May 1, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame softball team clinched at least a share of the BIG EAST regular season title Saturday at Ivy Field as the Irish defeated St. John’s 13-0 and 7-0. With the two wins, the Irish moved to 36-18 overall and 14-0 in the BIG EAST, while the Red Storm fell to 20-29 overall and 2-12 in the BIG EAST.
In game one, Notre Dame scored four runs in the first inning off Red Storm pitcher Brianne Leary highlighted by sophomore Lizzy Lemire’s inside-the-park home run, which scored Melanie Alkire from third and Kris McCleary from second. The Irish tallied seven more runs in the third and two in the second to end the game after the top of the fifth inning because of the eight-run rule. Irish starting pitcher Jennifer Sharron pitched a one-hitter, giving up a double to St. John’s third baseman Ann Raab with two outs in the top of the second inning. With the win, Sharron moved to 15-8 overall and 8-0 in the BIG EAST, while Leary fell to 7-15 as the Irish hit .500 as a team (13-for-26).
Game two turned out much the same as game one with the Irish taking an early 5-0 lead after two innings and then tallying two more in the sixth to earn a 7-0 victory. Notre Dame pitcher Angela Bessolo (13-5) earned the win and St. John’s pitcher Gina Calabrese (11-14) took the loss.
Other Irish highlights in the two-game sweep included Alkire’s two home runs to move her season total to nine and senior first baseman Amy Laboe’s 6-for-7 effort at the plate with four runs scored and three RBI.
Notre Dame plays host to an important BIG EAST doubleheader Sunday, May 2 at 11 a.m. against Seton Hall. The Pirates, who are 37-4 overall and riding a 18-game win streak, are 12-2 in BIG EAST play. With a win in one of the two games, the Irish can claim the BIG EAST regular season title outright and the top seed at next weekend’s conference tournament in Storrs, Conn. Seton Hall, meanwhile, can earn a share of the regular season title and the tournament’s top seed with a sweep.