April 26, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After clinching a berth in the BIG EAST Tournament and running their conference record to a perfect 12-0, three Notre Dame players were honored by the BIG EAST for their performances last week. Sophomore Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.) earned BIG EAST Co-Player of the Week honors, senior Angela Bessolo (Lakewood, Calif.) was named BIG EAST Co-Pitcher of the Week and freshman Rebecca Eimen (Mannford, Okla.) grabbed the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week award. All are first time honorees this season.

Alkire vaulted herself into the team lead in overall batting after hitting .438 overall (7-for-16) with four runs scored, a double, a home run and four RBI in Notre Dame’s five games. Notre Dame’s starting shortstop also contributed on the mound in the team’s 1-0 win over Providence after driving in what proved to be the winning run in the third inning. Relieving starting pitcher Bessolo, Alkire allowed no hits and no runs in two and two-thirds innings of work to grab her third save of the season. She now leads both the BIG EAST and the Irish in batting with a .348 mark overall and .528 average in conference play. Alkire shares the award with Seton Hall third baseman Vickie Lamb.

Bessolo, who is 5-0 in the BIG EAST, gave up just one run en route to a 2-0 record last week. Against Connecticut on Saturday, she pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits and one run in Notre Dame’s 9-1 win. A day later, she and Alkire combined to one-hit Providence as the team sneaked by the Friars 1-0 in the second half of the doubleheader. A right-handed pitcher, Bessolo is 12-5 this season with a 2.78 earned-run average. She shared the award with Seton Hall pitcher Misty Beaver.

Eimen, who recently took over the starting position at second base, batted .400 overall and a team-leading .571 in BIG EAST games last week. She also stole two bases and was perfect in 23 fielding opportunities.

Previous 1999 Notre Dame BIG EAST weekly honorees include senior first baseman Amy Laboe (co-player of the week), sophomore pitcher Jennifer Sharron (co-pitcher of the week) and freshman Jarrah Myers (rookie of the week).