April 11, 2002
The University of Notre Dame softball team pushed its win streak to 11 games with a 4-2 victory over Purdue (27-16) at Ivy Field on Thursday afternoon. The Irish are now 19-12 on the season and will face BIG EAST Conference opponent Connecticut at home for a doubleheader on Friday at 4 p.m.
Notre Dame’s three, four, five and seven hitters (Andrea Loman, Jarrah Myers, Andria Bledsoe and Liz Hartmann) keyed the offense against the Boilermakers, accounting for eight of the team’s nine hits and all three RBIs. Meanwhile, freshman Carrie Wisen pitched one of the best games of her young career, holding the potent Purdue offense to seven hits and just two runs. Wisen is now 8-4 on the season and has won seven games in a row after starting the season 1-4.
Notre Dame was able to post a few hits Purdue starting pitcher Meagan Dooley early in the game but couldn’t get a run on the board. In the bottom of the first, Jenny Kriech worked a lead off walk and was caught stealing. Megan Ciolli then beat out an infield hit and Loman singled to leftfield to put a runner in scoring position. Myers stepped in next and hit what appeared to be a single to rightfield, but Boilermaker second basemen Andrea Hillsey robbed the Irish catcher of a hit with a perfectly timed jump and catch. Loman ended up getting doubled off first base to end the inning.
Wisen worked her way out of a runners on second and third situation in the third inning and the Irish offense was able to put some runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Loman led off with her second hit of the day, bouncing a single through the left side. Dooley then uncorked a wild pitch and Loman advanced to second, eventually ending up on third after an errant throw by the Boilermaker catcher.
Myers came through next with another single through the left side, scoring Loman with the first run of the game. Bledsoe followed with another single through the left side, moving Myers into scoring position at second base.
Lisa Mattison was due next, and the Irish first base drilled a ball to Purdue shortstop Katie Crabtree. The ball bounced right through Crabtree’s legs, leading to a two-base error that scored Myers and moved the runners to second and third. Hartmann singled in the next at bat to drive in Notre Dame’s third run of the game.
The Purdue offense attempted to get back some momentum in the top of the fifth. With one out, Anglea Knight reached on an error by Bledsoe (just the second error of the season for the Irish shorstop). Crabtree was due next and she partially atoned for her error in the bottom of the fourth by hitting Wisen’s lone mistake pitch of the game over the centerfield wall for a home run to cut the Irish lead to one run.
Purdue’s Angi Roembke kept the pressure on Wisen in the fifth with a hit, but the Irish righthander recovered to get a fielder’s choice and a strike out to end the inning.
Needing at least one more insurance run to feel more comfortable, the Irish got exactly what they needed during their next turn on offense. With two outs, Myers dropped a single down the leftfield line and moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Bledsoe followed up by knocking the first pitch she saw into leftfield to drive in Myers.
The two-run cushion is all Wisen would need. She worked a perfect sixth inning and hung in tough during the seventh. With one out in seventh, Crabtree singled off Wisen’s glove and the Irish defense stepped up, picking Crabtree off at second on a fielder’s choice. Hillsey then singled up the middle to put runners on first and second, but Heidi Foster ground into a routine fielder’s choice to end the game.
NOTES: The two Notre Dame players held out of Tuesday’s doubleheader against Valparaiso for minor injuries played the whole game against Purdue and showed no ill effects … Liz Hartmann (back) was two for three with an RBI and cleanly fielded her position … Andrea Loman (finger) was her usual steady self at third base, perfectly playing all nine balls hit her way … the Irish have now won 24 straight games at Ivy Field.