May 16, 2008
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Nine runs on seven hits by the Irish offense and pitcher Brittney Bargar's second no-hitter in as many weeks gave the second-seeded Notre Dame softball team a victory over third-seeded Kent State in six innings on Friday at the Wilpon Softball Complex. The 9-1 decision marked the fourth no-hitter of Bargar's career but the second in which the hurler allowed a run. It was the 36th no-hitter in school history and the first for Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament, also giving Bargar the honor of becoming the first Irish pitcher to record 30 wins in a season.
With the win, Notre Dame (38-20-1) will duel the winner of Friday evening's matchup between top-seeded Michigan and fourth-seeded Wright State on Saturday at noon (ET). Michigan, the NCAA Regional host, enters the game with the tournament's No. 4 overall seed.
Rookie Katie Fleury had three hits and scored three runs for the Irish and fell just a double short of fulfilling the cycle. Fleury singled, tripled and recorded her fourth home run of the season. Linda Kohan had two hits including a homer and tied a career-high with four RBI. In fact, Kohan and Fleury were joined in the home run department by Christine Lux with each of the three home runs coming in the game's third inning. It was the second time in school history the Irish hit three home runs in the same inning - a feat last accomplished exactly one month prior against Wisconsin (April 16) by the same trio.
Bargar (30-13) issued a pair of walks in the first inning before Jamie Fitzpatrick of Kent State (44-11) drove in a run with an infield grounder. Kohan drew a walk in the home half of the frame - her 37th of the season - to set a new single-season school record.
After singling to lead off the game for Notre Dame, Fleury saved her bomb to dead center for the third inning which was followed by Sarah Smith reaching base on a Flash error. Kohan homered to left-center and Lux sent a shot that landed on the far side of the bleachers in rightfield.
Smith's infield grounder scored Fleury in the fifth after Fleury tripled to left-center. Lux ripped a shot up the middle that was misplayed by the Flash and made its way to the fence to score a pair of runs.
Brianna Jorgensborg and Fleury drew consecutive walks in the sixth inning. Both runners advanced a bag when Smith laid down a base-hit bunt. The final two Irish runs came home on Kohan's single through the left side.
Kent State's Kylie Reynolds (24-5) suffered her first loss since in a starting role since a March 23 setback to Georgia. She went 2.2 innings and gave up four runs - one earned - on four hits. Gabrielle Burns tossed the next 2.2 frames and scattered three hits and five runs.
Bargar totaled three walks and four strikeouts without allowing a single ball to leave the infield.
Katie Laing tied a career-high with seven assists from second base.