April 3, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame softball team defeated Pittsburgh, 6-1 and 10-2, in the first day of 1999 BIG EAST Conference play Saturday at Ivy Field. With the doubleheader sweep, the Irish improved to 21-13 overall, 2-0 in the BIG EAST, while the Panthers, who are in their first year as a member of the BIG EAST in softball, fell to 9-17-1 overall, 0-2 in the BIG EAST.
After a scoreless first inning in game one, the Irish got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the second when sophomore Dani Klayman’s RBI-single scored freshman Angie Grimmer from second and sophomore Lizzy Lemire scored from third on a wild pitch. Notre Dame increased its lead by one in the bottom of the third to 3-0 before Pittsburgh scored a run of its own in the top of the fifth after catcher Jackie Haar doubled and then scored on a RBI-single by Clare McCann. With the game at 3-1, however, the Irish added three more runs to its lead in the bottom of the fifth, eventually winning 6-1.
In game two, Pittsburgh scored a run in the top of the first inning when Amy Steich walked, stole second and scored on Katie Mitchell’s double to left-center field to take the early 1-0 lead. The Irish retook took the lead at 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning after Lemire and freshman Jarrah Myers both hit RBI-singles to score Jenny Kriech and Melanie Alkire. Pittsburgh tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the third when third baseman Rhianna Rogers doubled and then score on a single by Steich. Notre Dame then retook the lead in the third on senior Kris McCleary’s solo home run to left field and never looked back, pushing across six runs in the fourth and one run in the fifth to win 10-2 in five innings.
Notre Dame got outstanding outings on the mound from sophomore pitcher Jennifer Sharron, who made her first start after spraining her ankle against Purdue, March 23. Sharron pitched four innings of no-hit ball in the first game to pick up the win after striking out six of the 13 batters she faced, before being relieved in the fifth inning. In game two, Sharron relieved Notre Dame starter Angela Bessolo in the middle of the second inning to pick up the win. Sharron moved to 8-6 overall with the two wins, while Pittsburgh pitchers Gina Bessolo (sister of Irish pitcher Angela Bessolo) and Laura LeViere each took the loss in game one and two respectively.
The Irish travel to Eastern Michigan for a doubleheader Monday, April 5, before hosting Western Michigan, April 7 at 4 p.m. With two wins Monday and a win in game one of the Western Michigan doubleheader, Notre Dame coach Liz Miller (796-270) could pick up her 800th career win against the Broncos, her alma mater, in game two.