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Irish drop seventh straight

Lorenzo Reyes | Monday, April 30, 2007

Notre Dame fell twice at the hands of Big East rival No. 11/15 DePaul in a doubleheader Sunday in Chicago.

The Blue Demons remained undefeated in Big East play and improved to 35-7 overall, while the Irish dropped to 24-21 and 9-7 in conference play at fourth place.

In the first half of the doubleheader, sophomore Brittney Bargar started for the Irish and faced some resistance early in the first inning. After two walks, Notre Dame senior catcher Gessica Hufnagle gunned down a runner attempting to steal, and Bargar was able to pitch her way out of trouble.

Hufnagle also threw out another runner attempting to steal in the third inning after a DePaul single.

In the fourth inning, senior Stephanie Brown reached base on a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Two subsequent outs, however, ended the Irish rally.

The Blue Demons claimed the first two runs of the game in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore third baseman Amber Patton and junior Sandy Vojik led off the frame with singles. A sacrifice advanced the runners into scoring position until sophomore catcher Jackie Tarulli brought them in with a single.

The Irish got on the board in the next inning when freshman Christine Lux hit her second home run of the season, cutting the deficit in half.

DePaul added an insurance run – the last of the game – in the fifth after a bunt single, a stolen base and an RBI single from senior Kate Sheaks.

Bargar received her 11th loss of the season in the first contest of the doubleheader.

The second game started with the Irish loading the bases, and then leaving them full. Brown and Hufnagle both singled to reach base. And after junior Katie Laing’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, Lux drew a walk to load them up. A strike out and a ground out later, the Blue Demons were able to breathe easier in the scoreless game.

After a dropped fly ball in the bottom of the second, and two singles later on in the frame, DePaul broke through with their first run of the game.

In the fourth, the Blue Demons added to their lead when junior Marcy Wilus drove in Katie Hanson with a single. On an attempted tag-up at home, a DePaul runner was gunned down with a good relay throw from the outfield.

Two more insurance runs were added in the sixth with Vojik’s RBI fielder’s choice and Wilus’ second RBI of the game on a double.

That was all the offense on the day, as Bargar fell to 16-12 on the season. The pitching staff hasn’t received much support during Notre Dame’s seven-game losing streak – the offense has produced only five runs during the drought.

Notre Dame will travel to Chicago again Tuesday for its game against Loyola Chicago.