Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Softball Gears up for Two Big East Games

April 8, 1999

DROP TWO, WIN TWO, SPLIT TWO: The Notre Dame softball team dropped two games to 16th-ranked Illinois-Chicago, won two games against BIG EAST foe Pittsburgh and then split a doubleheader against Eastern Michigan on Monday.

Against the Flames, the Irish were ahead in game one, 3-2, until Illinois-Chicago scored four runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run RBI single by Jennifer Tiffany and then a two-run home run off the bat of designated player Gina Arnold.

After losing game one, 6-3, the Irish scored three runs in their first at bat of game two on a three-run home run by sophomore Lizzy Lemire. The Flames eventually tied the score at three with a run in the bottom of the second and two in the bottom of the third, before vaulting ahead with one in the fourth and four in the fifth to win, 8-3, and sweep the series.

On Saturday, the Irish opened BIG EAST play against first time opponent Pittsburgh, which was making its conference debut. The first game, Notre Dame scored two in the second, one in the first and three in the fifth to win 6-1. Sophomore pitcher Jennifer Sharron, playing in her first game since injuring her ankle March 23 against Purdue, struck out six of the 13 batters she faced and had a no-hitter going until she was relieved in the top of the fifth inning.

In game two, the Irish lead 3-2 before scoring six in the fourth and one in the fifth to end the game at 10-2. Senior catcher Kris McCleary hit her fifth home run of the season and third of the week in the third inning, while Sharron picked up her eighth win of the year after relieving Angela Bessolo.

EAGLE ROUND UP: On Monday, Notre Dame traveled to Ypsilanti, Mich. and split a pair with the Eagles, losing 5-4 and winning 8-2.

In game one, the two teams combined for nine errors as the Eagles used a five-run third inning to erase a 0-2 deficit. Game two, however, produced opposite results as the Irish scored three runs in both the first and fourth innings and added singles runs in the third and seventh to win 8-2. Notre Dame matched a team-high for hits in a game with 13. The Irish also had 13 hits against Georgia Tech (Feb. 19), Purdue (March 23) earlier this season.

Tentative Defensive Starting LineupPitcher - Jennifer Sharron/Angela BessoloCatcher - Kris McClearyFirst Base - Amy LaboeSecond Base - Kathleen HoagThird Base - Jarrah MyersShortstop - Melanie AlkireLeft Field - Lizzy LemireCenter Field - Danielle KlaymanRight Field - Jennifer Kriech
Gladstones Tournament (Tampa, FL) 2/19 at # 6 South Florida W, 2-0 vs. Georgia Tech W, 6-4 2/20 vs. Miami (Ohio) W, 9-3 vs. Tennessee W, 5-0 2/21 vs. Kansas L, 0-1Choo Choo Classic (Chattanooga,TN) 2/26 vs. UT-Martin W, 8-0 (6) at UT-Chattanooga L, 3-4 2/27-28 vs. Liberty W, 3-2 (10) 2/28 vs. Maryland W, 6-0 (8)Hillenbrand Invit. (Tucson, AZ) 3/5 vs. #12 LSU L, 2-10 Texas Tech L, 3-8 3/6 at #2 Arizona L, 0-16 Kansas W, 4-1 Kansas W, 6-4 3/7 #2 Arizona L, 3-8
3/10 at Cal St. Fullerton L, 1-2 National Invit. Tourn. (San Jose) 3/12 vs. UCSB L, 2-6 vs. # 14 California L, 0-4 vs. North Carolina L, 1-2 3/13 vs. Northern Illinois W, 5-0 vs. North Carolina W, 2-0 3/14 vs. #20 Nebraska L, 0-6 3/23 at Purdue L, 3-6; W, 10-2 3/27 Toledo W, 9-0; W, 10-0 3/28 Bowling Green W, 4-3; W, 2-1 3/30 Butler W, 2-1; W, 2-0 4/1 at Illinois-Chicago L, 3-6; L, 3-8 4/3 Pittsburgh* W, 6-1; W, 10-2 4/5 at E. Michigan L, 4-5; W, 8-2 4/7 Western Michigan 4:00 4/10 at Rutgers* 12:00 4/11 at Villanova* 11:00 4/14 Indiana 2:00 4/17 Boston College* 11:00 4/18 DePaul 2:00 4/20 Loyola 4:00 4/24 at Connecticut* 12:00 4/25 at Providence* 11:00 4/27 IUPUI 4:00 4/30 St. John's* 12:00 5/2 Seton Hall* 11:00 5/8/9 BIG EAST Tourn. (Storrs,CT) TBA 5/21/23 NCAA Regionals TBA 5/27/31 World Series TBA Home Matches in BOLD *= BIG EAST

Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) has been named BIG EAST Co-Pitcher of the Week for her performances in last weekend’s sweep of Pittsburgh in the 1999 BIG EAST opener. She shares the award with University of Connecticut pitcher Megan Biddle and is the first Irish pitcher to receive such an honor this season.

Sharron, the 1998 BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year, made a successful return against Pittsburgh after injuring her ankle against Purdue (March 23) and missing nine games. She picked up both Notre Dame victories over the Panthers and had a 0.00 earned-run average, allowed two hits, no runs, and struck out nine in 6.2 innings of work.

