ND avenges Kelly's no-hitter

Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Notre Dame's Allison Peters was safe at second on a steal as Sikeston's Whitney Beggs waits for the late throw from home plate during the third inning of Monday's, September 27, 2004, game at Notre Dame.

The Bulldogs trimmed the Hawks 2-1 in eight innings. ~ Southeast Missourian

Notre Dame's softball team went all seven innings in its last meeting against Kelly without registering a hit.

Kristain Burger knocked a double to the wall in the first inning Monday at Notre Dame to end that streak against Kelly, then parked one over the right field wall with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the eighth to secure a 2-1 win for the Bulldogs.

"I just wanted to make contact. I'm glad I did," Burger said.

Added Notre Dame coach Jeff Graviett, "She was staying away from her. Kristain's maturing as a hitter and she went that way with it."

Like the 1-0 meeting between the two teams earlier this season, Monday's affair belonged to the pitchers. Notre Dame managed only four hits off Kelly starter Kelly Essner, while the Hawks (16-6) had three hits off Notre Dame starter Miranda Schlosser.

Despite the lack of hits, both teams had their share of opportunities. Notre Dame (17-5) struck first, scoring a run in the first off a lead-off walk. Bailey Reutzel reached on a walk, went to second on a wild pitch and eventually scored on a ground out by Whitney Ostendorf.

In the bottom of the third, Notre Dame put runners on second and third with no outs after a walk and an error. Jessica Dock was thrown out at home on a grounder to third, and Essner retired the next two batters to get out of the jam.

While the Bulldogs came away empty-handed in the third, Graviett said he was happy to see his team creating some early scoring chances.

"That's something we hadn't been doing," he said.

Meanwhile, Schlosser was cruising along. Schlosser retired the first 12 batters she faced and did not allow a hit until the sixth inning. Kelly put runners on second and third with one out in the sixth, but Notre Dame shortstop Ostendorf caught a fly ball in short left field and threw out pinch-runner Summer Proctor at the plate to keep the Bulldogs ahead 1-0.

Kelly finally managed to get on the scoreboard with two outs in the seventh inning. Kristin Harper hit a grounder to third base with runners on second and third, but an errant throw to first allowed Kelly to tie the score.

Extra innings were once again unkind to Kelly, though, with Burger's two-out home run handing the Hawks their fourth eighth-inning loss this season.

"Our odds and percentages going into extra innings are not good," Kelly coach Rhonda Ratledge said.

Schlosser struck out one, walked none and allowed three hits in eight innings for the win.

"My girls put the ball in play," Ratledge said. "Schlosser threw a good game. We hit her -- it just wasn't in the gaps."

Burger finished with two of Notre Dame's four hits off Essner. Essner struck out 11 in 7 2/3 innings and walked two.

Kelly is in action today at Poplar Bluff, while Notre Dame is off until next Monday against St. Louis Notre Dame.

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