March 23, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the second straight year, the 22nd-ranked Notre Dame softball team and in-state rival Purdue split their non-conference doubleheader with the Irish winning the first game 8-0 in six innings, but dropping the second 2-1. With the split, the Irish move to 19-7, while the Boilermakers record went to 15-14.
In game one, the Irish scored seven runs on seven hits in the bottom of the second inning off Boilermaker pitchers Nicole Crouse, who fell to 3-4 with the loss, and Crystal Inman. Notre Dame’s big inning was highlighted by junior Melanie Alkire’s (Union City, Calif.) base-clearing double to left-center field. Up 7-0, the Irish then scored the game’s final run in the bottom of the sixth inning on junior Danielle Klayman’s (San Diego, Calif.) RBI single up the middle to score freshman Andria Bledsoe (Higley, Ariz.), who had reached on an error, from third base.
Purdue had an opportunity to get on the board in the top of the fourth inning when Heidi Foster doubled to center field and Jessica Jones singled up the right field line to put runners at the corners and one out. Notre Dame pitcher Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.), however, struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Sharron picked up her 10th win and her sixth solo shutout of year, allowing just the two hits in the fourth inning. Three Notre Dame players went 2-for-3 for the game, including junior Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.), who added two RBI and a run scored.
In the second half of the doubleheader, the Irish scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning when lead-off hitter Jennifer Kriech (Indianapolis, Ind.) singled through the right side and then scored on a fielding error by Boilermaker shortstop Katie Crabtree.
Purdue scored its only runs of the doubleheader in the top of the second inning on a double and a sacrifice fly to take a 2-1 lead. The Irish had a chance to score in the top of the sixth inning when Kriech doubled to lead-off the inning and then advanced to third on a sacrifice. Purdue pitcher Meagan Dooley, however, got both Alkire and Irish catcher Jarrah Myers (Carbondale, Kan.) to ground out to shortstop to end the inning. The Irish then went in order in the seventh inning as Purdue grabbed a 2-1 win.
The Irish head to Purdue for the Boilermaker Invitational, March 25-26. The Irish will face Kent State (1 p.m.) and #13 Michigan (3 p.m.) on Saturday and then finish up the tournament Sunday with games against Toledo (11 a.m.) and host Purdue (3 p.m.).