As the starting pitcher in the first game of the doubleheader, Sharron struck out six of the 13 batters she faced and had a no-hitter going until she was relieved in the top of the fifth inning. In the second game against Pittsburgh, she relieved starting pitcher Angela Bessolo in the middle of the third inning and allowed just two hits over the next two plus innings her earn her eighth win of the season.

Sharron, who is 8-6 overall in 1999, became the first Notre Dame pitcher and first freshman to ever win the BIG EAST pitcher of the year award last year. The two-time all-state selection at Thousand Oaks High School in California also was named to the BIG EASTs first and all-rookie teams and received BIG EAST Co-Pitcher of the Week honors April 27, 1998 for her two shutout wins over Villanova.

MILLER GOES FOR 800: In her seventh season as head coach of the Irish and 24th season overall as a head coach, Liz Miller has compiled an overall record of 797-271 and is 256-129 at Notre Dame. With two wins against her alma mater Western Michigan, Miller could reach the 800 career mark against Rutgers this Saturday. Her 700th career victory came on April 27, 1996, making her just the fifth coach in collegiate softball history to reach the 700-win plateau.

HOME RUN HAPPY: Notre Dame’s hot hitting continues as the Irish added two home runs against Illinois-Chicago, one against Pittsburgh and one versus Eastern Michigan to move the team total up to 16, just one short of the school record of 17 set in 1994. So far this season, senior catcher Kris McCleary has five home runs, sophomore Melanie Alkire has hit four, freshman Jarrah Myers has three and sophomore Lizzy Lemire and senior Amy Laboe each have two – all of which are career high totals. The individual record is 10 by Sara Hayes in 1994.

SCOUTING WESTERN MICHIGAN: The Irish have won seven of the ten total meetings between the two schools, while the two teams split their last meeting back on April 30, 1997.

This season, Western is 4-12 overall and 1-3 in the Mid-American Conference. They have posted wins over Drake (11-1), Indiana (4-2), Butler (8-0) and Akron (2-1).

Under 12th-year head coach Kim Worden, Jodi White currently leads the team in batting average with a .321 mark and Jennifer Vanover is tops on the Broncos’ pitching staff with a 2.12 earned-run average and a 3-8 overall record.

The doubleheader Wednesday also will be a homecoming for some of the Broncos. Third baseman Nicole Drabecki and second baseman Melissa Merrill both hail from South Bend and went to Washington and LaSalle High Schools.

SCOUTING RUTGERS: The Irish will be looking for a little bit of revenge when they travel to Piscataway, N.J. to play Rutgers this Saturday. The Scarlet Knights handed Notre Dame a 1-0 loss in the BIG EAST Championships at Ivy Field in 1997 to eliminate the Irish from the tournament.

This season, Rutgers is 9-11 overall not including this weeks doubleheader against Monmouth, Long Island and St. Peters. They will also carry a 1-1 mark in the BIG EAST, having split their BIG EAST opener with Villanova last Friday.

The Scarlet Knights are led by 1998 BIG EAST Player of the Year catcher Angie Catalano, while outfielder and 1998 BIG EAST first-team selection Jaime-Lyn Chmielowicz bolsters the Rutgers lineup. The Scarlet Knight return all but one starter from last years team which went 25-22 overall.

SCOUTING VILLANOVA: The Wildcats so far this season have a record of 21-6-2 not including this weeks games with Drexel and Pittsburgh. Last Friday, they split with Rutgers to begin the BIG EAST season with a 1-1 mark.

Under coach Maria DiBernardi, the Wildcats lead the nationin batting averagewith a .366 team mark. this season have had six different players earn BIG EAST honors. Second baseman Megan OLeary and outfielder Mia Brickhouse have each earned player of the week nods, pitchers Kerri Stoller and Carrie Walpole have received the BIG EAST pitcher of the week award and freshmen Molly Hanneman and Heather Garboden have both been honored with the BIG EAST rookie of the week award. Brickhouse also is fourth in the nation in batting average with a .530 mark.

The Irish have won all but one of the 12 previous meetings between the two teams, including regular season sweeps (three games) in 1997 and 1998.

TELEVISION GAME: WHME-TV will be broadcasting the first half of the doubleheader against Indiana next Wednesday, April 14 starting at 2 p.m. The game will be shown on a tape delay basis and WHME’s own Bob Nagle will be making the call from Ivy Field. Further details on broadcast dates and times will be released early next week.

NEXT UP: After this weekends BIG EAST trip to Rutgers and Villanova, the Irish will start a four date homestand against Indiana, Boston College, DePaul and Loyola-Chicago.

