Softball

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Irish Tabbed Third In BIG EAST Preseason Poll

Jan. 9, 2009

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame softball team, which welcomes four newcomers and returns 14 monogram winners from the 2008 squad that went 38-22-1, was tabbed third among league members in the BIG EAST Conference preseason poll released this week. The league's 13 head coaches voted in the poll, which named DePaul as the preseason favorite after the Blue Demons won the 2008 tournament title.

Notre Dame made its 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008 and seeks its 21st overall winning season in as many tries in 2009. The team returns five all-BIG EAST performers in Brittney Bargar (who was also an all-NFCA Mideast Region honoree in 2008), Brianna Jorgensborg, Katie Fleury, Linda Kohan and Christine Lux.

The Irish have claimed five BIG EAST tournament titles in 13 seasons, 10 regular-season titles and sport a 206-39 (.841) record in conference play.

DePaul finished last season ranked No. 22 in the final USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Poll and will return their entire pitching staff, headlined by junior All-American Becca Heteniak. Heteniak struck out a school-record 315 batters and compiled a 33-8 record last season en route to earning BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year honors.

USF took the second spot on the preseason poll, picking up four first-place votes from the coaches. The Bulls wrapped up their first BIG EAST regular season championship in 2008 and made their ninth appearance in the NCAAs. Sophomore pitcher Capri Catalano, the 2008 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, returns to lead the Bulls from the circle. Catalano threw 129.0 innings as a rookie, amassing a 17-1 record.

With the Blue Demons and Bulls collecting all available first-place votes, the next two squads in line, Louisville and Notre Dame, shared the poll's third slot. The Cardinals finished fifth in last season's final standings, while the Fighting Irish finished fourth.

 

 

Starting the season at the Bama Bash Feb. 13-15 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Notre Dame will join Alabama, East Carolina and Wisconsin in the field. The Irish open BIG EAST play with a home doubleheader against St. John's on March 22 (Sunday) at Melissa Cook Stadium.

This year's BIG EAST Championship returns to Ulmer Stadium in Louisville for the second straight season from May 7-9.

2009 BIG EAST Softball Preseason Poll
team (first-place votes) / 2008 record
DePaul (9) / 51-18 USF (4) / 44-20 Louisville / 31-23 Notre Dame / 38-22 Connecticut / 28-22 Syracuse / 21-32 Pittsburgh / 31-25 Providence / 25-25 Villanova / 21-29 St. John's / 20-35 Rutgers / 23-32 Seton Hall / 20-33 Georgetown (not a softball member of the BIG EAST in 2008)

--ND--

Event Calendar

Delta

February 17
L, 4-1
#13 Minnesota
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
RECAP
February 18
W, 6-4
#11/10 Michigan
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
RECAP
February 18
L, 3-2 (8)
#13 Minnesota
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
RECAP
February 19
L, 9-2
#11/10 Michigan
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
RECAP
February 23
6:30 PM
#RV Texas
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
February 23
9:00 PM
#20/22 Missouri
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
February 24
3:30 PM
#21/19 Arizona State
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
February 24
6:00 PM
#11/12 Georgia
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
February 25
1:00 PM
#4/5 Oklahoma
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
March 4
12:30 PM
Purdue
Kissimmee, Fla. (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex)
March 4
5:00 PM
FIU
Kissimmee, Fla. (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex)
March 5
10:00 AM
Chattanooga
Kissimmee, Fla. (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex)
March 5
12:15 PM
Charlotte
Kissimmee, Fla. (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex)
March 11
1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (Mewborn Field)

ACC Network Extra
March 11
3:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (Mewborn Field)

ACC Network Extra
March 12
12:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (Mewborn Field)

ACC Network Extra
March 14
5:00 PM
Georgia State
Atlanta, Ga. (Heck Softball Complex)
March 15
6:00 PM
Mercer
Macon, Ga. (Sikes Field)
March 17
6:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (JoAnne Graf Field)

ACC Network Extra
March 18
1:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (JoAnne Graf Field)

ACC Network Extra
March 19
12:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (JoAnne Graf Field)

ACC Network Extra
March 22
5:00 PM
Michigan State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
March 24
6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
March 25
3:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
March 26
12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
March 29
5:00 PM
Eastern Michigan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 1
12:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 2
2:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)

ESPNU
April 3
7:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)

ESPNU
April 5
5:00 PM
Fort Wayne
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 7
6:00 PM
North Carolina
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 8
3:00 PM
North Carolina
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 9
12:00 PM
North Carolina
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 11
5:30 PM
Detroit Mercy
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 12
6:00 PM
IUPUI
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 14
4:00 PM
NC State
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
April 14
6:00 PM
NC State
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
April 15
1:00 PM
NC State
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
April 19
6:00 PM
Western Michigan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 22
1:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 22
3:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 23
12:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 25
5:00 PM
Northwestern
Evanston, Ill. (Drysdale Field)
April 29
1:00 PM
Arkansas
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 29
3:00 PM
Arkansas
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
April 30
12:00 PM
Arkansas
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
May 3
6:00 PM
Butler
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
May 5
6:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
May 6
3:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
May 7
12:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

ACC Network Extra
May 11
TBA
ACC Championship
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Anderson Stadium)
May 12
TBA
ACC Championship
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Anderson Stadium)
May 13
TBA
ACC Championship
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Anderson Stadium)
May 19
TBA
NCAA Regionals
Campus sites
May 20
TBA
NCAA Regionals
Campus sites
May 21
TBA
NCAA Regionals
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May 25
TBA
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May 26
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
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May 27
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
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May 28
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
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June 1
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 2
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 3
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 4
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 5
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 6
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 7
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)

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