May 17, 2008
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - In Saturday evening's NCAA Regional contest that saw three ties and five lead changes, the University of Notre Dame softball team dropped a 7-6 extra-inning game to Kent State at the Wilpon Softball Complex.
Third-seeded Kent State (46-11) scratched across its winning run in the eighth when Heather Duhon singled home Holly Finchum with two outs to avenge a day-one loss to the Irish in the Ann Arbor Regional opener. Notre Dame, the region's No. 2 seed, closed out the 2008 campaign with a 38-22-1 record.
Linda Kohan had three hits in addition to driving in the tying run in the top of the seventh to force extra frames, as Sarah Smith and Christine Lux chipped in a pair of hits a piece. Jessica Toocheck and Kim Hamilton turned in multi-hit efforts for the Flashes.
Smith reached base in the first with a hit of the bunt variety, though she was trumped by Toocheck's solo home run to right in the bottom half of the stanza.
The Irish neutralized that Kent State run in the second, taking advantage of a pair of KSU errors to score Lux. Lux shot a lead-off single to the rightfield wall, made her way to third, and scored on Beth Northway's infield grounder.
Two more Kent State scores lit the scoreboard in the third courtesy of three hits including an RBI double by Jamie Fitzpatrick. But again, the Irish put up two runs on three hits and a Kent State error to tie the game. Northway's second hit of the day plated Christine Farrell and Stephanie Mola hustled in from third when catcher Ashlee Hein's attempt to pick her off at third ricocheted into the outfield.
It was a 5-4 contest in favor of the Irish after Notre Dame completed its half of the fifth. Both Kohan and Lux were credited with an RBI in the two-run set. The Irish blanked Kent State in the home half of the inning thanks to Katie Fleury's diving effort to snag Corey Houk's liner before doubling-off Toocheck at third to end the frame.
Hamilton's sixth-inning RBI single tied the game, 5-5, and an Irish wild pitch allowed Kalie Germaine to give Kent State a 6-5 edge.
Down to their final out, the Irish counted on Kohan to come through with a hit as Brianna Jorgensborg sat on second. Kohan sailed a 2-1 pop up into foul territory near shallow leftfield that caught the wind and landed fair between a trio of Kent State defenders. Jorgensborg never broke stride after Kohan made contact and tied the game, 6-6.
Brittney Bargar (30-15) tossed 7.2 innings and gave up nine hits but struck out four. The win went to Gabrielle Burns (25-5) who struck out eight and gave up three earned runs.