April 29, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 19th-ranked Notre Dame softball team clinched a bid to next weekend’s BIG EAST Tournament by sweeping St. John’s in a conference doubleheader Saturday in Uniondale, N.Y. The Irish picked up a 7-2 win in game one and a 5-0 victory in game two to moved to 41-12 overall and 10-2 in the BIG EAST. The Red Storm dropped to 24-24 overall and 6-8 in conference.
The first game was scoreless through three innings, until the Irish scored three runs, including two on a home run by sophomore catcher Jarrah Myers (Carbondale, Kan.), who went deep for the eighth time this season. St. John’s answered back in the bottom of the inning with an unearned run with two outs to close the gap to 3-1.
In the top of the seventh, Irish junior Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.) led-off the inning with her 10th home run of the season, a solo shot to tie both her career high and the school’s record for most home run in a season. Myers and junior Danielle Klayman (San Diego, Calif.) then each added RBI singles to score three more runs as the Irish took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh.
In the seventh, St. John’s tallied one more run on a RBI single by Alesha Argeras, who ended up going 4-for-4 on the day, but winning pitcher Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) got first baseman Ann Raab to pop up to second base to end the game at 7-2 in Notre Dame’s favor.
Sharron went the distance in picking up her 22nd win of the season (22-6), while striking out eight. Courtney Fitzgerald took the loss for St. John’s to fall to 7-11.
In game two, Notre Dame got a complete-game shutout from sophomore pitcher Michelle Moschel (Naples, Fla.), who gave up just three hits in recording the team’s 21st shutout of the season, tying a school record.
Offensively, the Irish scored one in the first, one in the fifth and three in the seventh. St. John’s had only two runners reach second base safely, while none managed to reach third.
With the win, the Irish clinched a bid to the four-team BIG EAST Tournament next weekend, May 5-7, at Boston College. Notre Dame, at 10-2, is in first place, Connecticut (12-4) is second and four teams – Rutgers (6-6), Boston College (7-7), Villanova (7-7) and Seton Hall (7-7) – are all currently tied for third place. The Irish may have to make up their doubleheader with Rutgers, which was rained out April 8 at Notre Dame, should the Scarlet Knights need the two games to make the tournament.