May 5, 2012
PITTSBURGH—Playing in front of 558 fans during Youth Softball Day, the University of Pittsburgh softball team fell 5-0 to Notre Dame in the first game of its doubleheader held at Vartabedian Field at the Petersen Sports Complex Saturday afternoon.
11 high school softball programs and club teams from the Pittsburgh and surrounding area packed the stadium today to cheer the Panthers on in their final regular-season doubleheader of the year. This was the largest crowd for Pitt since its First Pitch celebration on April 9, 2011.
The Panthers (26-24, 8-12 Big East) made several exciting defensive stops in the contest. In the second inning, the Fighting Irish had runners in scoring position with just one out registered on the board. On the next at-bat, senior Niki Cognigni picked up a ground ball and fired it home to junior Holly Stevens who tagged the base runner charging her. Freshman Savannah King would then earn her second strikeout of the game to end the rally.
Later in the fifth, both Cognigni and King caught diving line drives, while freshman Carly Thea made a sliding catch in right center field in the top of the seventh.
On the mound, King (19-15) suffered the loss, giving up four earned runs off 10 hits. She walked three, while striking out six others.
Pitt had a scoring opportunity in the third inning, as three Panthers recorded consecutive two-out hits to load the bases for Stevens. Stevens battled at the plate, fouling off several pitches before hitting a line drive at Notre Dame’s first baseman for the final out. Senior Ciera Damon, freshman Maggie Sevilla and senior Kelly Hmiel collected singles in the frame. Hmiel would also smack a one-out double down the left line in the bottom of the sixth.
Notre Dame (34-13, 14-3 Big East) scored its first two runs off two hits in the third inning. Next, the Fighting Irish added another tally in the top of the third off a Pitt throwing error and rounded out the game with a two-RBI homer in the seventh.
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