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ND Softball: Notre Dame drops two in Chicago against DePaul

Bobby Graham | Friday, April 23, 2010

The Irish could not keep up with DePaul during Thursday’s trip to the Windy City in which Notre Dame dropped both ends of a doubleheader against the Blue Demons.

The team came in with high hopes after a quality win against Valparaiso, 7-6, but left the series empty handed after dropping the two games 7-6 and 15-2. The losses were the Irish’s second and third in Big East play, coming only two days after their first conference loss of the season against Lousiville on April 17.

Notre Dame’s pitching staff, which is normally one of the stronger parts of the squad, just could not find a break on Thursday. In the first game of the series, DePaul registered 14 hits on its way to seven runs.

The second game was even tougher; the Irish gave up 16 hits as the Blue Demons put up an impressive 15 runs. Nine of the runs were registered in the second inning and the remaining six were tacked on in the third.

Junior Jody Valdivia, who has pitched well for the Irish this season, lost her first Big East game in the first matchup of the day moving her record to 27-4 on the year. Freshman Brittany O’Donnell was credited with the second loss after giving up seven hits in two innings, moving her record to 7-3.

On the offensive side of things, the story of the day for the Irish was all the missed opportunities. The Irish put up a 2-0 lead in the first, but ended the inning with three runners left on base.

They ended the second inning with the bases loaded as well, and with the game on the line in the eighth, the Irish batters were surrendered in order. Notre Dame only registered four hits in the second game on their way to two runs.

The Irish (35-9, 12-3) are looking to rebound with strong efforts on both sides of the ball as they prepare for a three game series against Big East for Villanova this Saturday.