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ND Softball: Irish sweep Big East matchup

Katie Heit | Thursday, April 4, 2013

In a sweep against Georgetown on Tuesday, the Irish claimed both first place in the Big East and their 1000th and 1001st wins in program history.

Senior pitcher Brittany O’Donnell said the first-place ranking aligns with the team’s goals for the season.

“It’s where the team wants to be right now,” O’Donnell said. “Our goal is to keep going this direction and leave a final mark on the Big East conference by winning it all.”

After a two-hour game delay, Georgetown (13-22, 3-2 Big East) pulled ahead early in game one with a two-run home run from the Hoyas in the bottom of the first. Notre Dame (24-8, 5-0) responded in the bottom of the third when sophomore Emilee Koerner was sent home with an RBI single hit by senior catcher Amy Buntin, bringing the score to 2-1.

The top of the fifth inning allowed the Irish to pull ahead of the Hoyas. Junior pitcher Laura Winter knocked her ninth home run of the season over the left field fence to give Notre Dame a 4-2 lead. To round out the game, Koerner hit an RBI single in the top of the sixth that brought the score to 5-2, and a triple by sophomore infielder Jenna Simon cleared the bases and extended the Irish lead to 7-2. An error at the plate sent Simon home and the game ended at 8-2.

In game two, O’Donnell said the defense behind her made her more confident on the mound.

“Defense was solid behind me,” O’Donnell said. “As a pitcher it’s a great feeling knowing I can throw anything and they will take care of the ball.”

In game two, the Irish continued their momentum, loading the bases in the top of the first. Winter hit a two-run single, giving the Irish a 2-0 lead. A sacrifice fly by senior infielder Kathryn Lux brought the lead to 3-0.

Though Georgetown tied the game in the bottom of the first, the Irish refused to let the Hoyas score for the remainder of the competition. Solid hitting through the sixth inning gave the Irish a 10-3 lead over the Hoyas. In the top of the seventh, the Irish clinched the deal with a five-run inning, bringing the score to 15-3.

The sweep knocked previously undefeated Georgetown down in the Big East rankings and left Notre Dame as the only undefeated team in the conference.

Going forward in conference competition, Koerner said despite the team’s ranking, the players still need to stay focused.

“It feels great,” Koerner said, “but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We need to take the season one game at a time to stay in first and to come out on top.”

The Irish will try to protect their ranking Saturday when they host Villanova for a three-game weekend series at Melissa Cook Stadium.

Contact Katie Heit at [email protected]