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Big Bats, Bigger Results

Sep 23, 2013, 12:01 PM EDT

Today was “Indiana Day” at Melissa Cook Stadium, as the Notre Dame Softball team took on in-state rivals, Butler and Purdue. The Irish soundly defeated the Bulldogs 9-1 in the first game and, in a tough test, edged out a victory over the Boilers 3-2 in the second game. One thing remained constant for the Irish in both victories and that was the consistency of getting runners on base and in scoring position.

Maybe it was because a rainbow touched down on Notre Dame’s campus yesterday and the luck of the Irish was in the team’s favor, but the Irish made a habit of quality at bats throughout the lineup today. To put that in retrospect, between the two games and 12 half-innings to bat, Notre Dame only went three and out twice.

In the first game against Butler, two names really stood out for me: Chloe Saganowich and Megan Sorlie. The senior, Saganowich, delivered a line drive, two-run homerun into the left field shrubs in the second inning. This was the driving force in the Notre Dame’s four run rally that inning which helped the team put the game away early. Megan Sorlie had an absolutely outstanding day at the plate. The sophomore from Kansas was a pitcher’s nightmare today as she went a perfect four for four. In her essential “hitting clinic” today, she drove the ball to all parts of the field today with two singles, a successful bunt, and a double that drove in a run. There clearly wasn’t any pitch that Sorlie couldn’t hit today.

In the second game versus the Boilermakers of Purdue, this player made her presence known to the opposition with one crack of the bat. Laura Winter is known for silencing hitters’ bats on the mound, which she did very well today by only giving up two earned runs in eight combined innings pitched, but it was what she did when she actually stepped in the batters box in the fourth that really impressed me. With the score deadlocked at one, Winter certainly sent shivers of the pitcher’s spine when she connected with a pitch that put her team up. Her homerun was very “Chris Davis-esque” as she drove the ball clear over the left field wall and almost over the bleachers as well. The homerun showed the Notre Dame faithful that her bat is just as powerful as her pitches.

The hitting performance from both the upperclassmen and underclassmen was certainly a breath of fresh air for Coach Gumpf as her team improved their “fall ball” record to 2-1. Next week the Irish take a break from their fall schedule and host the Wounded Warriors. Come to Melissa Cook Stadium at noon for an amazing fundraiser to support our troops. Tickets are only five dollars per person with all proceeds going towards the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team.

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