The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



ND SOFTBALL: Conference foes sweep reeling Irish

Lorenzo Reyes | Monday, April 23, 2007

Notre Dame struggled this weekend, dropping a pair of doubleheaders to conference foes South Florida and Louisville at Ivy Field. The Irish fell to 9-5 in the Big East and 24-18 overall.On Saturday, Notre Dame lost both games of a doubleheader to Louisville, 8-2 in the first and 5-0 in the second contest. The Irish offense couldn’t get a substantial amount of support to foil the Cardinals’ pitching.Louisville got out to an early, two-run lead in the first inning after Cardinals freshman Melissa Roth brought in an RBI with a double and sophomore Kristi Cunningham singled to bring in Roth.After Irish senior Stephanie Brown reached base with an error in the bottom of the first, she eventually advanced to third on junior Katie Laing’s single. Freshman Christine Lux came through with the big hit, allowing Brown to cross the plate. In the third inning, Louisville senior Courtney Moore homered to give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead. Later in the fourth, the Cardinals added two insurance runs to give them a four-run lead.Sophomore pitcher Brittney Bargar added another run for the Irish with an infield single that scored classmate Linda Kohan, who reached base on a single of her own. Bargar’s hit extended her hitting streak to three games. Louisville took care of the rest of the game’s offense with a three-run inning in the sixth after two Irish errors on the field.In the second game, senior Kenya Fuemmeler took the loss as Louisville scored the only five runs of the game in the third inning. Moore singled in the frame with the bases loaded, driving in two Cardinals. Red-shirt sophomore Brooke McCrain drove in two runs when she doubled down the left-field line. To end the scoring rally, freshman Rebecca Saksefski singled in a run. Fuemmeler pitched well the rest of the game, but the damage was already done and Louisville leapfrogged the Irish in the Big East.On Sunday, South Florida took both games 3-1. In the third frame, Bulls freshman Cat Olnick drove in two runs with a bases-loaded double, which was set up by three consecutive singles.Notre Dame responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning on a single by Laing, scoring senior Gessica Hufnagle, but that was all the Irish would get.Later in the seventh, South Florida added an insurance run when junior Kit Dunbar doubled to bring one home.Bargar took the loss, dropping her record to 16-9. In the second game of the doubleheader, the Irish captured an early lead in the second inning when junior Sarah Smith singled to bring in a run. The lead stood until the fifth frame when South Florida put up a three-run rally with two outs. Sophomore Britta Giddens singled home a run after a pair of singles. Freshman Tara Toscano hit an RBI infield single, giving the Bulls the lead., South Florida gained an insurance run when Danielle Urbanik singled to left field, driving in the third run of the game. Smith, the left fielder, threw out a South Florida runner at home trying to score on Urbanik’s single. That was all the offense on the day, and the Irish dropped their fourth consecutive, as Fuemmeler’s record worsened to 8-9.Notre Dame’s will face No. 8/10 Northwestern Tuesday for a non-conference doubleheader.