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ND Softball: Team takes three of four weekend games

Jared Jedick | Monday, April 28, 2008

The Irish sent their seniors out in style, going 3-1 this weekend by splitting with Providence and sweeping Connecticut in the last home weekend of the year.

The weekend began with a 10-1 drubbing of Providence (24-20-2, 8-8 Big East) on Saturday, highlighted by sophomore outfielder Ashley Ellis’s fourth-inning grand slam. The slam, which was Ellis’s seventh home run on this season, was the first grand slam posted by the Irish this year.

Ellis had a career high five RBIs with two hits to go along with the grand slam.

Also pitching in for the Irish (34-17-1, 12-6 Big East) offense with two hits apiece were freshman shortstop Katie Fleury, senior outfielder Sarah Smith and junior third baseman Linda Kohan. Junior designated hitter Beth Northway added a two-run double in the bottom of the third.

Junior Brittney Bargar (26-10) was hot for the Irish on the mound, going seven innings in the doubleheader without giving up an earned run.

Game two of the double-header with the Friars began with Providence jumping out to a 2-0 lead early with two doubles off of freshman Jody Valdivia (8-7) in the first. Valdivia gave up four runs on five hits with five strikeouts and no walks in the loss.

Valdivia gave up two more runs in the fourth to bring on Bargar, who pitched the final 3 and 1/3 innings with one unearned run on three hits.

The Irish got back in the game on the force of an RBI triple from Fleury and an RBI single from Smith, but it would not be enough, as the Friars never relinquished the lead, winning 5-3.

A lot of opportunities were left on the bases for the Irish – they left 11 runners on base.

Sunday was senior day for the Irish, and they celebrated with a sweep of Connecticut (25-21, 11-7 Big East) in Melissa Cook Stadium.

Game one against the Huskies was not for the faint of heart Irish fan, as the Irish were trailing by a score of 5-1 in the bottom of the second.

The Irish came back quickly, however, evening the score at 5-5 with runs in each of the first three innings and a two-spot in the fourth.

In the sixth inning with the score tied, freshman outfielder Brianna Jorgensborg blasted the ball over the centerfield fence to take the lead.

The Irish scored twice more on Kohan’s two-out double to right that scored senior second baseman Katie Laing and Smith after they had singled earlier to get on base.

Bargar had a workman-like outing for the Irish, giving up five runs on seven hits with five strikeouts.

The second game was a different story, as this time it was the Irish jumping out to a three-run lead after three innings.

Smith and Fleury had RBI hits in the first and second innings respectively, before sophomore first baseman Christine Lux hit a solo home run in the bottom of the third. Lux went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs for the Irish.

Bargar went the distance for the Irish again in the second game, allowing one earned run on four hits and tallying two strikeouts. Bargar added seven defensive assists in her 26th win of the season.

The Irish will next be in action on Tuesday with an away game against Valparaiso. The game will begin at 5 p.m. before the Irish will complete their Big East schedule with double-headers against Pittsburgh and Syracuse next weekend.