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Irish Softball Slotted Second in Preseason BIG EAST Poll

2012 BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year Laura Winter is among a talented group of 13 Notre Dame returnees

Jan. 28, 2013

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team received 129 voting points to finish second in the league standings in the 2013 BIG EAST Softball Preseason Poll, the conference office announced Monday.

The Irish (40-16, 16-3 in 2012) received one first-place vote, edging out Louisville (128 points, four first-place votes) for the runner-up position in the poll. The Cardinals (55-5, 20-2) are the defending BIG EAST Conference champions.

South Florida (50-12, 17-5) claimed seven first-place votes as the preseason conference favorite, earning 134 voting points. DePaul (36-22, 14-8) copped the final first-place vote to finish in fourth place with 117 points. Syracuse (43-16, 17-5) rounded out the top-five with 96 points.

Notre Dame returns 13 monogram winners, including 2012 National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American Amy Buntin (.360, 12 HR, 60 RBI) and BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year Laura Winter (29-11, 2.18 ERA, 288 K), this season. Other key returnees for 12th-year head coach Deanna Gumpf are 2012 all-BIG EAST second team performers Kelsey Thornton (.348, 19 SB) and Chloe Saganowich (.321, 56 GS).

The Irish also received votes in the preseason USA Today/NFCA Division I and ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 preseason polls. Defending national champion Alabama (38 total first-place votes) was tabbed as the unanimous number one team according to both polls.

The 2013 BIG EAST Championship will be held in Tampa, Fla. and will be hosted by the University of South Florida. The league’s top eight teams will advance to the three-day tournament, which begins on May 9. The championship game, set for May 11 at 4 p.m., will be televised live on ESPN2.

2013 BIG EAST Softball Preseason Poll
(Points, 2012 Record [BIG EAST])

1. South Florida (7)      134    50-12 [17-5]
2. Notre Dame (1)       129   40-16 [16-3]
3. Louisville (4)            128    55-5 [20-2]
4. DePaul (1)               117    36-22 [14-8]
5. Syracuse                  96     43-16 [17-5]
6. Rutgers                    87     26-28 [9-13]
7. Pittsburgh                71     26-26 [8-14]
8. St. John’s                70      23-24 [10-12]
9. Connecticut             65      21-27 [9-13]
10. Providence            42      17-36 [7-14]
11. Villanova               30      32-24 [6-16]
12. Seton Hall             24      21-32 [3-19]
13. Georgetown          21      19-32 [3-15]

() - Denotes first-place votes

--ND--

 

 

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6:00 PM
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6:00 PM
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Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
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Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

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3:00 PM
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Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

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

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3:00 PM
Arkansas
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

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12:00 PM
Arkansas
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

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6:00 PM
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Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

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

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

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12:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)

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