April 23, 1999
IRISH HEAD EAST AGAIN: The Irish head to Connecticut and Providence this weekend for their last road conference games before the BIG EAST Tournament. With two wins over Boston College last weekend, the Irish are atop the BIG EAST standings with a perfect 8-0 record, two games in front of second place Seton Hall (6-2).
RUMBLE WITH THE RAMBLERS: In their longest game of the season, the Notre Dame softball team lost 3-2 in 11 innings to visiting Loyola University Chicago Tuesday in a non-conference game at Ivy Field. The night cap was called after the first inning due to inclement weather.
After a scoreless first inning, the Irish got on the board in the bottom of the second after sophomore Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.) hit her 14th double of the year and came around to score on a throwing error by Rambler third baseman Sue Stanley. Loyola, however, mounted a rally in the third after three straight batters singled with one out to load the bases. Rambler catcher Jackie Geraci then hit a slow grounder to Irish shortstop Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.), who tried to get the force out at home, but came up unsuccessful, tying the score at 1-1. Loyola then added another run one batter later on an RBI ground out by designated player Ashley Gibbons to take the 2-1 lead. The Irish responded two innings later when Alkire hit her seventh home run of the season on a 1-2 pitch to knot the score at 2-2.
The game remained 2-2 until the top of the 11th inning when Stanley singled and later scored on designated player Kim Cummings’ game-winning double to right-center field. Rambler pitcher Erin Smith (9-7), who earned the win after pitching all 11 innings, then retired the Notre Dame side in order in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the victory. Irish hurler Jennifer Sharron (12-7) took the loss after pitching a little over 10 innings and giving up one run and eight hits.
RAIN, RAIN, RAIN: So far this season, rain has canceled three games and caused one to be moved a day. Tuesday’s second half of the doubleheader against Loyola was canceled after the two teams played a two hour and 45 minute game one. Last Sunday, the Irish and the visiting DePaul Blue Demons played two and a half innings of their doubleheader before rain canceled both games. The team’s BIG EAST doubleheader with Villanova also had to be moved to Monday, April 12.
BEATING BOSTON: In the team’s best offensive showing of the year, the Irish swept two-time defending BIG EAST championBoston College, 7-0 in the first game and 8-1 in the second on Saturday, April 17. The team had a combined 27 hits in the two games, including a season-high 15 in game one.
Game one of the doubleheader pitted Notre Dame’s Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.), the 1998 BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year, against Eagles’ pitcher Mary Dietz, the 1999 BIG EAST Preseason Pitcher of the Year. Sharron shutout Boston College in the top of the first, however, Dietz wasn’t so lucky as the Irish scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning on a RBI-single by freshman Jarrah Myers (Carbondale, Kan.) and a two RBI-double by Sharron, which hit just off the top of the fence in right-center field. The Irish then added single runs in the bottom of the second and third and three innings later scored two more runs to take a 7-0 lead. Freshman pitcher Michelle Moschel (Naples, Fla.), who relieved Sharron in the sixth, walked the first batter to open the seventh, but retired the next three in order to preserve the 7-0 win.
Sharron picked up her 12th win of the season to move to 12-6, while Dietz, who was relieved by Brooke Shull in the middle of the third, took the loss to drop to 4-6. The Irish ended the game with a season-high 15 hits, while freshman Jennifer Kriech (4-for-4, three runs) and sophomore Melanie Alkire (3-for-3, two runs) were both perfect at the plate.
After a scoreless first inning in game two, the Eagles scored their first run of the doubleheader in the second after Chris Vicari walked and came around to score an unearned run. Notre Dame, however, took the lead in the bottom of the second when senior Kris McCleary (Westerville, Ohio) and sophomore Lizzy Lemire both singled to open the inning and later came around to score on a single by freshman Kas Hoag (Wallingford, Conn.) and a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Sarah Kirkman. With the score still 2-1 Irish going into the bottom of the fifth, Notre Dame put across five runs on five hits highlighted by RBI-doubles from Alkire and McCleary and RBI-singles by senior Amy Laboe (Monroe, Mich.) and Myers. The Irish wrapped up the game’s scoring with another run in the sixth to eventually claim a 8-1 victory.
