May 16, 2009
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – No. 7 Michigan used a two-out Bree Evans single in the bottom of the seventh to break open a 1-1 contest at Wilpon Stadium as Kristin Larsen scored the go-ahead run in day-two action of the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional. The run gave Michigan a 2-1 win over 25th-ranked Notre Dame, who will now face the winner of this afternoon’s game between third-seeded Cleveland State and fourth-seeded Miami (Ohio). Saturday’s final affair will begin at 5:30 p.m. (ET).
Second-seeded Notre Dame fell to 42-15 with the loss as top-seeded Michigan improved to 42-10. The Irish now need to win-out to avoid going home in the double-elimination tournament and advance to the NCAA Super Regionals.
Michigan recorded a pair of hits before Alexia Clay tallied Notre Dame’s first base knock with a single in the third.
The Irish made the most of their second hit as Heather Johnson creamed a solo home run to dead center in the top of the fourth.
Steph Kirkpatrick drew a one-out walk in the fifth, advanced on Teddi Ewing’s sacrifice bunt but was left in scoring position when Brittney Bargar (23-11) got lead-off batter Bree Evans to groundout to Linda Kohan at second.
The sun came out to clear the overcast Ann Arbor sky in time for the bottom of the sixth, and it aided Bargar’s eyesight as the tosser snagged a one-out liner by Amanda Chidester then fielded Roya St. Clair’s bouncer back to the circle for the final out.
Johnson added a single up the middle in the seventh though Michigan got what it needed as Jordan Taylor (18-5) struck out the next three batters to bring her contest total to 11.
Maggie Viefhaus carried the momentum into the bottom half of the frame for Michigan by sending a 1-2 pitch over the right field fence to tie the game at 1-1. A bloop single to center by Nikki Nemitz forced the hand of Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf, who opted to relieve Bargar with Jody Valdivia. Valdivia’s first pitch struck Dorian Shaw and Kirkpatrick popped up a bunt before pinch-hitter Marley Powers stepped into the box. Powers, who homered against Notre Dame during last year’s NCAA Regional, went back to the dugout on three strikes. Evans then breezed a single into left field that was misjudged by the Irish to score the game-winning run.
Viefhaus finished 2-for-3 as Johnson paced the Irish with two hits.
Bargar gave up five hits and two earned runs with five strikeouts in 6.0 frames. Taylor gave up one earned run on three Irish hits in the complete-game win.