March 29, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Despite stranding nine base runners, the 21st-ranked Notre Dame softball team defeated visiting Eastern Michigan 5-2 Wednesday at Ivy Field. The Irish moved to 23-8 on the season, while the Eagles dropped to an even 11-11.
The Irish scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning when lead-off hitter sophomore Jennifer Kriech (Indianapolis, Ind.) tripled to right field and then scored on junior Melanie Alkire’s (Union City, Calif.) infield single.
The Eagles came back in the top of the fourth inning when Randi Wolfe singled up the middle and Christie Koester doubled off the wall in right field with no outs. Catcher Kristen Zabalavicius then slapped another singled up the middle to score both runs, giving Eastern a 2-1 lead. Irish pitcher Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.), who entered in relief of starter Michele Moschel (Naples, Fla.) with one out, got Notre Dame out of the inning, striking out Crystal Thompson and getting designated player Sara Thiesmeyer to pop out to third.
Eastern Michigan’s 2-1 edge was short-lived as the Irish scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 5-2 lead on freshman Lisa Mattison’s (Granger, Ind.) RBI double, the first of her career, Alkire’s two-run single up the middle and sophomore Jarrah Myers’ (Carbondale, Kan.) RBI single to right field.
Sharron and the Notre Dame defense proved stingy through the rest of the game as the Irish earned their 23rd win of the season. Sharron improved her pitching record to 12-4, while Eastern Michigan starter Corey Repicky fell to 2-2.
The Irish will play host to two more doubleheaders this week beginning on Friday with the BIG EAST conference-opener against rival Connecticut at 4 p.m. Notre Dame will then play Providence in another conference doubleheader Sunday at 11 a.m.
(*Notre Dame and Eastern Michigan were originally scheduled to meet for a doubleheader, however, both teams agreed to play just one game.)