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Softball: Northwestern shuts out ND

Dan Murphy | Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Northwestern pitcher Eileen Canney fanned seven Irish batters while picking up her 21st win of the year in a 12-0 shutout Tuesday at Ivy Field. Canney used her fastball and riser effectively to hold Notre Dame to two hits in her four innings of work.”I think we chased some bad pitches. I didn’t think our timing was that bad – we just chased her rise ball too much,” Irish coach Deanna Gumpf said. The No. 8/10 Wildcats posted three runs before Canney even took the field and added three more in their half of the second inning to put Notre Dame in a 6-0 hole out of the gates.Second basemen Nicole Pauly picked up two of her four RBIs when she doubled with runners on second and third. The freshman eventually stole home on a first-and-third play to cap off the opening frame. In the following inning, first basemen Garland Cooper hit an opposite field home run with two outs and two runners on. The blast was her 19th of the year and the 51st of her four-year career. Northwestern added one more in the third inning against starting pitcher Brittney Bargar before senior Kenya Fuemmeler took over in relief. Fuemmeler found herself in trouble early when the first three Northwestern batters reached safely. However, she battled back by striking out the side in three long battles.”They were very selective hitters, and that’s just the mark of a good hitting ball club,” Fuemmeler said. “To be successful you can’t leave the ball over the plate, and that just contributed to a long day.”At one point, the senior was forced to work through eight consecutive full counts. The Wildcats tacked on five more runs against the senior in the top of the fifth before the game was called due to the mercy rule. “We didn’t give enough to win a ball game against anybody tonight,” Gumpf said. “We just have to move on. The only way to regroup is to move on.” The Irish will look to bounce back as they take on the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames tonight at 6:30. The game will be the final contest of the year at Ivy Field and senior day for the four graduating seniors. “It’s a huge game. We don’t leave a losing record on Ivy Field,” Fuemmeler said. The right-handed pitcher will have even more motivation for tomorrow’s game if she faces off against her younger sister Chelsea, a freshman pitcher for the Flames. The younger Fuemmeler is the third starter for UIC and currently has a 3-12 record in 25 appearances.