April 25, 2002
The University of Notre Dame softball team (29-13) shook off an early deficit to post a 5-1 victory over IUPU-Fort Wayne (5-25) at Ivy Field on Thursday evening. The Irish increased their winning streak to eight games heading into its last BIG EAST Conference road trip and avoided a let down after their big victory over #4 Nebraska on Tuesday.
Notre Dame starting pitcher Carrie Wisen survived a shaky first inning to earn her 12th victory of the season. IPFW’s Sonia Atienzo led off the game with and infield single and scored two batters later when Angela Grabczack tripled into the right-centerfield gap. Wisen recovered to get two strikeouts to end the inning.
Both teams were forced to deal with some tough weather conditions, as the sun was out but the wind was howling. Approaching gusts of 40 miles-per-hour, the windy conditions would prove tough to deal with for both team’s defenses.
Local product Mindy Pomeroy (Mishawaka, Ind.) took the mound for the Mastodons and kept the Irish offense off-balance early with her quick pitching style. A fast worker in the circle, Pomeroy worked her way through the Notre Dame lineup effectively for the first time and gave up just one hit to Lisa Mattison.
The Irish offense would finally break through in the third inning. With one out, Jenny Kriech singled and stole second base. Megan Ciolli moved her to third with a groundout and Kriech eventually scored on a Mastodon fielding error. Myers kept the rally going with a single through the left side, but the IPFW defense stepped up and bailed Pomeroy out. Andria Bledsoe smoked the first pitch she was offered into centerfield and the ball seemed destined to reach the wall. Centerfielder Shelley Fralick made a diving stab at the ball and it stuck in her glove for a sensational catch and a run-saving out.
In the fourth inning, Mattison reached on a throwing error to lead off the inning. Notre Dame’s hero from Tuesday’s upset of Nebraska, freshman Liz Hartmann, stepped in next and repeated her feat from earlier in the week. Hartmann drilled a 1-1 pitch over the leftfield wall for her second home run in as many games to put the Irish ahead to stay.
With a comfortable lead in hand, Wisen would make sure the Mastodons would not threaten again. She pitched a complete game, giving up four hits and striking out a career-best 11. Pomeroy ended up pitching six innings, giving up seven hits and five runs (two earned).
Notre Dame’s fourth and fifth runs came courtesy of Kriech, who crushed a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth. It was the second home run of the season for Kriech and the fifth of her career, but the big hit was extra special as it is the first home run the senior from Indianapolis, Ind., has hit at Ivy Field.
Next up for the Irish will be a trip to the East Coast for some BIG EAST Conference doubleheader action. Notre Dame will face Boston College, fourth in the league standings, on Saturday at noon. The Irish will stay in New England on Sunday, taking on Providence at 11 a.m. The next home game on the 2002 schedule is a single-game matchup with Oakland on Tuesday, May 30.