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Notre Dame Softball Picked To Finish First In BIG EAST

Jan. 19, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 2000 Notre Dame softball team has been chosen to finish first in the BIG EAST in a preseason poll of conference coaches released Wednesday. The Irish, with eight of the nine first-place votes, finished with 64 votes overall, 11 more than Boston College, which finished second in the voting with 53.

Notre Dame junior pitcher Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) was selected the BIG EAST preseason pitcher of the year, while junior shortstop Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.) was picked as the BIG EAST preseason player of the year. Sharron and Alkire were joined on the 12-member preseason all-BIG EAST Team by outfielders Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.) and Jennifer Kriech (Indianapolis, Ind.), giving the Irish the most selections of any of the conference’s nine teams. Sharron also was the only unanimous selection to the preseason team.

The Irish are coming off a 42-20 season in which they won their first BIG EAST championship and advanced to the NCAA regional round. Sharron earned her second nod in as many seasons as the 1999 BIG EAST pitcher of the year, while Alkire was honored as the 1999 BIG EAST player of the year. Sharron, Alkire, Lemire and Kriech were all-BIG EAST first team selections in 1999.

Boston College placed three players on the preseason all-BIG EAST team including pitcher Mary Dietz, catcher Summer Jarratt and utility player Lauren Fischetti. Villanova and Connecticut both contributed two players to the preseason team.

The Notre Dame softball team will begin its 2000 campaign in Las Vegas, Nev., at the UNLV Classic on February 18.

2000 BIG EAST Preseason Awards/Poll

PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Melanie Alkire, Notre Dame
PRESEASON PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Jennifer Sharron, Notre Dame

2000 Softball Preseason Coaches Poll 2000 PreseasonAll-BIG EAST Team
1. Notre Dame (8) 64 P Mary Dietz, Boston College
2. Boston College (1) 53 P *Jennifer Sharron, ND
3. Connecticut 47 C Summer Jarratt, Boston College
4. Seton Hall 46 IF Melanie Alkire, ND
5. Villanova 37 IF Vicki Lamb, Seton Hall
6. Rutgers 31 IF Jackie Pasquerella, Villanova
7. Providence 18 IF Jessica Yanosy, Connecticut
8. Pittsburgh 17 OF Mia Brickhouse, Villanova
9. St. John’s 11 OF Lizzy Lemire, ND
OF Jennifer Kriech, ND
U Lauren Fischetti, Boston Coll.
DP Megan Biddle, Connecticut