April 7, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame softball team dropped its first home game of the season, 2-1, but rebounded with a 5-0 win in the second game in doubleheader action against Western Michigan Wednesday at Ivy Field. With the split, the Irish moved to 23-15 overall, while the Broncos moved to 5-13.

In game one, the Broncos struck first in the top of the second after Jessica Vanover singled, advance to second on a sacrific bunt and then scored on a single by Melissa Merrill. Notre Dame was held scoreless until they tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth on senior catcher Kris McCleary’s (Westerville, Ohio) sixth home run of the season and fourth in the last two weeks. Western, however, scored what proved to be the winning run in the top of the seventh after pinch hitter Jennifer Blott singled and came around to score on a sacrific fly by Bonnie Yenks. Freshman pitcher Michele Moschell dropped her second game of the year to fall to 5-2, while Bronco Jennifer Vanover improved to 4-8 with the win.

The home run by McCleary was Notre Dame’s 17 of the season, which ties a school record set back in 1994. It is also 13 more than the Irish hit all of last season.

In game two, the Irish scored two runs in the second and one in the third, fourth and fifth innings to win 5-0. Senior pitcher Angela Bessolo (7-5) pitched her fourth complete game of the year and picked up her third solo shutout with the win.

The Irish (2-0 in the BIG EAST) travel to Rutgers and Villanova this weekend for two BIG EAST doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday. Notre Dame head coach Liz Miller, who has a career record of 798-272, will be looking for her 800th career win with a doubleheader sweep of the Scarlet Knights.