April 6, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Senior catcher Amanda Marquez (Miami, Fla.) had two hits and a run scored in the first game of a doubleheader at Melissa Cook Stadium, where Villanova (12-18, 0-7 BIG EAST) lost a 4-1 decision to Notre Dame (25-8, 6-0 BIG EAST) on Saturday afternoon. All four runs for the Fighting Irish scored in the bottom of the second inning before they were shut down by Wildcats pitching for the rest of the game.
Marquez led off the top of the sixth inning with a single to right field and junior shortstop Ali Lowe (West Palm Beach, Fla.) bunted for a single. Marquez moved up to third on a fielder's choice groundout and later scored when sophomore designated player Beth Smetana (San Diego, Calif.) hit a sacrifice fly to center.
The scoring by Notre Dame in the bottom of the second inning was produced by just two swings. Lauren Stuhr hit a two-run home run with one out and Emilee Koerner added a two-run double with two outs in the inning against freshman pitcher Kate Poppe (Downingtown, Pa.), who struck out four in two innings despite being charged with four earned runs on six hits.
Following the four-run second inning Villanova turned to freshman pitcher Taylor Secemski (Scottsdale, Ariz.), who threw four scoreless innings of relief in her first appearance in a conference game. Secemski retired the first six batters she faced and also set the side down in order in the bottom of the sixth inning. She allowed just a hit and a walk in the bottom of the fifth and kept the Fighting Irish off the board despite having runners at the corners with one out in that inning.
Notre Dame starting pitcher Laura Winter (14-6, 1.73 ERA) retired the first eight Wildcats batters of the game before freshman center fielder Shea Palmer (Scottsdale, Ariz.) beat out an infield hit with two outs in the top of the third inning. She stole second to get into scoring position and reached third when Marquez singled for her first hit of the contest. Winter induced a groundball to end the inning.
Poppe (12-11, 2.39 ERA) was charged with the loss for Villanova, while Winter pitched four scoreless innings for the Fighting Irish to pick up the win. Brittany O'Donnell threw two innings of relief for Notre Dame and allowed the lone Wildcats run, while Allie Rhodes retired Villanova in order in the top of the seventh inning.
The second game of the doubleheader was slated to begin just after 2 p.m.
NOTES: Secemski had made just two previous appearances this season and had not pitched in a BIG EAST contest ... She retired 11 of the 13 batters that she faced over four innings ... Each team struck out four times in the game ... The Fighting Irish outhit the Wildcats by a narrow 7-5 margin.