May 18, 2000
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – – Junior Lizzy Lemire’s two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the fourth inning helped lead 17th-ranked Notre Dame past Illinois-Chicago 2-0 Thursday in their first game of the NCAA Region 8 Softball Tournament. With the win, the third-seeded Irish, who earned their 12th straight victory, moved to 47-12 overall, while the Flames dropped to 51-24.
After starting more than an hour and a half late due to a 13-inning Central Michigan-Stanford contest, the game was scoreless through the first three and a half innings. In the bottom of the fourth, the Irish had runners on first and second with no outs after lead-off hitter Jennifer Kriech (Indianapolis, Ind.) hit a double down the left field line and pitcher Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) walked. Illinois-Chicago pitcher Samantha Iuli then got junior Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.) to pop out and struck out freshman Andrea Loman (Riverside, Calif.). Lemire (Irvine, Calif.), however, came through with a clutch two-RBI double over leftfielder Emily Webster’s head to give the Irish a 2-0 lead.
Through the first six innings, Sharron scattered three hits, while not allowing a runner to reach second base. The game was then suspended at 3:40 p.m. in the bottom of the sixth inning due to lightning with the Irish at bat and a runner at first base and one out.
After over an hour and a half delay, UIC got out of the inning when pinch runner Kas Hoag (Wallingford, Conn.) was out for leaving to early and Loman popped up to end the inning. In the top of the seventh, the game was delayed again this time due to rain for 31 more minutes.
The Irish got the first out of the seventh on a ground out to shortstop, the second out on an unassisted play at first and then the third out on a pop out to second base to secure the win, almost four hours after the game began. Sharron earned her 26th win of the season to move to 26-6 overall, giving up just the three hits and striking out four. The win was Notre Dame’s third in three tries this season over Illinois-Chicago in 2000 after sweeping a regular season doubleheader at Notre Dame on April 26.
With the win, the third-seeded Irish will play the winner of the Michigan-DePaul game Friday at 3 p.m. as double-elimination tournament play continues. UIC will play Central Michigan, which upset top seed Stanford (2-1) at 12:30 p.m.