Monday, May 19, 2003
Softball team ends season at NCAA regionals
Oakland University's softball team ended its 2003 season May 17, losing to Notre Dame 5-0 in the NCAA Regional Championships in Ann Arbor. Although the team ended the season with a loss, the season could be tabbed one of the most successful in OU history.
The Golden Grizzlies qualified for the NCAA Championships a second consecutive year by winning the Mid-Continent Conference Tournanment title and finished the season at 34-26-1.
"We came here and played some tough teams," said Coach Mike Tomlinson. "I think we surprised a lot of people. For a four-year program, we've reached the NCAA regionals two years in a row, which is an achievement in itself."
Oakland defeated Western Michigan 4-3 earlier in the day May 17 to advance to the evening game against Notre Dame.
Oakland held off Notre Dame until the second inning when Mallorie Lenn hit a two-run homer to left field to give the Irish a 2-0 lead. Golden Grizzly pitcher Julie Anderson was on the mound for Oakland and easily handled the Irish in the third inning, giving up just one hit.
Irish pinch hitter Kellie Middleton singled to right center in the top of the fourth and scored on Alexis Madrid's single to second to give Notre Dame a 3-0 lead.
Oakland's best chance to score came in the sixth when Nina Catanzaro hit a single up the middle, followed by catcher Megan Piar's single to the right side with no outs. While hot hitter Erica Burns was at the plate, Notre Dame pitcher Carrie Wisen threw a wild pitch that allowed Catanzaro and Piar to advance to second and third. However, Burns grounded out to first without driving in a run. Jennifer Granger then grounded out to first after 16 pitches, leaving both baserunners stranded.
Notre Dame finished its scoring in the seventh, taking a 5-0 lead when Andrea Loman hit a two-run homer.
Anderson remained in the game for 4.2 innings and finished her season for Oakland with a 16-11 record. Five players had one hit a piece for Oakland: Catanzaro, Piar, Granger, Linnea Utecht and Lauren Seffens.
For more information on OU's softball team, including a team roster, archived stories and records, visit the OU Athletics Web site.