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ND Softball: Irish fall twice to top-ranked ‘Bama

Molly Sammon | Monday, February 16, 2009

Fighting the toughest of the tough, the Irish softball team opened their 2009 season against the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide, playing them twice during the Bama Bash Tournament. Despite the 10-1 and 10-0 losses, Notre Dame also picked up their first seasonal win against Eastern Carolina, 2-1.

“[Playing Alabama] was just like playing any other team,” senior pitcher Brittney Bargar said. “It was just like any other university.”

Bargar pitched in the tournament against each of the three teams the Irish played – Alabama, Wisconsin, and Eastern Carolina. The team went 1-3 for the whole tournament, beating Eastern Carolina, losing to Wisconsin, and suffering two five-inning slaughters to the Crimson Tide.

“It was frustrating, and it was a bit of a disappointment,” infielder Linda Kohan said. “We know that we’re a better team than what we played this weekend.”

During the first game against Alabama, the Irish took the initial lead, as Alexia Clay’s was bobbled by an Alabama infielder, bringing in a run. The Irish were not able to hold on, and Alabama fought back, holding Notre Dame to only that first run and scoring 10 more to end the game after five innings.

The Irish have big plans for changing their game before approaching the other difficult opponents they will face in the 2009 season, including softball powerhouses, DePaul, Arizona State and UCLA.

“We need to wake up our bats and start hitting the ball.” senior infielder Linda Kohan said.

The highest batting averages of the season so far belong to Sadie Pitzenberger, sophomore infielder Katie Fleurry and Kohan, who are each hitting over .300.

“We have a lot of things to improve.” Bargar said. “But by playing the number one team in the country, you learn a lot of things about yourself, like all the things we need to work on.”

Despite a losing weekend, the team is looking positively on moving their season into full swing.

“The most exciting thing of the weekend was being able to be outside and being able to play,” Bargar said.