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Softball: Irish sweep two Big East opponents

Lorenzo Reyes | Monday, March 26, 2007

Notre Dame started Big East play with a perfect record after a doubleheader sweep Saturday of St. John’s and another twin-killing, this time Sunday over Seton Hall.The Irish were carried by hot hitting, most notably from freshman Christine Lux, who had three hits and four RBIs over the weekend.Notre Dame pitchers threw two shutouts – the first two of the season. Sophomore Brittney Bargar allowed only two hits with eight strikeouts for an 8-0 victory in the first game. Senior Kenya Fuemmeler also pitched a complete-game gem, conceding four hits and striking out seven.

Notre Dame 8, St. John’s 0The third inning saw Notre Dame make a strong rally with two retired already in the frame. Junior Katie Laing produced some offense with her two-run double. After advancing to third base on an attempted throw home, Laing crossed the plate on a single to right field by Lux.The Irish also exploded with a three-run fifth inning. After Lux was credited with an RBI on a bases loaded walk, sophomore Beth Northway smacked a line drive to right field for two more runs. Notre Dame scored two more in the sixth inning, but the offensive production from the beginning of the game was more than enough for Bargar to claim another victory.

Notre Dame 3, St. John’s 0The second game of the doubleheader didn’t display as much offense as the first and turned into a pitcher’s duel. After freshman Heather Johnson started the fourth inning with a single, a series of pinch running and small ball, including a sacrifice bunt, ensued. It lead to an RBI sacrifice fly from Lux, giving Notre Dame a one-run lead.The fifth inning saw sophomore Linda Kohan hit a sacrifice fly to bring senior Stephanie Brown home. In the sixth, the Irish added another run, which was more than enough support for Fuemmeler as the Irish bats came through again.

Notre Dame 2, Seton Hall 1On Sunday, Notre Dame faced off in another doubleheader against Big East rival Seton Hall.In the first game, Bargar continued her impressive play with a complete game, one-hitter, allowing one unearned run. Fuemmeler started the second game of the day, giving up four hits and one run with four strikeouts. In the second inning, Laing doubled and then stole third, before advancing home on a throwing error for the first run of the game. In the fourth inning, the Irish retired the first two batters, but after a walk and a single, Seton Hall was on the board.For the second time in the game, Laing started a rally with a double, breaking the tie game in the bottom of the fourth, with Lux’s two-out RBI single. Although the Irish threatened to score another insurance run in the sixth, Bargar had enough support to close out the game, improving to 9-7 on the season.

Notre Dame 9, Seton Hall 1The Irish bats came out strong again on the way to a 9-1 win, sealing the sweep on the day, and their fifth win in a row. Fuemmeler improved to 5-5 on the season with her complete game four-hit gem. After Kohan got on base with a hit, a wild pitch advanced her, before she scored on a double from Johnson.Seton Hall quickly tied the game up in the second, making things interesting. The stalemate, however, did not last when Notre Dame made yet another two-out rally in the third inning – this time for three runs. The Irish then dropped a four-spot in the fourth frame, but in the end, it was Irish pitching and consistency from the plate that gave Notre Dame the edge.