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
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
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