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Notre Dame Softball Blanks Northern Illinois 5-0

March 13, 1999

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Notre Dame sophomore Jennifer Sharron and senior Angela Bessolo each hurled complete-game one hitters as the Irish softball team blanked Northern Illinois 5-0 and North Carolina 2-0 at the National Invitational Softball Tournament in San Jose, Calif., on Saturday. Sharron came within five outs of a no hitter in Notre Dame’s first game of the day but Kelly Olson, batting ninth in the order, had a one-out hit in the bottom of the sixth. Sharron fanned a career best 13 batters, topping the nine batter she struck out against Valparaiso last year. Bessolo came within three outs of a no hitter but Natalie Amber hit a lead-off double in the seventh inning. Notre Dame improved to 12-9 with the wins an will play in the consolation championship game on Sunday. Sharron upped her record to 6-5 and Bessolo went to 5-3.

The Irish went ahead 1-0 in the first inning against the Huskies when Danielle Klayman led off with a single and scored on a double by Melanie Alkire. Kris McCleary hit a solo homer in the fourth for a 2-0 lead. Notre Dame added a pair of runs in the fifth, keyed by a double by Amy Laboe. Jarrah Myers singled, stole second, went to third on error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Sarah Kirkman in the sixth to complete the scoring.

Against the Tar Heels on Saturday, Notre Dame scored single runs in the second and third innings for the win. McCleary led off the second with a walk, went to second on a sacrifice and scored on an RBI single by Jenny Kriech. In the third inning, Klayman hit a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Laboe.

In a game played late Friday night, Alkire pitched a three-hitter as the Irish edged North Carolina 2-1. McCleary and Alkire each had an RBI as Notre Dame scored both runs in the third inning for the win. After starting off the tournament with a pair of losses, the Irish have won three straight games thanks to strong pitching. Notre Dame pitchers have allowed just five hits and one run in the last 21 innings.