April 16, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame's softball team used 18 hits to sweep former Midwestern Collegiate Conference rival Butler 5-3 and 7-0 in a doubleheader at Ivy Field on Thursday. Jenn Giampaolo went 4-6 with two doubles, three runs scored and two RBI in both games to lead the Irish offensively. Jennifer Sharron pitched her 11th complete game of the season in the first game to improve to 10-6. Kelly Nichols and Angela Bessolo combined to allow Butler just one hit in the second game. Nichols improved to 5-4 while Bessolo pitched the final three innings to record her first save of the season.
The Irish improved to 23-18 with the wins and have won six straight. Butler falls to 17-20-1. Notre Dame, which shares the lead in the BIG EAST South Division with Villanova with a 6-3 conference record, will play two BIG EAST doubleheaders this weekend when Connecticut and St. John's travel to Ivy Field on Saturday and Sunday.
Butler jumped out to a 1-0 in the first inning of the first game when Anna Freeman singled, went to second on an error, went to third on a sacrifice and scored on an RBI single by Corinne Roesener. Back-to-back doubles by Notre Dame's Jenn Giampaolo and Amy Laboe tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. Laboe went to third on a passed ball and scored on an RBI single by Sarah Mathison for a 2-1 Irish lead.
The Bulldogs came right back with a run in the second when Tonya Flodder led off with a double, went to second on an error and scored on an single by Samantha Goldstone. Giampaolo sparked the Irish to a three-run third inning with another leadoff double. Laboe then walked followed by a single by Melanie Alkire to load the bases. Mathison scored Giampaolo with a single and Lizzy Lemire doubled to score both Laboe and pinch runner Korrie Allen for a 5-2 lead.
The Bulldogs left six runners stranded in the third, fourth and fifth innings, including the bases loaded in the fifth. Butler left a total of the 10 runners on base in the first game to just three for Notre Dame. The Bulldogs attempted to rally in the top of the seventh with one run on a single and a double but left a runner on second to end the rally and the game.
Sharron improved to 10-6 the win as she pitched her third straight complete game. She yielded nine hits, three runs, two earned runs, two walks and two strikeouts. Sara Unrue took the loss, falling to 10-6 as she surrendered eight hits, five runs, four earned runs, two walks and four strikeouts.
The Irish jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second game with three runs in the second inning. Lemire singled, went to third on a passed ball and a sacrifice and scored on an RBI single by Danielle Klayman. Dawn Cunningham then walked to set up Giampaolo's RBI single to score Klayman. Cunningham then scored on a wild pitch for the third run of the inning. Kelly Rowe stole home on a double steal in the third inning for a 4-0 Irish advantage. Giampaolo walked and scored on an RBI single by Laboe for a 5-0 lead after four innings.
The Irish made it 7-0 with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Klayman reached on an error, stole second, went third on a single by Cunningham and scored on an error. Giampaolo singled to score Cunningham.