The two seven-run losses were Boston College’s worst in the BIG EAST since Providence beat them 10-2 in April 1996.
AMONG THE BEST: Notre Dame appeared in the national rankings for the first time this year in three categories. After the team’s overall batting average rocketed from .298 to .307 following the Boston College series, the Irish were 14th in the nation in team batting average. BIG EAST foe Villanova, ironically, is atop the standings with a .352 team average, despite tallying only six hits in two games versus Notre Dame.
Also appearing individually in the national standing are pitchers Michelle Moschel, who is tied for 12th with three saves, and Jennifer Sharron, who is 48th in earned-run average with a 1.18 mark.
In BIG EAST stats, the Irish leads the conference in team batting (.377) and team pitching (0.81 ERA), while individually, Melanie Alkire is first in runs scored (11) and Sharron is tops in wins (5).
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES: Connecticut, 18-16 overall, is currently tied for third with Boston College in the BIG EAST standings with a 7-3 record after splitting doubleheaders with Seton Hall, Villanova and Rutgers. Under head coach Karen Mullins, the Huskies scored a big non-conference win over Hofstra (2-1), while they have lost to Louisiana State (2-7), which also beat the Irish earlier this season.
Leading UCONN offensively is sophomore Jessica Yanosy, who is batting .397 and has scored a team-high 18 runs. Fellow classmate and last week’s BIG EAST Co-Player of the Week Abbie Link is also an offensive threat for the Huskies with 25 RBI so far this season. On the mound, coach Mullins’ squad is anchored by sophomore Megan Biddle and senior Jill Cameron who both have seven wins to their credit.
The Irish have the edge in the all-time series between the two schools at 7-5, but the Huskies won the two teams’ last meeting at the 1998 BIG EAST Championships by the score of 4-1 to end Notre Dame’s 17-game win streak.
KAS’S CONNECTION: Freshman Kathleen “Kas” Hoag will be seeing a familiar face when she travels back to her home state of Connecticut for the first time this weekend. Hoag’s best friend and high school teammate Mandy Simijan is a sophomore third baseman for the Huskies and has started in 26 of the team’s 34 games.
SCOUTING THE FRIARS: Providence has won just one BIG EAST game in eight tries so far this season and has a 10-31 overall record not including Saturday’s games against last place Pittsburgh.
Under head coach Dana Fulmer, Jamie Servidone leads the Friars in batting with a .291 average and four home runs, while pitchers Heather Nathan (3-16) and Robyn West (6-13) have started in 19 and 17 games respectively.
Overall, the Friars have just one senior on their roster, leftfielder Lindsay Garfield, and are winless in seven tries against the Irish.
RESCHEDULING THE RED STORM: The BIG EAST doubleheader with St. John’s, originally scheduled for April 30 at noon, has been moved to May 1 at 11 a.m.
NOTES: The Irish received one vote in the latest NFCA poll (see page two), while they are 52nd in the Utah Blue Power Ratings…Freshman third baseman Jarrah Myers turned 19 yesterday, April 22…The Irish almost faced one of its own at last Sunday’s doubleheader against DePaul, which was canceled due to rain. DePaul assistant coach Sara Hayes, who owns the Irish record for most home runs in a season with 10, played for Notre Dame from 1992-95. Tatum Allen, sister of former Notre Dame catcher Korrie Allen (1995-98), also plays for the Blue Demons.
HEAD COACH LIZ MILLER: After reaching her 800th career win earlier this month against Rutgers, Miller now has a career record of 805-274 and a 264-132 mark in seven seasons at Notre Dame.
UP NEXT: The Irish play their final home games of the season next week against IUPUI on Tuesday at 4 p.m., while St. John’s and Seton Hall both travel to Ivy Field next weekend.
