May 19, 1999

Notre Dame sophomore shortstop Melanie Alkire today was named first-team All-Mideast Region by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, while sophomore Jennifer Sharron, freshman Jarrah Myers, senior Kris McCleary and sophomore Lizzy Lemire received second-team honors. All five players are now eligible for All-American honors to be announced Monday, May 24.

Alkire, the 1999 BIG EAST Player of the Year, led the Irish in batting average (.364), hits (64), runs (35), home runs (9), slugging percentage (.574) and on-base percentage (.405) in 1999. The native of Union City, Calif., also led the BIG EAST Conference in runs scored (1.17/game) and was second in batting average (.532), hits (25) and home runs (7). Splitting duty between shortstop and the pitching mound, Alkire pitched a combined no-hitter against Tennessee-Martin earlier in the season striking out five of the first nine batters she faced. Alkire finished the season with a 3-2 record and a career-high three saves in 42.1 innings pitched.

Alkire helped lead the Irish to a 41-18 overall record and a perfect 16-0 BIG EAST Conference record. The Irish won their first BIG EAST tournament and became the only conference team in history to go through the regular season and tournament play undefeated. Notre Dame advanced to the NCAA softball tournament where they will play Nebraska tomorrow in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Sharron, the 1998 and 1999 BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year, was one of two unanimous first-team all-BIG EAST selections. Sharron led the Irish with a 16-8 record, 153 strikeouts and a 1.02 earned run average in 316.1 innings pitched. Sharron was a perfect 9-0 in BIG EAST play with a 0.29 ERA giving up only two runs in 48 innings of work. The native of Agoura Hills, Calif., was twice named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week and recorded four one-hitters on the season. She also hit .320 with 33 hits, five doubles and eight RBI on the season.

Myers, the 1999 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, led the Irish in RBI (35) and was second in hits (60) while hitting .341 in her initial campaign as the Irish third baseman. A native of Carbondale, Kan., Myers was the only unanimous selection to the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team and was twice named BIG EAST Rookie of the Week. She had four game-winning RBI on the season and was the most valuable player of the South Florida Tournament after hitting .467 with three runs and five RBI.

Lemire, of Irvine, Calif., received first-team All-BIG EAST honors after leading the Irish in doubles (15) and finishing second on the team in batting average (.345), slugging percentage (.509) and on-base percentage (.379). She led Notre Dame with seven game-winning RBI and was named to the all-tournament team at the Choo Choo Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn. Playing the outfield, Lemire recorded a .936 fielding percentage committing only three errors on the season.

McCleary was named first-team All-BIG EAST after batting .375 in conference play and not committing an error in 119 opportunities. The native of Westerville, Ohio, hit .304 on the season with 48 hits and 25 RBI. McCleary was one of 60 college seniors to be chosen in the Women’s Pro Softball League senior draft. A team captain and the 1999 Irish most valuable player, McCleary was named to the all-tournament team at the National Invitational Tournament in San Jose, Calif.

Today’s honors mark the first time any of the players have been named to the all-region team and is the first time in Irish history that five players have received all-region citations in the same year. Notre Dame received four all-region awards in 1996.

1999 All-Mideast Regional Softball Team

First Team

Nicole Terpstra       Pitcher             DePaulSteph Klaviter        Pitcher             MinnesotaKristy Crain          First Base          EvansvilleJordanne Nygren       Second Base         MinnesotaKatie Crabtree        Third Base          PurdueMelanie Alkire        Shortstop           Notre DameJessica Huff          Catcher             EvansvilleLiza Brown            Utility             DePaulShavaughne Desecki    Designated Player   DePaulChristy Adamson       Outfield            IUPUIDenae Jones           Outfield            KentSteph Midthun         Outfield            Minnesota

Second Team

Jennifer Sharron      Pitcher             Notre DameKelly Zeilstra        Pitcher             IowaShawnte Vallejo       First Base          IowaSam Mercier           Second Base         PurdueJarrah Myers          Third Base          Notre DameKaren Stewart         Shortstop           DePaulKris McCleary         Catcher             Notre DameMattie Ross           Utility             EvansvilleBrooke Siebel         Designated Player   NorthwesternLizzy Lemire          Outfield            Notre DameAmy Doyle             Outfield            Ball StateAmber Morrow          Outfield            Iowa