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In Evanston, IL:
Wind: 5 ESE
Game 1: Notre Dame 5, UC Santa Barbara 2
Notre Dame used a third-inning grand slam from Meagan Ruthrauff to outlast UC Santa Barbara, 5-2.
The game was scoreless through two-and-a-half innings before the Irish loaded the bases with a walk and two bunt singles in the bottom of the third. Ruthrauff then crushed a pitch off the side of McGaw Hall for a 4-0 lead. A sacrifice fly by Sara Schoonaert in the fourth pushed the ND lead to five, 5-0.
UCSB began to hit ND starter Heather Booth hard in the fifth, getting two runs on a home run, a double and a single. With runners on first and third and two outs, Tiffany Wright thought she had drawn a walk and headed to first base, but the count was just at 3-1. Seeing Wright headed out of the batter's box, Ericka Hansen left first for second while Booth had the ball in the circle. Hansen was called out for leaving the bag early to end the UCSB rally.
The Gauchos ended up with three doubles in the game, but could not get closer than three runs, 5-2.
Game 2: No. 4 Northwestern 4, Southern Illinois 0
Northwestern's Eileen Canney fired a one-hit shutout and struck out 13 batters to cruise NU to a 4-0 win over Southern Illinois.
Canney allowed only a third-inning bunt single and fanned eight through the first three innings alone.
The Wildcats scored all of the game's runs in the bottom of the fourth. Two Saluki errors allowed pinch runner Ann Schraufnagel to score the game's first run before Ashley Crane singled to short to score another. Darcy Sengewald then ripped a double into left-center to plate a pair of runs for the 4-0 Wildcat victory.
All four of the runs in the game were unearned. Crane led the Wildcats with a 2-for-3 performance including an RBI and a run scored.
Game 3: No. 4 Northwestern 9, Notre Dame 0 (5)
Northwestern scored four runs in the top of the first inning and senior Courtnay Foster picked up her third-consecutive shutout in a 9-0, five inning win for the Wildcats over the Irish of Notre Dame.
Freshman Erin Dyer hit a bases-clearing double to drive in three during the four-run NU first inning. The Wildcats added two more in the second on a Tammy Williams double and a Jamie Dotson sacrifice fly.
Northwestern's final three runs came in the fourth on a Kristen Amegin double, a Sheila McCorkle RBI groundout and another Dyer double.
Foster allowed four hits and two walks while striking out five for Northwestern. Heather Booth started and took the loss for the Irish, allowing six runs on seven hits in 1.0 inning pitched.
Game 4: Southern Illinois 2, UC Santa Barbara 1
Southern Illinois scored two runs in the top of the first inning and Cassidy Scoggins made them hold up in a 2-1 elimination game win over UC Santa Barbara.
Tiffanie Dismore began the game by getting on base courtesy of an error, then Krystal Stein earned a base hit. With two outs, Lauren Roney lifted a triple to the deepest part of Sharon J. Drysdale field to score both runners and give the Salukis a 2-0 advantage on a pair of unearned runs.
The Gauchos got one run back in the bottom of the second inning when pitcher Jennifer Davis drove in Ericka Hansen with an RBI single.
No more scoring would occur in the game, with both pitchers allowing four hits while striking out seven. Scoggins earned the win to advance Southern Illinois. Despite not giving up an earned run, Davis was pegged with the loss and UC Santa Barbara was eliminated.
Game 5: Notre Dame 5, Southern Illinois 4
Southern Illinois jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with two runs in the first inning and one in the second. Amanda Clifton and Lauren Haas both ripped RBI singles in the first frame before the Salukis took advantage of a pair of Irish errors to score again in the second.
Tiffanie Dismore stood on first for SIU, then stole second. Notre Dame catcher Mallorie Lenn's throw sailed into centerfield, and Dismore took third. When the throw to third also got away, Dismore scampered home to make the score 3-0.
