April 17, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - -
The University of Louisville softball team rallied from a 6-0 deficit to beat No. 24 host Notre Dame 9-6 after falling 4-3 in the game one of a BIG EAST Conference doubleheader Sunday. The Cards halted Notre Dame's 14-game winning streak and handed the Irish only their second loss in their last 33 home games.
"I was very proud of our team for not giving up, despite being down late in the game," said U of L head coach Sandy Pearsall. "We hit the ball well and made some key defensive plays. It was a total team effort. Katie Petrino has worked hard and picked up her first win and Tori Collins pitched well. We certainly had our chances to win the first game, but credit Notre Dame who is very tough at home."
Notre Dame 4 - Louisville 3
In the opening game of the day, Chelsea Bemis went 3-for-4 with an RBI as Louisville fell 4-3. The teams traded leads twice, but the host Irish held the Cards at bay to clinch the series.
The Cards jumped on the scoreboard in the first inning when Katie Keller connected on a leadoff single and moved to third on an error when Jennifer Esteban reached on a fielder's choice. Chelsea Bemis' RBI double plated Keller to give Louisville a 1-0 lead.
The Irish had a chance to score in the home half of the first when Alexa Maldonado drew a leadoff walk and took second on Alexia Clay's sacrifice bunt. A two-out single by Dani Miller sent Maldonado on her way home, but Kristin Austin's throw to catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod was on target to tag her out at the plate to end the inning.
Notre Dame scored a pair of runs in the second when Katie Fleury walked and came around to score on Sadie Pitzenberger's RBI single. Pinch-runner Monica Torres crossed the plate on Brianna Jorgensborg's base hit to give the Irish a 2-1 lead.
The Cards answered in the third when Hannah Kiyohara drew a leadoff walked and Keller blasted her fourth home run of the season - a two-run shot that landed at the top of the left field bleachers to put Louisville back on top 3-2. Louisville threatened to push more runs across when
Heather Johnson's solo home run in the bottom of the third evened the score at 3-3.
The Irish pulled ahead for good in the fourth when Kasey O'Connor walked and came home on Maldonado's triple to make the score 4-3.
The Cards had two runners in scoring position in the fifth and again in the seventh, but could not capitalize as they stranded 10 in the 4-3 loss.
Caralisa Connell (18-6) took the loss, giving up four earned runs on six hits and striking out two in 5.1 innings. Tori Collins held the Irish scoreless and gave up one hit with a strikeout. Keller was 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs and two RBIs.
Brittany O'Donnell (5-0) got the win, holding the Cards scoreless and striking out seven in 5.0 innings.
Louisville 9 - #24 Notre Dame 6
In game two the Cards rallied from a 6-0 deficit with nine runs in the sixth to beat the host Irish 9-6. The win snapped Notre Dame's 14-game winning streak and marked only the second loss for the Irish at home in the last 33 games.
Notre Dame got things started early when Johnson connected on a two-out solo home run to give Notre Dame a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
The Irish tacked on two more runs in the third to make it a 3-0 game. Sadie Pitzenberger led off the third with a double and was lifted for pinch runner Monica Torres. Maldonado followed with a walk. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position for Alexia Clay's two-run single.
A three-run sixth opened up a 6-0 lead for the Irish. Clay connected on a one-out home run to extend the Irish lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth. Miller and Fleury delivered back-to-back two-out singles and scored on Marrone's base hit to make the score 6-0.
The Cards used nine hits, including home runs from Bemis, Wherry and Keller to score nine runs in the top of the sixth. Kiyohara and Keller got things started with a single and double respectively to set up Bemis' three-run homer. The third baseman's team-leading eighth home run of the season cut the Irish lead in half. Wherry followed with her fourth homer of the season to pull the Cards within two runs. Wolny and Ruckenbrod singled and Austin connected on an RBI hit to make the score 6-5. Kiyohara came back around to register a two-run single to give the Cards a 7-6 lead. Keller's fifth home run of the season capped the scoring at 9-6.
Freshman Katie Petrino (1-0) picked up her first career win, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and striking out one batter. Junior Tori Collins started the game and re-entered in the sixth to pick up her third save of the season, allowing one earned run on two hits and striking out one.
The Cards pounded out 11 hits in the game. Bemis was 2-for-4 with a run and three RBIs. Kiyohara was 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Wherry was 2-for-3 with a home run. Keller finished 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, two runs and two RBIs.
Laura Winter (17-3) took the loss, allowing nine earned runs on nine hits and striking out seven in 6.0 innings. Clay led the Irish with a 2-for-4, three-RBI performance at the plate.
The Cards (32-13, 10-4 BIG EAST) will travel to No. 18/20 Kentucky for a single game Wednesday, April 20 at 6 p.m.