April 19, 1998

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame’s softball team used complete games from freshman pitcher Jennifer Sharron and junior Angela Bessolo and six extra-base hits to sweep visiting St. John’s 3-1 and 5-0 on Sunday in a BIG EAST doubleheader at Ivy Field. The Irish improve to 27-18 and 10-3 in the BIG EAST and move into sole possession of first place in the BIG EAST South Division over 8-3 Villanova, which travels to two-time defending BIG EAST South Division champion Notre Dame for a division-deciding, three-game series on April 25-26. St. John’s falls to 13-24-1, 5-9 in the BIG EAST with the losses.

Sophomore Lisa Tully went 4-6 with two triples to lead the Irish. Freshman Danielle Klayman and Melanie Alkire each batted 3-6. Senior Melissa Valencia led St. John’s by hitting 4-7 and scoring the team’s only run of the day. Notre Dame tied school and BIG EAST team records for most triples and stolen bases in a game and most steals by a runner in a game.

Freshman Lizzy Lemire put the Irish out in front 1-0 in the first game when she blasted a 1-2 pitch over the leftfield fence for her first career home run in the second inning off starter Gina Calabrese. St. John’s came right back in the top of the third to knot the score at 1-1 when Melissa Valencia singled, went to second on a single by Paula Migliore and score on a single by Brianne Leary.

The Irish used two triples in the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead. Danielle Klayman led off with a triple and scored when Lisa Tully hit the first of her two triples to score Klayman. Tully put Notre Dame up 3-1 when she tripled to score Dawn Cunningham in the bottom of the sixth. Her two triples matched Notre Dame school record and a BIG EAST Conference record for most triples in a game.

Sharron improved to 12-6 with the win in her sixth straight complete game and seventh shutout of the season. She scattered six hits and walked just one batter while striking out two. Calabrese allowed three runs, two earned, eight hits and walked two batters. She fell to 7-10 with the loss.

Notre Dame jumped out to a 3-0, first-inning lead in the second game. Giampaolo singled to lead off the inning, stole second, went to third on a sacrifice and scored on an error. Klayman singled later in the inning to score Sarah Mathison and Melanie Alkire. Giampaolo scored again in the fifth inning when she reached on an error, stole second and scored on a double by Amy Laboe. Lemire singled later in the fifth to score Kelly Rowe for the 5-0 margin.

Bessolo improved to 5-7 with the shutout. She faced just three batters over the seven-inning minimum while striking out eight Red Storm hitters. At one point, after allowed a lead off single to start the game, she retired the 16 consecutive batters giving up two hits in the sixth inning. Michele Crokus fell to 3-6 with the loss as she gave up five runs, just two earned, on 10 hits. Kelly Newsome pitched the final two-thirds inning in relief of Crokus.

The Irish matched another school and BIG EAST record with seven stolen bases in the second game. Notre Dame already held the BIG EAST single-game stolen base record with seven steals against St. John’s in 1996. It marked the fifth ever time the Irish have stolen seven bases in a game. Giampaolo had three steals, tying St. John’s Megan Wiechowski who stole three bases against Seton Hall in 1995, for the most steals by a runner in a BIG EAST game.

Game OneSt. John's  001 000 0   1-6-2Notre Dame  010 101 x   3-8-0Gina Calabrese (LP 7-10) and Jennifer D'Ambrosio.  Jennifer Sharron (WP 11-6) and Kris McCleary.  2B- Melanie Alkire (ND).  3B- Danielle Klayman (ND), Lisa Tully 2 (ND).  HR- Lizzy Lemire (ND).
Game TwoSt. John's 000 000 0 0-3-2Notre Dame 300 020 x 5-10-0Michele Crokus (LP 3-6), Kelly Newsome (6) and Jennifer D'Ambrosio. Angela Bessolo (WP 5-7) and Korrie Allen. 2B- Melissa Valencia (SJU), Amy Laboe (ND).