of the fence in left-center.
Marrone added a two-RBI double.
Winter fanned eight and gave up four earned runs, with Kiki Saveriano (10-21) allowing 13 Irish hits and eight earned runs.
Notre Dame posted a five-spot in the second frame and never looked back.
Brittany O'Donnell (10-0) gave up infield singles in the second and the fourth and continued her perfect streak through the regular season with a combined four-inning shutout with Jody Valdivia. Valdivia struck out two and gave up two hits in a scoreless fifth inning.
Saveriano was again charged with the loss and Ali Adelman provided little help in relief. Notre Dame registered nine hits off the Husky pitchers.
Pitzenberger and Maldonado joined Marrone with a pair of hits.