Pitching leads way for ND softball

Monday, September 18, 2006

Notre Dame softball coach Jeff Graviett has the luxury of choosing between two standout pitchers for the Bulldogs' important games.

All-stater Beth Schnurbusch is 10-0 this season, while Miranda Schlosser is 9-2. She has lost two decisions -- on Sept. 9 against Incarnate Word in the championship of that team's tournament and Saturday against Seckman in the final of the Jackson Invitational. Both those teams are in Class 4.

Notre Dame, the state runner-up in Class 3 last year after making its first final four appearance in 2004, has not lost to a Class 3 team this season.

The Bulldogs relied on Schnurbusch in last year's playoff run. She finished 20-1 -- losing only the state title game -- with a 1.13 ERA. Schlosser finished 7-1 with an ERA of 0.54.

"If I had to make a choice right now, it would be tough," Graviett said.

But it's not a bad choice to have.

Notre Dame defeated Class 2 power Kelly 9-5 in the semifinals on Saturday before the 4-2 loss to Seckman.

"What I told the girls is I saw a huge amount of fight in this game and the Kelly game," Graviett said.

Kelly (18-3) bounced back to beat Sullivan 3-2 in the third-place game.

The Hawks had two other wins Saturday -- 4-1 against Cor Jesu and 6-1 against Nerinx Hall.

Host Jackson (10-9) snuck by Farmington 3-2 in the opening round on a game-winning home run by Maggie Baugh, but lost in the quarterfinals. The Indians bounced back with an 11-1 win over Fox and then edged Poplar Bluff 7-6.

Hana Bolen led Jackson with an 8-for-14 day. Kelci Keith added six hits.

Central battled its way into the consolation championship after falling to Fox 5-3 in its opener. The Tigers beat Goreville, Ill., 14-2 and Vienna 7-0 to make their way to the consolation final. Once there, they lost 4-3 to Cor Jesu 4-3.

Perryville finished 1-3 in the event, posting an 11-3 win over Goreville in its final game of the day.

Busy on the bases

Delta finished 2-2 and took third by beating the host team in St. Vincent's tournament on Saturday.

The Bobcats' Kaci Menz was running around the bases several times. In a 3-2 eight-inning win against Park Hills Central, she was 3-for-5 with three stolen bases. Later in the day, in a 5-2 loss to Herculaneum, she had a triple on which she scored thanks to a fielding error. And in the third-place game against St. Vincent, a 9-1 win, she was 2-for-4 with a double and a home run.

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