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ND Softball: Doubleheader leads to Notre Dame sweep

Jack Yusko | Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Despite what some team members called “mediocre play” during Tuesday’s doubleheader, the No. 24 Irish managed to soundly defeat Bowling Green 10-2 and 8-5. These two wins contributed to the 11-game winning streak the Irish (28-7) have maintained since their home opener.

“The score kind of tells a different story than how we actually felt,” senior catcher Alexia Clay said. “The team was a little bit dead. We did well enough to win but just really didn’t play our ‘A’ game tonight.”

This might sound surprising coming from a team who ended the first game of the series by the eight-run mercy rule, but the Irish know they can play better. Junior outfielder Alexa Maldonado said the second game was a better showing.

“We were more happy with the second win than the first,” Maldonado said. “Although we scored a lot of runs in the first game, it was out of character for us. We really only had great at-bats in the very beginning and very end — the middle of the game was not our best performance.”

While the Irish performance may have been streaky and good plays came in spurts, a number of players notched impressive feats. Senior outfielder Brianna Jorgensborg hit her first home run of the season, Clay and senior infielder Katie Fleury each tallied home runs and senior utility player Sadie Pitzenberger hit a two-RBI triple.

The team is focused on these positive aspects and will not allow a slow start to the series affect their chemistry.

“Our team spirit is great,” Maldonado said. “We are on the right track and are continuing to roll with the wins. We need to keep the momentum moving forward and play our best game.”

With another game tomorrow, the Irish will not have much time to make improvements during practice. They are facing Loyola-Chicago, who they have had trouble with in the past. Clay said they lost to Loyola twice in the last two years in games they shouldn’t have, so tomorrow’s game is especially important to the team.

“We can’t stoop down to their level,” Maldonado said. “We just need to play Notre Dame softball and we will win.”

Maldonado and Clay mentioned playoff aspirations as their motivator to play well in every game.

“We continued to have great at-bats for most of the [second] game, which will be very important for us as we get deeper into the season,” Maldonado said.

The Irish have won 28 of their last 29 home games and look to improve as they host Loyola-Chicago Wednesday at 5 p.m.