March 15, 2001
The 14th-ranked University of Notre Dame softball team won its first game in the 2001 Kia Klassic 6-0 over Utah State (3-13) Thursday afternoon in Fullerton, Calif.. The Irish are now 15-1 on the season and will face #7 Fresno State at 1 p.m., this afternoon.
Notre Dame’s bats were unusually silent for the first five innings of the game while starting pitcher Kristin Schmidt (Houston, Texas) kept the Aggies off the scoreboard. Schmidt earned her seventh victory of the season, striking out 13 and giving up just four hits. She also benefited from another impressive defensive display by the Irish, particularly a diving catch by leftfielder Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.) in the bottom of the fourth.
The Irish offense was equally quiet were over the first five innings of the game as well, mustering just three hits, two singles from shortstop Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.) and a single from Andrea Loman (Riverside, Calif.).
With an air of expectation that it was time for the Irish to put some runs on the board, the top of the order came to bat in the sixth inning.
Jenny Kriech (Indianapolis, Ind.) stepped into the box to lead off and singled to right field. Danielle Klayman (San Diego, Calif.) moved Kriech to second with a sacrifice bunt and Jarrah Myers (Carbondale, Calif.) eventually knocked Kriech in for Notre Dame’s first run of the game.
With the bases loaded, Loman ripped a shot off Utah State pitcher Xochitl Ramirez’ glove, which she was able to control and throw home to force Alkire out at the plate.
Andria Bledsoe (Higley, Ariz.) stepped in next and drilled the first pitch deep into the gap in left-centerfield, allowing Loman, Lemire and Myers to score.
Lisa Mattison (Granger, Ind.), who started her first game of the year at designated player versus Utah State, then lined a single to centerfield and Bledsoe was waved around to come home. After a spectacular collision at the plate, Bledsoe was able to pop the ball loose and score Notre Dame’s fifth run of the inning.
Kas Hoag (Southington, Conn.) stepped in to run for Mattison at second and eventually scored Notre Dame’s sixth and final run on Alexis Madrid’s (Temecula, Calif.) first double of the season.
Schmidt worked perfect one-two-three innings in the sixth and seventh, striking out four Aggie batters to secure the victory for the Irish. Schmidt lowered her season ERA to 1.07 and is now 7-1 on the season.
Notre Dame will face #7 Fresno State at 1 p.m. on Thursday to continue competition in the Kia Klassic. The game will be available via live audio at the Fresno State official athletic website, www.gobulldogs.com.