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ND Softball: Irish rout Wisconsin at home

Katie Heit | Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Irish dominated Wisconsin Tuesday with a 9-1 rout, improving their record to 22-7.

“Wisconsin (17-14) wasn’t one of the toughest competitors we’ve faced,” senior catcher Alexia Clay said, “but they came out fighting and did small things well, like base running which kept us on our toes.”

Going into the game the Irish were eager to keep their winning streak alive.

“Coming off a few great team wins, we just wanted to keep the momentum going,” said junior outfielder Alexa Maldonado, “We came out hitting the ball hard and were able to produce runs.”

The game started off with a few slow innings, with Wisconsin scoring first. Senior infielder Heather

Johnson hit in the first Irish run in the third inning, adding to her 12-game hitting streak.

“Our hitting definitely put us back in the game and got the momentum going again,” said freshman pitcher Laura Winter.

The Irish stepped it up in the top of the fifth. An infield error by the Badgers allowed an unearned run to score for Notre Dame. Soon after, junior infielder Dani Miller hit a three-run homer, followed by consecutive triples from senior infielder Katie Fleury and sophomore catcher Amy Buntin, which made the score 6-1 at the end of the fifth.

Clay hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth to bring the score to 7-1, which was followed by the final two runs of the game.

Winter pitched the first five innings, notching six strikeouts and allowing only three hits.

The Irish had 10 total hits to the Badgers’ three. The Badgers also committed three errors.

“Hitting is definitely our strong point,” said Winter. “We took advantage of the Badgers’ errors by taking extra bases.”

Though they put on a strong showing against Wisconsin, the Irish know they need to keep their focus against more difficult upcoming opponents.

“We always still need to improve,” said Clay. “We still can get better at the things we do well and we are really striving to do that.”

The Irish are in action next at home Thursday in a double header against Butler. They will play again this weekend at Syracuse for a three-game conference series.