April 28, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame's senior class came through as the Irish softball team extended its winning streak to 17 games by the narrowest of margins, winning two one-run games over Indiana State on Tuesday by 3-2 and 2-1 scores. The Irish broke a 2-2 tie with a run in the bottom of the sixth of the first game and scored in the bottom of the ninth for the extra-inning win in the second game. The Irish improved to 34-18 while Indiana State falls to 13-31 with the losses.
Notre Dame's four seniors starred in game two in the final regular-season home game of their careers at Ivy Field. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, senior Kelly Rowe drove in the tying run with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. Senior Korrie Allen led off the ninth with a double, went to third on a single by senior Jenn Giampaolo and scored when Indiana State misplayed Giampaolo's single, allowing Allen to score the winning run. Senior pitcher Kelly Nichols pitched a nine-inning complete game to record the win as she allowed just one unearned run and scattered six hits while walking none.
The Irish return to action when they play host to the BIG EAST softball championship on Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3, at Ivy Field. Defending champion Boston College will face Rutgers on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Notre Dame will take on Connecticut at 12:00 p.m. The winners of the first game will play at 2:00 p.m. followed by the losers playing at 4:00 p.m. The champion will be crowned on Sunday with games at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m and 2:00 p.m.
The Irish opened up a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the first game when Giampaolo singled, stole second, went to third on a single by Amy Laboe and scored on a double by Sarah Mathison. Lizzy Lemire then singled to score Laboe.
Indiana State knotted the score in the sixth inning without a hit, capitalizing on two Irish errors and a hit batter. Melanie Alkire relieved starting pitching Jennifer Sharron in the sixth. Indiana State's Becky Iaccino led off the inning by reaching on an error and was followed by Emily Stuck who was hit by a pitch. Aimee Rytting reached when her sacrifice bunt was thrown away, allowing Iaccino to score from second. Stuck then scored to tie the game when she beat out the throw home on Kristen DiFilippo's groundout to first base.
Notre Dame rallied to score the winning run in the bottom of the sixth when Kris McCleary walked with two outs. Allen then pinch ran for McCleary and stole second base. Danielle Klayman singled to score Allen and complete the two-out rally. Indiana State had the tying run thrown out at the plate in the top of the seventh.
Alkire improved to 8-1 with the win as she allowed two unearned runs and allowed just one hit. Sharron pitched the first five innings, holding the Sycamores to just one hit.
Indiana State jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second, taking advantage of two more Notre Dame errors. Iaccino singled with two outs, went to second on an infield single by Stuck, went to third on an error and scored on an error before Notre Dame's class of 1998 led the Irish to the win in the bottom of the ninth.
Game One Indiana State 000 002 0 2-2-0 Notre Dame 200 001 x 3-8-3 Keri Przygocki (LP 6-12) and Kristen DiFilippo. Jennifer Sharron, Melanie Alkire (6, WP 8-1) and Kris McCleary. 2B- Sarah Mathison (ND), Lizzy Lemire (ND).