March 14, 2003
The University of Notre Dame softball team’s Kia Klassic experience has been a tough one, and the 14th-ranked DePaul Blue Demons made sure the tournament took a turn for the worse on Friday. Notre Dame has five players feeling the effects of a strep throat virus and has been forced to forge ahead without its full roster. DePaul jumped all over the depleted Irish, piling up 11 runs for an 11-2 six-inning victory.
Notre Dame’s next game in the tournament has yet to be determined. It will either 7 p.m. on Friday evening or 11 a.m. on Saturday. The 11 a.m. game on Saturday seems to be the most likely scenario as of Friday afternoon.
Senior Andrea Loman, who did not play yesterday, was able to at least swing the bat on Friday as the team’s designated player. Starting centerfielder Megan Ciolli and starting pitcher Steffany Stenglein were unable to make it to the field due to the illness. Starting second base Alexis Madrid and starting right field Nicole deFau both gutted through their symptoms to play against DePaul.
The Blue Demons have devastating team speed at the top of their lineup, and it came through for them to score four runs in the top of the first.
Lead off hitter Liz Bouck reached on an error by ND’s Lisa Mattison, who was unable to get back to the bag while playing the bunt. Sara Martz followed with a dribble single to third base to put runners at first and second. Christina Douglas moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt and starting pitcher Lindsay Chouinard drove them in with a double down the right field line. Katy Kukman followed with a deep home run to center field and Notre Dame was quickly down 4-0.
The Irish were able to get back in the game briefly in the second inning. Mattison led off with a single and Loman singled to third to put two runners on. Liz Hartmann moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt, but the throw at first was mishandled, allowing Hartmann to move to second, Loman to third and Sara Schoonaert (pinch-running for Mattison) to score. Notre Dame’s second run in the inning came on a throwing error by the Blue Demon short stop.
DePaul got another un in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Chouinard. But the Blue Demons exploded for six runs in the top of the sixth, while the Notre Dame offense was unable to string anything together. DePaul piled up six runs on five hits in the sixth, the big hit coming from Chouinard once again – a three-run home run.
Heather Booth took the loss for Notre Dame, working six innings, allowing 11 runs (nine earned) and three walks. Chouinard picked up the win for DePaul, scattering five hits to five different Irish hitters.