Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Softball Claims Four BIG EAST Softball Awards

May 5, 2000

NEEDHAM, Mass. – After capturing its fifth straight BIG EAST regular season title, the Notre Dame softball team cleaned-up at the conference’s annual award banquet, getting at least a share of all four major awards and placing seven players on the 12-member all-BIG EAST first team. Junior Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.) earned her second straight player-of-the-year award, junior pitcher Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) garnered her third straight pitcher-of-the-year award and freshman Andrea Loman (Riverside, Calif.) was named co-rookie of the year with Boston College’s Kim Ryan. Irish head coach Liz Miller also was named the conference coach of the year.

Alkire, who was a unanimous selection to the all-BIG EAST first team, hit .319 in 14 conference games and leads the team in overall batting average (.380) and has a school record 59 RBI in 2000. Notre Dame’s starting shortstop also earned player-of-the-year accolades and first team honors a year ago, leading the Irish to a perfect 19-0 record versus BIG EAST teams.

Sharron became the first pitcher since Connecticut’s Bridgett McCaffery (1995-97) to earn three straight pitcher-of-the-year awards. The Irish southpaw went 6-2 in conference play in 2000, notching 69 strikeouts in a little over 50 innings. Sharron, a three-time all-BIG EAST first team pick, was a unanimous selection for both first-team and the pitcher-of-the-year honors.

Loman became the third Notre Dame player to be tabbed for the rookie-of-the-year award. The Irish first baseman hit a team-best .400 in conference play, while tying for the team lead in hits (16), runs scored (13) and doubles (5). Loman, who earned first team all-conference honors, also was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.

Miller earned her second nod as BIG EAST Coach of the Year and first since receiving the same honor in 1996, Notre Dame’s first year in the conference. Miller, now in her eighth season with the Irish, recorded her 300th win at the University earlier this season versus conference foe Connecticut. She currently has a 25-year career record of 861-289.

Alkire, Sharron and Loman were joined on the all-BIG EAST first team by teammates sophomore catcher Jarrah Myers (Carbondale, Kan.), junior leftfielder Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.), junior centerfielder Danielle Klayman (San Diego, Calif.) and sophomore rightfielder Jennifer Kriech (Indianapolis, Ind.). It is the second such honor for Lemire, Klayman and Kriech, while it is the first for Myers.

In addition to the team’s seven first-team selections, freshman Andria Bledsoe (Higley, Ariz.) was named to the all-BIG EAST second team and joined Loman on the conference all-rookie team.

The top-seeded Irish continue BIG EAST championship action Saturday with a game versus second-seeded Connecticut at 10 a.m. at Boston College’s Shea Field. The winner will head to the conference final Sunday at noon, while the loser will face the loser of the Villanova-Boston College game Saturday at 2 p.m. Live stats are available on the internet at the BIG EAST Conference website,

2000 BIG EAST Softball Awards
Player of the Year: Melanie Alkire, Notre Dame
Pitcher of the Year: Jennifer Sharron, Notre Dame*
Co-Rookie of the Year: Andrea Loman, Notre Dame
Kim Ryan, Boston College
Coach of the Year: Liz Miller, Notre Dame

All-BIG EAST First Team
P Kim Ryan, Boston College
P Jennifer Sharron, Notre Dame*
C Jarrah Myers, Notre Dame
IF Melanie Alkire, Notre Dame*
IF Andrea Loman, Notre Dame
IF Jackie Pasquerella, Villanova
IF Chris Vicari, Boston College
IF Jessica Yanosy, Connecticut
OF Danielle Klayman, Notre Dame
OF Jennifer Kriech, Notre Dame
OF Lizzy Lemire, Notre Dame
U Vickie Lamb, Seton Hall

All-BIG EAST Second Team
P Misty Beaver, Seton Hall
P Keri Stoller, Villanova
C Jamine Blesoff, Connecticut
IF Andria Bledsoe, Notre Dame
IF Heather Garboden, Villanova
IF Lisa Giralamo, Connecticut
IF Megan O’Leary, Villanova
OF Mia Brickhouse, Villanova
OF Robin Johnston, Pittsburgh
OF Amy Steich, Pittsburgh
OF Quyen Tran, Rutgers
U Lauren Fischetti, Boston College

BIG EAST All-Rookie Team
P Leah Black, Rutgers
P Barbara Cook, Connecticut
P Kim Ryan, Boston College
IF Andria Bledsoe, Notre Dame
IF Andrea Loman, Notre Dame
OF Sara Carlson, Villanova
OF Nicole Dubovik, Connecticut

* = Unanimous selection