May 6, 2000
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The 19th-ranked Notre Dame softball team advanced to the BIG EAST championship final by defeating Connecticut 5-0 Saturday at Boston College’s Shea Field. The Irish, who picked up their 10th straight win, moved to 45-12 overal. The Irish advance to the BIG EAST championship game Sunday at noon for the second straight season for a rematch against Connecticut. The Huskies advanced to the championship game by eliminating Villanova 2-0. The Wildcats had earlier ended host Boston College’s season with a 4-0 victory in the first elimination game of the tournament.
The Huskies threatened early, loading the bases with no outs in the top of the first. Irish starting pitcher Michelle Moschel (Naples, Fla.) got out of the jam after getting two UCONN batters to foul out and striking out one.
The Irish mounted their own offensive rally in their first at bat when junior Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.), who was named the BIG EAST player of the year for the second consecutive season at Friday night’s championship banquet, went deep for the 11th time of the season to straight away center. Alkire’s home run, which also scored sophomore Jennifer Kriech (Indianapolis, Ind.), tied her for the team lead and the single-season school record with teammate Jarrah Myers (Carbondale, Kan.), who hit her 11th in the team’s 5-2 win over Boston College Friday.
Alkire took over the record by herself in her next at bat in the bottom of the third, belting her second home run of the game over the left field fence and through the uprights of the adjacent football practice field goal posts to give the Irish a 3-0 lead. Alkire, who went 3-for-3 on the day, became the third Notre Dame player this season to hit two home runs in a game.
Connecticut refused to back down, putting runners on first and second base with one out. Moschel then got clean-up batter Abbie Link to strikeout and then caught catcher Jamine Bleshoff looking on strike three to once again get the Irish out of the inning.
Notre Dame added two more runs to its lead in the bottom of the fifth on RBI singles from junior Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.) and a squeeze bunt RBI by Myers.
Moschel got the win for the Irish to move to 14-5 on the season after pitching five innings and giving up seven hits. Junior pitcher and three-time BIG EAST pitcher-of-the-year Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) logged the final two innings in pitch for the Irish to combine with Moschel for the team’s school-record setting 22nd shutout of the season.
Freshman pitcher Barbara Cook took the loss for the Huskies on the mound, falling to 20-5 in 2000.