April 26, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After being swept in their doubleheader last year, the 19th-ranked Notre Dame softball returned the favor against visiting #22 Illinois-Chicago (UIC) Wednesday, winning game one 4-0 and then game two 7-1. The Irish improved to 39-12 overall, while the Flames dropped to 44-23 with the two non-conference losses.
In game one, junior pitcher Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) pitched her 10th shutout of the season, striking out 11 and limiting UIC to just three hits. Irish junior Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.) provided all the run support Sharron would need in the first inning, lifting her ninth home run of the season to score lead-off hitter Jennifer Kriech (Indianapolis, Ind.) and pinch runner Rebecca Eimen (Mannford, Okla.).
Notre Dame then added to its lead in the second inning when junior Dani Klayman (San Diego, Calif.) hit a lead-off double to left-center field, advanced to third on a fielder’s choice bunt and then scored on Sharron’s RBI single to left field.
UIC had just one runner reach third base when clean-up hitter Stephanie Christoferson doubled and advanced to third in the first inning but was left stranded when All-American Sam Iuli, who took the loss on the mound, struck out to end the inning.
The Irish took the early lead once again in game two, scoring three runs on RBI singles by freshman Andrea Loman (Riverside, Calif.) and junior Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.) in the bottom of the third. Illinois-Chicago came back the very next inning to load the bases, but starting pitcher Michelle Moschel (Naples, Fla.) got out of the two-out jam when shortstop Alkire made a tough throw over to first for the out on a ground ball up the middle by Emily Hallman.
Alkire continued her success against the Flames, leading off the bottom of the fourth with a double up the left field line, advancing to third on a passed ball and scoring on another Lemire RBI single to make the score 4-0.
Notre Dame put the game out of reach with a three-run outburst in the sixth inning. UIC finally put its first run of the doubleheader on the board in the top of the seventh, but it was too late as Moschel struck out catcher Gina Arnold to end the game.
Moschel earned her 11th win of the season, scattering seven hits and striking out eight UIC batters. UIC pitcher Maral Binnebose slipped to 9-4 with the loss.
The Irish hits the road for their last regular season games of the season versus BIG EAST opponents St. John’s (Saturday) and Seton Hall (Sunday) with the conference regular season title and top seed at next weekend’s conference tournament on the line.