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ND Softball: Bats fuel routs of Rutgers

Bobby Graham | Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sophomore catcher Kristina Wright said one of the greatest strengths of this year’s Irish team is their ability to overcome adversity.

Accordingly, the squad was able to bounce back from a disappointing loss against Loyola Chicago and snag back-to-back 8-0 wins against conference foe Rutgers. The wins keep the Irish (27-6, 5-0) undefeated in Big East play, which is “a major team goal,” Wright said.

The team’s first win came with junior Jody Valdivia at the mound. Valdivia pitched six scoreless innings while only giving up two hits.

Valdivia also had plenty of offensive help. The Irish scored eight runs off of 12 hits. Six of those runs came in the final inning to seal the deal for Notre Dame.

“It was a total team effort,” said Wright, “We all contributed in one way or another to the win.”

The Irish’s second win was a little harder to come by, however. The back half of the doubleheader was stopped three times due to the weather, and the game was not completed until two days later.

Despite the inconvenience, Wright said that the game was a blessing in disguise for the Irish.

 “It showed us that our team can work through adversity,” Wright said.

Valdivia was on the mound again for Notre Dame on Monday, pitching another scoreless outing while giving up six hits. Once again, she also had plenty of offensive help. Four of the Irish’s five hits were homeruns.

The complete game shutout was the 10th of the season for Valdivia, who improved to 20-3 on the year. The junior has won 14 straight Big East contests over the past two seasons, and in her career in 15-0 in the conference with a 1.34 ERA.

Notre Dame will look to continue its hot streak as the Irish look forward to their doubleheader with Bowling Green (6-12) today. Despite the Falcons’ lowly record, Wright emphasized the team’s continued need for focus.

“We need to stay consistent,” Wright said, “We can’t take anybody for granted. We need to go out there and play our game.”

Today’s contests will take place at 4 and 6 p.m. at Melissa Cook Stadium.