May 22, 2004

The University of Notre Dame softball team’s match up with #1 seed and #6 ranked Michigan in the NCAA Region VII tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich., has been pushed back for a fifth time due to inclement weather.

The Irish and Wolverines were set to meet at 3 p.m. on Friday, but a strong thunderstorm (reported to have dropped five inches of rain in an hour) pushed all regional competition to Saturday. Unfortunately, Mother Nature sent two more thunderstorms through the area Friday night and early Saturday morning.

Tennessee and Oregon State were initially set to continue their game (suspended in the top of the sixth inning with two outs) at 9 a.m. The early morning storm moved the start time back to 10 a.m. – pushing the Notre Dame – Michigan game to 11 a.m.

Tennessee and Oregon State took the field at 10 a.m., but the outfield was still too flooded to safely finish the game. Tournament officials decided to move the game back two hours to 12 noon, putting the Notre Dame – Michigan game to 1 p.m.

In a continued effort to get the field playable, the tournament was pushed back yet again Saturday morning. Oregon State and Tennessee will meet at 2 p.m., followed by Notre Dame – Michigan at 3 p.m.

Obviously, the schedule pushes back the rest of the day’s games as well, but with the unpredictable weather in Ann Arbor – perhaps it is time to take each game one by one. A Notre Dame win against Michigan would give the Irish one more game on Saturday against the Oregon State – Tennessee winner. A loss would put the Irish in an immediate elimination game vs. UIC. Notre Dame would still have yet another game on Saturday to advance in the double elimination tournament.