Notre Dame Takes Down Rutgers in Game Four of BIG EAST Softball Championship


No. 2 seed Notre Dame rolled to a 5-0 victory over No. 7 seed Rutgers in the fourth game of the 2012 BIG EAST Softball Championship quarterfinals at Melissa Cook Stadium on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.  The Irish will play No. 6 St. John's in the semifinal round Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Notre Dame wasted no time, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning.  Senior Dani Miller sent a deep ball to dead center for a sacrifice fly to score senior Alexa Maldonado.  The hit would have been a three-run home run, but Rutgers freshman centerfielder Chandler Howard reached over the fence for the out.  The second Irish run came on a single by freshman Emilee Koerner.
The Fighting Irish added to the lead in the third inning with an RBI double by junior Amy Buntin and a two-run home run by Koerner, bringing the score to 5-0.  Koerner paced the Notre Dame hitting with two hits, three RBI and one run scored. 
The Notre Dame offense shined, but sophomore pitcher Laura Winter was the real star.  In seven innings, the 2012 BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year fanned 11 batters and only allowed two hits.  Winter pitched a complete game without issuing a walk and allowing only three base runners, showing why she earned conference honors. 
Winter picked up her 26th win of the season (26-8) and helped the Irish improve to 37-13.  Rutgers freshman Alyssa Landrith, the 2012 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, took the loss as the Scarlet Knights ended the season 26-28. 
All four teams have been set for the semifinal games on Friday.  No. 1 Louisville will play No. 5 DePaul at 4 p.m. while No. 2 Notre Dame will take on No. 6 St. John's at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The 2012 Softball Championship is an eight-team, single-elimination tournament.  Results from all BIG EAST Softball Championship action can be found at the BIG EAST Championship Central page. All first and second round games will be streamed on while the championship game will be televised live on ESPN2 on May 12 at 6 p.m.