USA Today/NFCA PollApril 21, 1999 R School 1999 Record 1. UCLA (25) 45-2 2. Fresno State 48-7 3. Arizona 37-9 4. USL 43-5 5. Washington 31-11 6. Michigan 40-6-1 7. Louisiana State 38-6 8. Oregon State 38-13 9. Oklahoma 36-1110. Arizona State 34-1411. Texas 35-1312. Stanford 32-1513. California 33-1414. Illinois-Chicago 56-1315. Southern Mississippi 41-516. South Carolina 37-1617. Oregon 32-1718. Texas A&M 35-1319. Massachusetts 30-820. New Mexico 34-921. South Florida 39-1722. DePaul 33-1023. Iowa 30-16-124. Florida Atlantic 41-1825. Maryland 38-18
Others: Missouri, Michigan State, Alabama, Hawai’i, Minnesota, Hofstra, Illinois State, Florida State, Georgia, Southern Illinois, Tennessee, Pacific, troy State, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Arkansas, Boston University, Central Michigan, Delaware, Evansville, Nebraska, Cal State Fullerton, Middle Tennessee, Northern Illinois, NOTRE DAME.
1999 BIG EAST Players of The Week
March 8 – Megan O’Leary (Villanova)
March 15 – Vickie Lamb (Seton Hall)
March 22 – Mia Brickhouse (Villanova)
March 29 – Amy Laboe (Notre Dame), Natalie Denning (Seton Hall)
April 6 – Vickie Lamb (Seton Hall)
April 12 – Juliette Brooks (Rutgers)
April 19 – Vickie Lamb (Seton Hall), Abbie Link (UCONN)
1999 BIG EAST Pitchers of the Week
March 8 – Kerri Stoller (Villanova)
March 15 – Jenn Berghoff (Seton Hall)
March 22 – Mary Dietz (B. College), Carrie Walpole (Villanova)
March 29 – Misty Beaver (Seton Hall)
April 6 – Jennifer Shatton (ND), Megan Biddle (UCONN)
April 12 – Mary Dietz (B. College)
April 19 – Jen Berghoff (Seton Hall)
1999 BIG EAST Rookie of the Week
March 8 – Molly Hanneman (Villanova)
March 15 – Heather Garboden (Villanova)
March 22 – Rhianna Rogers (Pittsburgh)
March 29 – Jarrah Myers (Notre Dame)
April 6 – Kim Jackson (Seton Hall)
April 12 – Caryn Haskins (UCONN)
April 19 – Kim Jackson (Seton Hall)
BIG EAST Statistics – All Games (4/19/99)
3. Notre Dame (.307)
3. Notre Dame (1.92 ERA)
3. Jennifer Sharron, ND (1.18 ERA)
8. Michelle Moschel, ND (2.12 ERA)
9. Angela Bessolo, ND (2.28 ERA)
3. Lizzy Lemire (50)
3. Jarrah Myers (50)
5. Melanie Alkire (49)
9. Jenny Kriech (45)
3. Kris McCleary (7)
6. Melanie Alkire (6)
6. Jenny Kriech (8)
5. Melanie Alkire (26)
5. Amy Laboe (26)
9. Lizzy Lemire (24)
Runs Batted In
4. Jarrah Myers (29)
6. Melanie Alkire (25)
2. Lizzy Lemire (13)
5. Notre Dame (.949)
4. Jennifer Sharron (12)
7. Angela Bessolo (10)
4. Jennifer Sharron (112)
9. Angela Bessolo (72)
1. Michelle Moschel (3)
4. Melanie Alkire, Angela Bessolo (2)
4. Jennifer Sharron (113)
7. Angela Bessolo (107.1)
3. Jennifer Sharron, Angela Bessolo (3)
NCAA REGIONAL RANKINGS (4/15/99)
Michigan, DePaul, Illnois-Chicago, Central Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota, Penn State, Northwestern, NOTRE DAME
Massachusetts, Hofstra, Boston Univ., Connecticut, Villanova, Harvard, Delaware, Cornell, Seton Hall, Canisius
Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Missouri, S. Illinois, Texas Tech, SW Missouri State, Baylor, Evansville
USL, LSU, South Carolina, South Florida, S. Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Maryland, Mississippi State, Florida State
Fresno State, Hawai’i, Long Beach St., Pacific, CSU Fullerton, New Mexico, Utah, UCSB
UCLA, Arizona, Washington, Arizona State, Oregon State, California, Stanford, Oregon, CSU Sacramento, CSU Northridge.