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Irish roll in weekend games

Heather VanHoegarden | Monday, April 26, 2004

The pitching was solid, the bats exploded and the wins came rolling in.After shutting out Villanova (25-18, 9-5 Big East) 4-0, 2-0 on Saturday, the Irish came back Sunday to defeat Rutgers (23-26, 6-10 Big East) 8-5, 4-2.With the two sweeps, Notre Dame (39-13) remained undefeated in Big East play, as they stand in first place with a 12-0 conference record.In the first road series of the weekend, the Irish were led by stellar pitching performances from Heather Booth and Steffany Stenglein. Booth pitched the first game, giving up just five hits in a complete game shutout. She also struck out eight. In the second game, Stenglein matched Booth with a complete game shutout of her own, allowing just four hits while striking out seven.Offensively, the Irish were led by Nicole deFau, who was 4-for-7 on the day. deFau was joined by Carissa Jacquish, who was 4-for-6 in the doubleheader. She also added the first Irish RBI in game two, when she drove in Kenya Fuemmeler with a single in the top of the second. It turned out to be all the Irish needed.With the two shutouts, it was the first time Notre Dame has swept Villanova without giving up a run since 2001.Sunday was much of the same for the red-hot Irish as they left the Wildcats to face the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers.Booth started game one again, but this time gave up four runs in 6 2/3 innings. However, the Irish offense responded, as they jumped out to a 4-0 lead behind deFau.deFau finished with five hits on the day, with two RBI in the first game and a 2-for-3 performance in the second. Liz Hartmann joined in the efforts with a home run in the first game, her seventh of the season. She was 3-for-4 on the game.Meanwhile, in the second game, Stenglein held the Scarlet Knights in check, scattering six hits and striking out nine while allowing two runs.In the top of the seventh, the Irish exploded by registering four runs, all coming with two outs. Sara Schoonaert posted an infield hit with Jacquish on first to keep the inning alive for Stephanie Brown. She then hit an RBI double, driving in both runners. After a deFau walk put runners on the corners, Megan Ciolli and Mallorie Lenn hit back-to-back RBI singles to make give Notre Dame its second sweep of the weekend.Notre Dame returns home Tuesday, when the take a break from conference play to face DePaul at Ivy field.