March 18, 2000
FULLERTON, Calif. — The Notre Dame softball team used some timely hits to defeat 16th-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette 4-3 Saturday morning in day four action of the Kia Classic at Cal State Fullerton. The Irish, who posted their first win over a top 20 opponent in 2000, improved to 17-5 overall and 3-1 in tournament action, while the Lady Cajuns fell to 18-6.
Notre Dame started the day when lead-off hitter sophomore Jenny Kriech (Indianapolis, Ind.) went deep for the first time this season with a home run over the fence in right field. The Irish added another run in the second inning after junior Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.) doubled up the left field line to score freshman Andria Bledsoe (Higley, Ariz.) from third base.
The Lady Cajuns got on the board in the top of the fourth after Michele Bailon walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and then scored on a bloop single to shallow right field. The Irish, however, moved their lead to 4-1 when Bledsoe doubled down the left field line to drive in Andrea Loman (Riverside, Calif.) and later scored on an error by the Lady Cajuns’ shortstop.
The Irish three-run lead was short lived, however, as Louisiana-Lafayette scored a run in the top of the sixth when Jerie Alexander singled to open the inning and scored on Jana Mower’s RBI single to right field. The Lady Cajuns then tried to score another run with two outs when Mower tried to come home from second on Michelle Hummel’s single to second base, but was tagged out at the plate by Notre Dame catcher Jarrah Myers (Carbondale, Kan.).
Notre Dame pitcher Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) then retired Louisiana-Lafayette in order in the top of the seventh to earn her ninth win of the season (9-2).
The Irish advance in bracket play to face sixth- ranked Oklahoma Saturday evening at 5p.m.with the winner earning a trip to the tournament semifinal game Sunday.