Softball gets swept by Fighting Irish, Drexel on tap next

Amy Watkins


The softball team was no match for No. 23 Notre Dame last weekend as the Wildcats were swept and scored only three runs over the course of the three-game series. Each contest was decided in a short five innings, as the Irish dominated at home from start to finish.

The first game of Saturday’s doubleheader in Indiana was an 8-0 shutout in which sophomore Shannon O’Brien recorded Villanova’s lone hit.

Notre Dame got on the board in the second inning when Dani Miller led off with a home run, and the Irish scored two more to take a 3-0 lead.

An RBI double in the third widened the margin by one, and Notre Dame was able to seal the victory in the bottom of the fourth with four more runs. Katie Fleury doubled to bring in Brianna Jorgensborg, Alexa Maldonado scored on a sacrifice fly and Christine Lux hit the second home run of the day for the Irish, who easily withstood Villanova’s attempt to make it a game in the fifth.

O’Brien’s hit came in the top of the third inning, but it failed to jumpstart the strugglng Wildcat offense.

Sophomore Molly Manning took the loss for Villanova, while Jody Valdivia earned the win for Notre Dame.

In the second game, Manning did not pitch but made her contribution at the plate, where she went 2-for-3 in ‘Nova’s 11-3 loss.

Seniors Jess O’Boyle and Danielle Maricle, sophomores Kristi Burlin and Tessa Braga and freshman Amanda Marquez added hits as well.

The Wildcats took the lead first in game two as a pair of singles from Manning and Marquez started off the second inning.

An RBI single from Braga scored Manning, and Marquez crossed the plate on a Notre Dame error to give Villanova a 2-0 cushion.

Manning again went to work in the third with an RBI double that scored O’Boyle.

The Irish, however, came back in the next three innings with 11 unanswered runs.

Their momentum came from not only a strong offensive effort, but also the entrance of Valdivia into the game. 

The junior pitcher replaced freshman Brittany O’Donnell after two innings and held down the ‘Cats as Notre Dame cruised to its second win of the day. Sophomore Caitlyn Delahaba threw a complete game for Villanova.

On Sunday, in the final game of the series, the ‘Cats fell 10-0 and recorded only two hits, both from Marquez.

Notre Dame picked up a 1-0 lead in the first and crushed any hopes of a Villanova comeback by scoring eight runs on six hits and three errors in the second.

The Wildcats remained quiet as Notre Dame’s Kristina Wright added on a solo home run in the fourth, and the Irish completed the shutout.

Valdivia turned in another solid, complete game for Notre Dame, while Delahaba and Manning shared duties on the mound for Villanova.

The outcome of the weekend series was typical for the Irish, who have only lost to two Big East teams and currently hold first place in the conference.

In contrast, the Wildcats sit at the bottom of the standings and hope to fare better in their next Big East matchup against Connecticut this weekend.

This afternoon, Villanova will play Drexel in a nonconference game at 3 p.m.