March 31, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After posting a perfect 19-0 record against BIG EAST opponents in 1999, the 21st-ranked Notre Dame softball team dropped its first conference game since 1998 to the visiting Connecticut Huskies 5-4 Friday in the first game of the doubleheader. The Irish, who finished the night with a 24-9 record, then won the second game 3-0 as Connecticut fell to 18-10.
In game one, Connecticut got on the board first, scoring two runs in the top of the second on second baseman Lisa Girolamo’s double down the left field line. The Irish closed the gap to one when junior Danielle Klayman (San Diego, Calif.) scored from third on a single through the right side sophomore Jenny Kriech’s (Indianapolis, Ind.).
The Huskies, however, retook the momentum, scoring three runs in the top of the fifth, to move the score to 5-1.
Notre Dame mounted a rally in the bottom half of the seventh inning when with one out, junior Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.) singled and then advanced to third on Klayman’s double to left-center field. Pinch hitter sophomore Kas Hoag (Wallingford, Conn.) doubled up the left field line to score both Lemire and Klayman and move the Irish to within two at 5-3. Kriech, the next batter, singled through the left side to put runners at first and third. Pitcher Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) added the last RBI of the game and the last run of the game to the scoreboard on a single to the pitcher, scoring Hoag. Connecticut pitcher Barbara Cook finally ended the threat and the game by getting junior Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.) to line into a double play to shortstop.
Sharron took the loss to drop to 12-5, while Cook improved to 12-2.
In game two, Notre Dame struck first when freshman Andria Bledsoe’s (Higley, Ariz.) infield single with the bases loaded scored Alkire from third. The Irish added two more runs to its lead in the bottom of the sixth after Kriech singled on a 3-2 count to score Bledsoe and junior Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.).
Irish starting pitcher sophomore Michelle Moschel (Naples, Fla.) held the Huskies to just three hits, picking up her third shutout and sixth complete game of 2000 to move to 6-4. Connecticut had just one runner reach third base when leftfielder Nicole Dubovik tripled to right field with one out in the sixth. The Irish, however, got out of the inning when UCONN third baseman Many Simjian was out on a bunt back to the pitcher and first baseman Abbie Link flied out to right field.
With the 3-0 win, Irish head coach Liz Miller earned her 300th career victory at Notre Dame and ran her eight-year record to 300-144.
Notre Dame plays host to BIG EAST Conference foe Providence, Sunday, April 2, at 11 a.m. The Irish then play host to another doubleheader Tuesday, April 4, when DePaul comes to Ivy Field. The first game of the DePaul series will be broadcast on a tape-delay basis by WHME-TV 46 at 11 p.m. EST.