went 22 days without a softball game this spring.
The Irish spent the next 24 days proving that no rust formed, culminating yesterday in their second straight Inter-Ac League title with a 3-1 win at Penn Charter.
Because of the combination of a long spring break and some weather-related issues, the Irish did not play a game from March 30 through April 20.
Although it was the second straight title for Notre Dame, the Irish (12-3 overall, 10-1 league) had to share last year's title with Germantown Academy and Penn Charter.
This one belongs exclusively to Notre Dame, its first outright crown since 2001.
"We were 4-0 at one point in the season and we lost to Springside and that was a wake-up call for us," Notre Dame head coach Tom Grogan said. "We had just beaten Agnes Irwin to take sole possession of first place in the league and got a little too full of ourselves.
"We were all right after that."
Rachel Criner was the catalyst for most of the wins, including the latest one. The junior pitcher gave up four hits, struck out 11, and walked two. Kerry Gibson got four of the 11 Notre Dame hits, going 4 for 4. Bridget Borgese and Paige Devine each added a pair of hits.
Since there is no postseason in the Inter-Ac, the Irish will turn in their uniforms after tomorrow's game with visiting Baldwin.
In other league games:
Kate Mentzinger pitched a six-hitter and added a pair of hits on her own as host Agnes Irwin topped Springside, 5-1. The Owls supported Mentzinger both at the plate and in the field as Kat Schoff, Megan Pauley and Krissy Dahl each added a pair of hits. They turned two double plays as well.
Sarah Dowzicky pitched a shutout and Tiffany Lawson had three RBIs as Germantown Academy beat visiting Baldwin, 10-0. The Patriots (16-9, 5-5) got two hits apiece from Lawson, Dowzicky, Krista Scheirer, Lauren Goldenberg and Andi Stampone. Lawson also homered.
Pioneer Athletic. At Spring-Ford, Owen J. Roberts beat Boyertown, 6-1, in a special playoff to determine first place in the league standings. It was the Rams' second title in three years. The game was made necessary when the two teams tied in the league regular-season standings with three losses apiece. Kelsey Shultz outpitched Shelby Beaver, giving up just four hits in a seven-inning complete game. Marlee Rappert went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Friends Schools. In one league semifinal, Jess Iacobucci pitched a no-hitter as top-seeded Shipley beat visiting Westtown, 16-0.
Iacobucci struck out nine and walked none.
In the other Friends League semifinal, Phoebe Hallowell went 4 for 4 and drove in five runs as host George School beat Abington Friends, 7-2.
Penn-Jersey. In a semifinal, Mercer Christian (N.J.) eliminated host Girard College, 9-6, despite a 2-for-4 day from Kevanna Cannon of the Cavaliers (15-4).
Catholic South. Nicole Spina was not overpowering, but her Cardinal O'Hara teammates made all the plays behind her in a three-inning 15-0 no-hit win at Neumann-Goretti. Spina struck out only three, but the Lions made no errors behind her. Spina also clubbed a home run, as did teammates Stephanie Fichter and Lisa Clark.
Catholic North. Danielle Sweeney's first-inning home run got Archbishop Ryan off to a good start in a 16-1 win at Cardinal Dougherty.
Central. Dana Bozzetto pitched a three-hitter for host Upper Darby in its 6-2 win over Ridley.
Jenny Purvis scored five goals to lead
to a 19-3 win at
. Purvis has 73 goals on the season for the Hatters (19-3).
Michell Kraske and Lauren Purvis each added three goals apiece.
Ashley Klun's goal midway through the second half gave host
Central Bucks West
a 1-0 win over
in a District 1 Class AAA first-round playoff.