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ND Softball: Irish lose four of five games

Katie Heit | Sunday, February 19, 2012

Notre Dame struggled in the season-opening Campbell/Cartier Classic, snatching only one victory in five games in San Diego.

After tough losses to San Diego State, San Diego and Oregon State, the Irish (1-4) finally managed to catch a break against UC Santa Barbara, winning 6-4 in their second game of the day Saturday. Senior outfielder Alexa Maldonado said failure to get into a rhythm hurt the team in the tournament.

“What held us back this weekend was that we weren’t able to connect all the parts of our game,” Maldonado said. “We didn’t have great offense, defense and pitching come together for us.”

Junior catcher Amy Buntin was the star of the game, driving in three of the six Irish runs with two hits.

Buntin drove in Maldonado in the first inning with a double to right-center field. In her next at-bat in the bottom of the third, Buntin hit a single up the middle that sent Maldonado and sophomore outfielder Lauren Stuhr home.

Senior infielder and All-American Dani Miller also had a strong performance overthe weekend, hitting two solo home runs Friday, first against San Diego State (7-4), who went on to crush the Irish 8-3, then again later in the day against San Diego (2-3), who won 4-2.

Maldonado also performed well this weekend. The senior hit a solo home run Sunday against Boise State, which ended up being the only score Notre Dame put on the board all day. Boise State (7-3) claimed the 3-1 victory.

“It was exciting to hit my first home run of the year, but I was not happy that it was the only score of the game,” Maldonado said. “I’m never happy with a loss. With a loss, the home run means nothing.”

Maldonado also led her team in stolen bases for the weekend, grabbing a total of three. Maldonado said she is putting the losses this weekend behind her to prepare for the North Carolina Invite on Saturday.

“It gets frustrating because we hold ourselves to a much higher standard than what we’ve been displaying,” she said. “We will be working hard this week to prepare for our tournament this upcoming weekend.”

The Irish are back in action this weekend at the North Carolina Invite, where they will head to Chapel Hill for four games. Play will begin against Penn State at 10 a.m. Saturday.


Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu