April 15, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern pitcher Lauren Delaney totaled 13 strikeouts and limited the University of Notre Dame softball team to one hit on Tuesday as the Irish dropped a non-conference decision at Sharon J. Drysdale Field by a score of 5-0.
Delaney picked up her 22nd win of the season without issuing one walk and retired 16 straight Irish batters over the final six frames. The 13th-ranked Wildcats improved to 24-10 while Notre Dame dropped to 26-13 overall (7-3 BIG EAST Conference) heading in to an April 16 game against Wisconsin at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Neither team scored before or after the fourth inning as the first three stanzas of a pitcher's duel and minimal offense quickly turned into a 5-0 Northwestern advantage. The Wildcats chalked up all of their runs in the bottom of the fourth, putting up four hits and batting through the lineup as both Kelly Dyer and Emily Haug each had knocks that went for two RBI in that frame.
A scoring opportunity slipped away for the Irish in the top of the second when the visitors had two runners in scoring position. Ashley Ellis began the inning when she wore a pitch, and Christine Lux reached safely when her sacrifice bunt was mishandled by the Wildcat infield. Beth Northway moved each runner ahead a bag with a sac bunt of her own. Shannon Kelly was fanned, leaving Brianna Jorgensborg at the plate with two away. Jorgensborg took a cut at a Delaney riser that got past the Wildcat catcher as Ellis sprinted home from third. Ellis slid around Dyer's tag but missed home plate. As both players paused while waiting for the call umpire's call - which was not made after the initial play - Dyer tagged Ellis for the third and final out.
The loss went to Irish starter Brittney Bargar (20-8) who gave up five earned runs, five hits, and struck out five batters in 4.0 innings. A solid relief effort was given by Jody Valdivia who gave up two hits in the final 2.0 innings of the game.
Valdivia loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth to bring Tammy Williams - who leads the nation with a .536 batting average - to the plate. But Valdivia caught Williams looking at strike three to end the inning.
Linda Kohan singled in the first for Notre Dame.