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Hot Bats Lift Fighting Irish Over Lady Flames

February 23, 2013  Greenville, N.C.  RSS
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Hanna Nichols hit her second home run of the season during the game with the Fighting Irish.

Hanna Nichols hit her second home run of the season during the game with the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame scored in each of the game's five innings, including a combined seven runs in the third and fourth to overcome an early Liberty lead. The later inning push gave the Fighting Irish their second five-inning win of the day, with the second being a 10-2 victory over the Lady Flames, Saturday afternoon, in the East Carolina Pirate Invitational.

With the win, the Fighting Irish lift their record to 6-5 on the season and 2-0 in the tournament. The loss drops the Lady Flames to 2-5 in 2013.

Emilee Koerner was a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate, scoring twice and driving in four runs. Kelsey Thornton was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Jenna Simon was 2-for-3 with three runs scored. The trio, the top three players in the Notre Dame lineup, combined for eight of the team's 13 hits and scored seven of the team's 10 runs.

Brittany O'Donnell settled down after the second inning to up her record to 4-1 on the year. She finished the day allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out five batters.

Holly Seiz was Liberty's leading hitter, finishing the game 2-for-3 with an RBI. Four other players finished the game with a hit, including Hanna Nichols' solo home run in the second.

Annah Jo Brittingham took the loss for the Lady Flames, falling to 1-2 on the season. She allowed five runs on seven hits in 2.1 innings of work. Chandler Ball finished the last 2.1 innings of the game, allowing five runs on six hits.

The Lady Flames threatened in the top of the first inning, quickly loading the bases in the top of the first inning following an infield single by Holly Seiz and back-to-back walks to Sammi Shivock and Amber Donovan.
However, O'Donnell recorded consecutive strikeouts to get out of the inning and keep the game scoreless.

Notre Dame changed that quickly in the bottom half of the frame, as leadoff hitter Simon opened the home half of the first with a triple down the left field line. The second baseman later gave the home team on the scoreboard a 1-0 lead when she scored on a single through the left side off the bat of Koerner.

The Lady Flames answered back in the top of the second inning, starting with a solo home run to left field by Nichols, her second round tripper on the year.

Later in the frame, Katie Zavodny reached on a single up the middle and then stole her team-leading sixth base of the season.

Seiz followed with an infield single that died right in front of Chloe Saganowich and stayed out of the reach of the Notre Dame shortstop long enough to allow the speedy Zavodny to score from second base and give the Lady Flames a 2-1 lead.

The Fighting Irish tied the game in the bottom half of the second inning, starting with a walk issued to Megan Sorlie. Saganowich followed with a double off the left field wall, while Micaela Arizmendi drove in Sorlie with an infield groundout to tie the game at 2-2.

Notre Dame continued to keep their bats hot in the bottom of the third inning, starting with back-to-back singles by Thornton and Koerner. Haus followed with her second home run of the year, a three-run shot to left field, giving the Fighting Irish a 5-2 lead.

The Fighting Irish continued to add to their advantage during the fourth inning with a pair of two-run base hits.

The first was a two-run single to the gap in left center off the bat of Koerner, scoring Arizmendi and Simon. Two batters later, Buntin had a double to the same location, allowing Thornton and Koerner to cross the plate and push Notre Dame's lead to 9-2.

Notre Dame finished the game in the bottom of the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Koerner. The left fielder drove in the game-ending run with a fly out to left, plating Simon to give the Fighting Irish the five-inning victory.

The Lady Flames will conclude their second game of the day at the East Carolina Pirate Invitational tonight against Fairfield. First pitch of the game is slated for 7:10 p.m.