Softball Sweeps Doubleheader Against ValparaisoApril 2, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Jennifer Sharron and Angela Bessolo pitched complete games as Notre Dames softball team improved to 15-16 with a 4-0 and 4-1 doubleheader sweep against Valparaiso on Thursday at Ivy Field. Sharron came within four outs of a no-hitter in game one. Melanie Alkire had two doubles while Amy Laboe went 3-3 with an RBI and a run scored to lead Notre Dame in the second game. The Irish head to New England for a Saturday BIG EAST doubleheader at Providence and a Sunday BIG EAST doubleheader against defending BIG EAST champion Boston College.
The Irish got on the board in the first game with a run in both the second and third innings. Danielle Klayman led off the second with double, went to second in a bunt single by Kelly Nichols and scored on a fielders choice by Lisa Tully. Tara King smacked a two-out single in second inning before Dawn Cunningham pinch ran for King. Kris McCleary stroked a two-out double to send Cunningham home for a 2-0 lead.
Klayman led off the sixth with a walk, went to second on a groundball and scored on a single by Tully. Tully then stole second, went to third on a groundball and scored on an error for a 4-0 lead for Notre Dame.
Sharron took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and retired the first two batters but Nicole Bartok singled to centerfield for the Crusaders first hit of the game. Valparaiso then loaded the bases with another single and a hit batter before a deep fly ball to centerfield ended the inning. Sharron finished with a two-hit shutout, her sixth complete game and third shutout of the season. She struck out a career-best and 98 team-high nine Crusader batters.
Valparaiso threatened in the first inning with runners on second and third with one out thanks to three Notre Dame errors. Sharron got the Irish out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundball. Notre Dame loaded the bases with two in the first but could not score.
In game two, Valparaiso used a leadoff walk, sacrifice bunt, single and an error to score the first run of the game in the top of the second inning for a 1-0 lead. Notre Dame knotted the score with a run in the third inning as Laboe doubled and scored after three straight walks. Tully reached on a fielders choice, stole second, advanced to third on a groundball and scored on a single by Laboe for a 2-1 Irish lead.
Notre Dame added a pair of runs in the fifth when King doubled, scored on a triple by Lizzy Lemire who scored on a suicide squeeze by Kelly Rowe. Bessolo allowed just two hits, walked just three and matched her season-high with eight strikeouts.