April 10, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind.- Despite a strong pitching effort from sophomore Brittney Bargar (Corona, Calif./Corona) and senior Kenya Fuemmeler (Salisbury, Mo./Salisbury), Notre Dame’s softball team (19-13, 8-0 BIG EAST) had its 10-game winning-streak snapped in a 2-1 loss to Eastern Michigan (11-15) on Tuesday, April 10. The Irish and Eagles were originally scheduled to play a doubleheader but in a mutual decision between the two coaching staffs only a single game was played. The loss only stopped Notre Dame’s 10-game winning-streak at home.
Bargar started for the Irish and went the first four innings with only a hit allowed and three strikeouts. Fuemmeler came on in relief and threw the final three innings allowing both runs on three hits with two strikeouts.
Senior Stephanie Brown (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) was the bright spot of the offense. The centerfielder launched her first home run of the season deep over the right-field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning to draw the Irish to within a run at 2-1, but that would be as close as Notre Dame could get in the loss.
The Eagles would threaten in the second inning as Jenny Scherer hit a leadoff single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. A ground out to the Irish hurler moved Scherer to third, but she was stranded there on Lindsay Ritz inning ending strikeout.
The Irish recorded their first hit of the game in the second inning. Freshman Heather Johnson (Los Alamitos, Calif./Mater Dei) ripped a single to center to start the frame. Junior Sarah Smith (Oklahoma City, Okla./Heritage Hall) was inserted as a pinch runner and moved to second on the sacrifice bunt from freshman Christine Lux (Glendale Heights, Ill./Glenbard East). But Smith was stranded at second as a fly out and strikeout ended the inning.
Sophomore Erin Glasco (Johnston City, Ill./Johnston City) smashed a single up the middle to begin the third. Junior Brittany Glynn (Seymour, Conn./St. Joseph’s) ran for Glasco and after a foul out was forced out at second on Brown’s fielder’s choice to third. Brown was caught stealing to end the frame.
The Eagles, after a pitching change in the fifth, broke through for a run. Jessica Grant greeted the new Irish pitcher with a sharp single to center. A sacrifice bunt and ground out advanced her to second and then third. Grant would come in with the first run of the game on Lauren Clark’s single up the middle.
Eastern Michigan would add an important insurance run in the sixth inning. Ashley Strauss smashed a double to center to start the troublesome inning. She then smartly stole third on a delayed steal. A Scherer sacrifice fly to left brought home Strauss with the second run of the afternoon.
The Irish would answer with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame on Brown’s home run to right field but that was as close they could get in a 2-1 loss.
Next, Notre Dame will continue the busy week with a road trip to conference rival No. 19/16 DePaul (24-7, 8-0 BIG EAST) at 4 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 12 in Chicago at Cacciatore Stadium. The game will be a match-up of the only two undefeated teams left in BIG EAST Conference play.
Irish Notes: Notre Dame announced it has rescheduled its Valparaiso game to Thursday, April 19 at 5 p.m. … the 10-game winning-streak was the longest for Notre Dame since March 20, 2005-April 19, 2005 when the team won 19 games in a row …Brown extended her hitting streak to a now season-best nine games.