USA Today/NFCA PollApril 4, 1999 R School         1999 Record 1. UCLA (25)        36-1 2. Arizona          32-4 3. Fresno State     40-7 4. Washington       25-7 5. USL              31-5 6. Michigan         30-5-1 7. Arizona St.      30-10 8. Stanford         28-9 9. South Carolina   34-910. Louisiana State  28-611. Oklahoma         28-912. Oregon           29-1013. Oregon State     27-1214. California       28-915. Texas            26-1216. Illinois-Chicago 44-1317. Southern Miss.   34-518. South Florida    35-1319. Texas A&M        31-920. New Mexico       32-821. Massachusetts    20-822. Minnesota        26-1023. DePaul           23-1024. Missouri         27-1225. Iowa             22-12-1

Others: Michigan State, Florida Atlantic, Hofstra, Central Michigan, Pacific, Penn State, Maryland, Evansville, Seton Hall, Southern Illinois, Hawaii, Troy State, Boston University, Alabama, Florida State, Mississippi State, Delaware, Nebraska, North Carolina. Italics = 1999 Opponents

1999 BIG EAST Players of The Week
  • March 8 – Megan O’Leary (Villanova)
  • March 15 – Vickie Lamb (Seton Hall)
  • March 22 – Mia Brickhouse (Villanova)
  • March 29 – Amy Laboe (Notre Dame), Natalie Denning (Seton Hall)
  • April 6 – Vickie Lamb (Seton Hall)

1999 BIG EAST Pitchers of the WeekMarch 8 - Kerri Stoller (Villanova)March 15 - Jenn Berghoff (Seton Hall)March 22 - Mary Dietz (B. College),Carrie Walpole (Villanova)March 29 - Misty Beaver (Seton Hall)April 6 - Jennifer Shatton (ND),Megan Biddle (UCONN)
1999 BIG EAST Rookie of the Week
  • March 8 – Molly Hanneman (Villanova)
  • March 15 – Heather Garboden (Villanova)
  • March 22 – Rhianna Rogers (Pittsburgh)
  • March 29 – Jarrah Myers (Notre Dame)
  • April 6 – Kim Jackson (Seton Hall)

  • Statistics – All Games (As of April 5, 1999)
  • Team Batting 3. Notre Dame (.295)
  • Team Pitching 4. Notre Dame (2.25 ERA)
  • Individual Batting 10. Kris McCleary, Notre Dame (.353)
  • Individual Pitching 4. Jennifer Sharron, ND (1.24 ERA)
  • Hits 4. Jarrah Myers (30) 5. Lizzy Lemire (34) 6. Melanie Alkire (33) 7. Danielle Klayman (31) 8. Amy Laboe (30) 9. Kris McCleary (30)
  • Home Runs 4. Kris McCleary (4)
  • Stolen Bases 6. Jenny Kriech (5)
  • Runs 4. Amy Laboe (19) 5. Lizzy Lemire, Danielle Klayman (18)

1999 NOTRE DAME SOFTBALL ROSTER 2 Melanie Alkire     So. SS/P    Union City, CA  3 Rebecca Eimen      Fr. SS/2B   Mannford, OK 4 Danielle Klayman   So. OF      San Diego, CA 5 Kathleen Hoag      Fr. 2B      Wallingford, CT 6 Kris McCleary (C)  Sr. C       Westerville, OH 9 Jennifer Sharron   So. P       Agoura Hills, CA10 Jennifer Kriech    Fr. OF      Indianapolis, IN11 Amy Laboe (C)      Sr. 1B/3B   Monroe, MI12 Michelle Moschel   Fr. P       Naples, FL14 Angie Grimmer      Fr. OF      Crown Point, IN16 Lizzy Lemire       So. OF      Irvine, CA17 Sarah Kirkman      So. OF      Kokomo, IN20 Dawn Cunningham    Sr. 2B      Bethalto, IL 21 Holly Matsuda      Fr. OF      Honolulu, HI22 Jarrah Myers       Fr. 3B      Carbondale, KS24 Angela Bessolo     Sr. P       Lakewood, CA
Head Coach: Liz Miller, 7th season (Western Michigan '69)Assistant Coaches: Deanna Mays-Gumpf (Nebraska '92), Stephenie Henderson (Western Michigan '95), John Gumpf (CSU San Bernadino '97)
BIG EASTStatistics - All Games(As of April 7, 1999)
  • Runs Batted In 3. Jarrah Myers (23)
  • Team Fielding 6. Notre Dame (.943)
  • Wins 4. Jennifer Sharron (8) 7. Angela Bessolo (6)
  • Strikeouts 2. Jennifer Sharron (84) 9. Angela Bessolo (46)
  • Saves 1. Melanie Alkire, Michelle Moschel (2)
  • Innings Pitched 1. Jennifer Sharron (84.2) 4. Angela Bessolo (77.1)
  • Shutouts 1. Jennifer Sharron, Angela Bessolo (2) UTAH BLUE POWER RANKINGS (4/7) 1. UCLA 2. Arizona 3. Fresno State 4. Michigan 5. Washington 6. USL 7. Arizona State 8. Oregon State 9. California 10. Texas 11. LSU 12. Oklahoma 13. New Mexico 14. Massachusetts 15. South Carolina 16. Stanford 17. Southern Mississippi 18. Hawai’i, Oregon 20. South Florida, Mississippi State 22. Central Michigan 23. Pacific, DePaul, Baylor 26. Missouri 27. Maryland 28. Illiniois-Chicago 29. Long Beach State 30. Cal State Fullerton