Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Softball's Melanie Alkire, Jennifer Sharron Earn Second-Team All-America Honors

May 25, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame juniors Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.) and Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.) have been named second-team All-Americans Wednesday by Louisville Slugger and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). The two are the school’s first softball players to earn All-America honors since 1996.

“We are absolutely thrilled for both Jen and Mel and the team and the program as well,” Irish head coach Liz Miller said. “As we always tell the team, individual awards are team awards and one doesn’t happen without the other.

“It definitely shows that this program is moving upward and forward and in the direction of our goals. I’m sure that these two will be very strong leaders in our program again next year.”

Alkire led the Irish in almost every offensive category, including batting average (.376), hits (73), doubles (15), RBI (school record – 64) and home runs (school-record 13). The team’s starting shortstop earned the BIG EAST Player-of-the-Year award for the second straight season and was one of two unanimous selections to the all-BIG EAST first team. Alkire, who went 7-1 in the pitching circle, also was named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Mideast Region First Team for the second consecutive season, while picking up BIG EAST Tournament MVP honors in 2000.

“I’m both surprised and exited,” Alkire said. “It’s an award that I’ve been working toward on a personal-level, but it also is good recognition for the softball program.”

Sharron became only the second pitcher in Notre Dame history to record back-to-back 20-win seasons and tally two, 20-win seasons in her career. The program’s first southpaw pitcher finished the season with a 26-7 overall record and a 0.88 earned-run average, while setting single-season records for most wins (26), games started (32), complete games (27) and innings pitched (229.2).

Sharron earned her place in BIG EAST softball history after becoming just the second pitcher to earn the BIG EAST Pitcher-of-the-Year award three times (1998-2000). She also was named to the all-BIG EAST first team for the third straight season, was tabbed for Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Mideast Region First Team honors and earned a spot on the NCAA all-region squad for the second straight season in 2000.

“I think it’s a honor for the team and the coaches, and not just for Mel and I,” Sharron said. “It’s a step to getting the recognition that the program needs.”

Alkire and Sharron led the 2000 Irish to back-to-back BIG EAST championships, finishing the season with a #17 national ranking and a 47-14 record, the best record in school history. The Irish advanced to the NCAA regionals for the second straight season, going 1-2 with a win over Illinois-Chicago.

Notre Dame Softball All-Americans

Second Team
2000 – Jennifer Sharron, Melanie Alkire
1995 – Terri Kobata

Third Team
1996 – Katie Marten
1995 – Katie Marten
1994 – Terri Kobata


Position Name, School Year Hometown
Pitcher Courtney Blades, Southern Mississippi Sr. Baton Rouge, LA
Pitcher Amanda Scott, Fresno State Sr. Clovis, CA
Pitcher Jennifer Spediacci, Washington Sr. Fremont, CA
Catcher Keri McCallum, Mississippi State Sr. Port Orchard, WA
1B Ginger Jones, Alabama Jr. Northport, AL
2B Stephanie Hastings, LSU Jr. Houston, TX
3B Ashlee Ducote, LSU Jr. Alexandria, LA
SS Natasha Watley, UCLA Fr. Irvine, CA
OF Tiffany Clark, Louisiana-Lafayette Sr. San Bernardino, CA
OF Kelly Kretschman, Alabama Sr. Indian Harbour Beach, FL
OF Jessica Mendoza, Stanford So. Camarillo, CA
UT Jenny Topping, Washington Fr. Whittier, CA
DP Lisa Carey, Oklahoma Jr. Topeka, KS
At-Large/C Ashli Barrett, Oklahoma Jr. Oklahoma City, OK
At-Large/UT Tarrah Beyster, Oregon State Sr. San Diego, CA
At-Large/P Jamie Graves, Washington Sr. Phoenix, AZ
At-Large/OF Kellie Wilkerson, Mississippi State So. Jacksonville, FL
Position Name, School Year Hometown
P Jennifer Sharron, Notre Dame Jr. Agoura Hills, CA
Pitcher Britni Sneed, LSU So. Houston, TX
Pitcher Kirsten Voak, Arizona State So. Fremont, CA
Catcher Sunny Smith, Utah Sr. Pleasant Grove, UT
1B Sarah Beeson, Stanford So. Tucson, AZ
2B Lyndsey Klein, UCLA Sr. Roseville, CA
3B Toni Mascarenas, Arizona Jr. Garden Grove, CA
SS Melanie Alkire, Notre Dame Jr. Union City, CA
OF Serita Brooks, Florida State Jr. Cottondale, AL
OF Jaime Clark, Washington Fr. Tustin, CA
OF Nicole Giordano, Arizona Jr. Saugus, CA
DP Dana Degen, Hawaii Sr. La Mesa, CA
At-Large/OF Lauren Bauer, Arizona Jr. Santa Ana, CA
At-Large/2B Lindsey Gardner, Texas Fr. Katy, TX
At-Large/UT Alicia Smith, Hofstra Sr. Katonah, NY
At-Large/P Dana Sorensen, Stanford Fr. San Diego, CA
At-Large/P Leigh Ann Walker, Nebraska So. Tucson, AZ
Position Name, School Year Hometown
Pitcher Holly Killion, Western Illinois Sr. Coal Valley, IL
Pitcher Shelley Laird, Alabama So. Spring, TX
Pitcher Jennifer Stewart, Oklahoma So. Yukon, OK
Catcher Jessica Bashor, Iowa Fr. Riverside, CA
1B Brandi Cross, Massachusetts Fr. Diamond Bar, CA
1B Monica Lucatero, Cal State Fullerton So. Santa Ana, CA
1B Jana Mower, Louisiana-Lafyaette Jr. Olathe, KS
2B Keisha Shepperson, East Carolina Jr. Richmond, VA
3B Kelly Ramsey, North Carolina So. Del Mar, CA
SS Rachael Goodpaster, UNLV Jr. Fair Oaks, CA
OF Lisa Ciavardini, Hofstra Jr. Brewster, NY
OF Naomi Fitzgerald, Baylor Jr. College Grove, TN
OF Karen Gulini, Penn State Sr. Easton, PA
UT Lindsey Chouinard, DePaul Fr. Fresno, CA
DP Stefanie Volpe, Michigan So. Plymouth, MI
At-Large/SS Amy Berman, Southern Mississippi Sr. Newbury Park, CA
At-Large/UT Marissa Young, Michigan Fr. Santa Ana, CA
At-Large/C Lindsey Collins, Arizona Jr. Fountain Valley, CA
At-Large/2B Lovie Jung, Fresno State So. Westminster, CA
At-Large/OF Erin Evans, Oklahoma Fr. Lawton, OK
At-Large/SS Tara Asbill, LSU Sr. Elgin, SC
At-Large/P Kristi Hanks, Iowa So. Santa Fe, TX