SOUTH BEND, Ind. (April 13, 2013) – The Rutgers softball team (23-16, 6-6) fell, 11-2, to Notre Dame (27-10, 8-1) in its series opener Saturday at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Fighting Irish took advantage of three home runs, including a grand slam, to win the contest in five innings.
The contest marked Notre Dame’s Third Annual Strikeout Cancer Game, as the school attempts to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for cancer. Prior to the game, senior Abbey Houston (New Egypt, N.J.) presented a check for $1,300 to the Notre Dame side as part of the Strike Out Cancer cause. The check was the accumulation of donations received by RU this season.
Sophomore Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) dropped to 13-9 on the season after the loss. She went 2.2 innings, allowing five hits, five earned runs and a walk. Freshman Dresden Maddox (Kennesaw, Ga.) and Houston also saw action in the contest.
Maddox went 1.2 innings, allowing one hit, three walks and four earned runs. Houston allowed one hit and one earned run in 0.0 innings of work.
A three-run, pinch hit home run by Notre Dame’s Casey Africano ended the contest in the fifth inning after the Fighting Irish plated a run earlier in the inning on an illegal pitch.
Notre Dame took advantage of back-to-back homers, including one grand slam, in the third inning, scoring five runs to regain the lead. Following a foul out by ND’s Stuhr, Koerner worked out a walk to load the bases for the Fighting Irish. Landrith nearly escaped the inning unscathed, forcing Winter into a bunt pop out for the inning’s second out.
But ND’s Cassidy Whidden stepped up to the plate in the big spot and launched a line-drive grand slam to left center field, giving the Fighting Irish a 5-2 lead. Katey Haus sent a solo shot to deep right field in following at-bat to extend the lead to 6-2 entering the fourth inning.
A one out single by freshman Melanie Slowinski (Severn, Md.) got things going for RU to start the third inning, as subsequent hits by junior Loren Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) and sophomore Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.), including an RBI single by Howard, allowed the Scarlet Knights to take a 2-1 lead. But ND’s Laura Winter would not allow another run in the contest, holding the Scarlet Knights to five hits.
The two teams will conclude the three-game series tomorrow with a doubleheader, set to begin at noon at Melissa Cook Stadium.
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