With Southern Illinois ahead 3-1 in the sixth, Notre Dame came roaring back. Three-consecutive singles loaded the bases, then Linda Kohan drove in two runs with a single of her own, tying the score, 3-3. With runners now on second and third, Erin Glasco scored on a passed ball to give the Irish the lead, 4-3.
Southern Illinois tied the game again in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI double by Becky Wegmann, but an RBI groundout by Notre Dame's Katie Laing in the top of the seventh proved to be the winning run in a 5-4 Irish victory.
Game 6: Northwestern 7, Notre Dame 4
In a wild, wild game to decide the Regional title, Northwestern outlasted Notre Dame in a game that saw five home runs, 7-4.
The Irish began the contest with three runs in the first inning, including a two-run homer from Katie Laing. The Wildcats got a run in the bottom of the first when Laing's high school teammate Katie Logan hit her first career home run on the first pitch of the inning.
Northwestern then tied the game, 3-3, with a two-run, second-inning homer by Ashley Crane. A solo shot from Meagan Ruthrauff in the third briefly gave Notre Dame the lead back, 4-3, but an RBI single by Kristen Amegin again knotted the score, 4-4, in the third.
The Wildcats took the lead for good on Garland Cooper's RBI double in the fourth frame, then added some insurance with a two-run, sixth-inning home run by Tammy Wllliams.
Daily ticket prices are as follows:
$5 Senior Citizens, College Students with ID, children between 2-18
The Northwestern Ticket Office phone number is 847.491.CATS (2287). Tickets will be sold on site each day of the tournament. No all-session passes will be sold. The entrance to Sharon J. Drysdale Field is located at the northwest corner of the East Ryan Field parking lot, near Anderson Hall.
Sharon J. Drysdale field is located northeast of Ryan Field and east of McGaw Hall/Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Lake Shore Drive North -- Follow LSD until it ends and merges with Sheridan Road. Take Sheridan north through Evanston (follow the signs as Sheridan winds through south Evanston). Turn left on Central Street, just north of the main campus. Go west approximately one mile to Ryan Field parking lot.
I-90/94 (Kennedy Expressway) -- Stay on the Kennedy until I-90 and 94 split. Take I-94 West (Edens Expressway) toward Milwaukee. Exit on Old Orchard Road and proceed east. Turn left on Gross Point Road and then turn right at Central Street. Follow Central Street east to Ryan Field parking lot.
From the North -- Take I-94 (Edens Expressway) East. Exit on Skokie Blvd. and turn left at stop light at Lake Avenue. Go east on Lake to Green Bay Road. Follow Green Bay road south, then turn left on Central Street and go east approximately one-half mile to the Ryan Field parking lot.
From O'Hare Airport -- Exit the airport and take I-294 (Tri-State Tollway) North. Exit on Dempster Street east. Follow Dempster to I-94 (Edens Expressway) West. Exit the Edens and turn right on Old Orchard Road. Turn left on Gross Point Road, then right on Central Street and head east approximately two miles to the Ryan Field parking lot.
Parking will be free of charge and located in the east lot of the Ryan Field complex at 1501 Central St. Signs will direct fans to the designated softball parking. The entrance to Sharon J. Drysdale Field is located at the northwest corner of that lot.
For credential requests, please contact Northwestern's sports information director, Doug Meffley, at (847) 491-3688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All members of the media are required to wear a credential at all times during the tournament. Photographers at Sharon J. Drysdale Field may be inside the fence down both foul lines in foul territory. Single pods are permissible, but tripods or other stationary setups are not; the photographer must be immediately mobile to clear the area should a play enter foul territory near them. Photographers may work unrestricted on the playing field following completion of a game, but must clear the field quickly to permit for warm-up preparations for any following games. Photographers are NEVER permitted in front of the dugouts after the start of competition.
Postgame interviews will be held for credentialed members of the media following each game, following NCAA Tournament regulations. After a 10-minute cooling off period, the media room will be opened to the media. The winning coach and select players will be available first, following by the losing coach and select players.