April 9, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 21st-ranked Notre Dame softball team used strong performances in the pitching circle and timely hits on offense to sweep the visiting Villanova Wildcats 9-0 in game one and 5-1 in game two in BIG EAST doubleheader action Sunday at Ivy Field. With the wins, the Irish moved to 29-9 overall and 5-1 in conference play, while the Wildcats fell to 17-9-1 and 3-3 in the BIG EAST.
In the first game, the Irish came through with key hits with two outs, scoring eight of their nine runs. In the first inning, Notre Dame junior shortstop Melanie Alkire (Union City, Calif.) drove in what proved to be the winning run with an RBI single up the middle to score pinch runner Sarah Kirkman (Kokomo, Ind.) from second base. Freshman Andrea Loman (Riverside, Calif.) then added her fourth home run of the season and only the second given up by Villanova this season, tagging a two-run shot to left field to give Notre Dame a 3-0 lead after one.
In the second inning, the Irish scored two runs on back-to-back doubles by sophomore Jennifer Kriech (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Jennifer Sharron (Agoura Hills, Calif.). Freshman Andria Bledsoe (Higley, Ariz.) then drove in two runs on an infield single and Loman scored on a wild pitch to add six more runs to the team’s lead at 9-0.
Sharron, who picked up her 15th win of the season, combined with Alkire to one-hit the Wildcats, allowing just one runner to reach base and striking out six of the 11 Villanova batters to come to the plate. For the game, Loman went 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI. Junior Danielle Klayman (San Diego, Calif.) increased her hitting streak to a perfect 7-for-7 in her last seven at-bats with a 2-for-2 effort against the Wildcats.
After a scoreless first inning, the Irish jumped into the lead with a three-run outburst in the bottom of the second, when Loman, Bledsoe and junior Lizzy Lemire (Irvine, Calif.) all scored. Alkire then belted a two-out, two-run double over centerfielder Mia Brickhouse’s head in the bottom of the fourth to boost the Irish lead to 5-0.
Villanova finally ended its scoring drought against the Irish when Brickhouse singled, stole second and scored on a single up the middle by Jackie Pasquerella in the top of the fifth inning to move to within four at 5-1. The run was Villanova’s first in five games against the Irish after being swept 3-0 and 4-0 in 1999 and losing 3-0 in the two teams’ last meeting in 1998.
Notre Dame starter Michelle Moschel (Naples, Fla.), moved to 8-4 in 2000, allowing three hits and striking out nine of the 17 batters she faced. Sharron, who entered the game in the top of the fifth, earned her second save of the season, while Villanova starter Theresa Hornick took the loss to drop to 3-4.
Notre Dame will play host to three home non-conference doubleheaders next week beginning with Butler on Wednesday (4 p.m.), DePaul on Thursday (3 p.m.) and Loyola-Chicago (2 p.m.) on Sunday. The Irish also head out on the road for a BIG EAST doubleheader at Boston College Saturday.