April 6, 2000
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – For the third straight game and the ninth time this season, the 21st-ranked Notre Dame softball team reached double-digits in team hits, recording 13 in a 6-1 victory Thursday over the Western Michigan Broncos at Ebert Field. The second game of the scheduled non-conference doubleheader between the two schools was canceled, as the Irish improved 27-9 and the Broncos fell to 5-17 in a windy day at Ebert Field.
The game was scoreless through the first four and a half innings as the Irish left seven runners stranded, including at two at third base. Western Michigan scored first in the bottom of the fourth when rightfielder Erin Malloch hit an inside-the-park home run to right field despite the diving efforts of Notre Dame sophomore Jennifer Kriech (Indianapolis, Ind.), who was battling both the severe wind and the sun.
The Irish finally put some hits together in the top of the fifth starting with pitcher Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.), who led-off the inning with a single through the left side. Junior Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.), freshman Andrea Loman (Riverside, Calif.) and juniors Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.) and Dani Klayman (San Diego, Calif.) all added RBI hits as Notre Dame scored four runs on five hits to pull into the lead at 4-1.
Loman struck again the next inning, punching a triple to right-center field to score designated player sophomore Kas Hoag (Wallingford, Conn.) and pinch runner Jessica Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.), making the score 6-1 in favor of the Irish.
Western Michigan threatened in the bottom of the seventh inning with the bases loaded and two outs, but relief pitcher Alkire struck out Malloch to end the threat and the game.
Klayman finished the game with a 4-for-4 performance at the plate, while Jennifer Sharron earned her 14th win of the season to move to 14-5 with seven strikeouts in five innings. Western Michigan starter Alison Honaman fell to 2-6.
The Irish will play two BIG EAST home doubleheaders this weekend at Ivy Field beginning Saturday at 10 a.m. against Rutgers, followed by a Sunday match-up with Villanova at 11 a.m.