April 22, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the second straight year, the 19th-ranked Notre Dame softball team swept a pair of games from BIG EAST Conference foe Pittsburgh, winning game one 7-3 and game two 10-0, Saturday at Frick Field in Pittsburgh, Pa. With the wins, the BIG EAST-leading Irish moved to 37-12 overall and 8-2 in conference, while the Panthers fell to 19-24 and 3-9 in BIG EAST play.
In the first game, Notre Dame scored three runs in the first inning on RBI singles from juniors Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.) and Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.) and freshman Andria Bledsoe (Higley, Ariz.). The Irish scored what turned out to be the winning run in the top of the third inning when sophomore pinch runner Rebecca Eimen (Mannford, Okla.) scored as Alkire was caught in a run down between first and second base. The team then tacked on a run in the fourth and two in the sixth to take a 7-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning.
Irish starting pitcher Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) carried a perfect game into the bottom of the sixth inning, before surrendering a lead-off single to Pittsburgh’s Amy Steich. Then in the seventh, Pittsburgh scored three unearned runs on a pair of hits and three Irish defensive errors, before Sharron ended the game with her 12th strikeout of the afternoon.
With the victory, Sharron moved to 20-6 overall in 2000, becoming only the second Notre Dame pitcher to record back-to-back 20-win seasons after finishing her 1999 sophomore campaign with a 20-10 record. Nikki Gasti took the loss for Pittsburgh, falling to 9-8.
After a scoreless first inning in game two, the Irish jumped on Pittsburgh pitcher Laura LeViere, scoring seven runs in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth to claim a 10-0 five-inning victory. Notre Dame pitcher Michelle Moschel (Naples, Fla.) earned her 10th win of the season by allowing just two hits in four innings with six strikeouts. Freshman Jessica Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) came on in relief of Moschel in the bottom of the fifth inning to preserve the team’s 19th shutout of the season.
Notre Dame plays host to #25 Illinois-Chicago, Wednesday, April 26, in the team’s last home games of the season. The first game of the non-conference doubleheader will be broadcast on a tape-delay basis by WHME-TV.