Feb. 14, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame softball team will play a total of five games this weekend at the Campbell/Carter Classic inside the San Diego State Softball Stadium in San Diego, Calif. The four-day event field includes host San Diego State, Cal Poly, No. 22/24 Kentucky, UC Riverside, No. 16 (t)/18 Washington and No. 1/2 Oklahoma.
The Irish have an all-time record of 2-4 at the Campbell/Cartier Classic, and are making just the third appearance at the tournament in program history. Notre Dame is 6-5 all-time at the San Diego State Softball Stadium, including a 4-1 head-to-head record against the Aztecs.
Sunday's showdown with Oklahoma will be the sixth time Notre Dame has faced a number one team in its history. The Irish are still looking for their first-ever win over a number one ranked foe.
Audio for Friday's 12 p.m. (ET) first pitch against Washington will be available at www.gohuskies.com.
For updates throughout the weekend, follow the Irish on Twitter @NDsoftball and @NDcoachGumpf.
SDSU Softball Stadium
San Diego, Calif.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
No. 16 (t)/18 Washington Huskies
(4-2 overall; Wash. leads all-time series 4-1)
Cal Poly Mustangs
(1-4 overall; ND leads all-time series 4-0)
San Diego State Aztecs
(3-2 overall; ND leads all-time series 4-1)
No. 1/2 Oklahoma Sooners
(5-0 overall; Series tied at 4-4)
No. 22/24 Kentucky Wildcats (will not face ND)
UC Riverside Highlanders (will not face ND)
Notre Dame Weekend Schedule:
Notre Dame vs. No. 16 (t)/18 Washington - Friday, noon (ET)
Notre Dame vs. Cal Poly - Friday, 4:30 p.m. (ET)
Notre Dame vs. Cal Poly - Saturday, 2:15 p.m. (ET)
Notre Dame at San Diego State - Saturday, 9 p.m. (ET)
Notre Dame vs. No. 1/2 Oklahoma - Sunday, noon (ET)
IRISH SLAP HITS
• Notre Dame opened the 2013 season with a 2-2 record at the Charlotte Fast Pitch Classic in Charlotte, N.C. Feb. 9 and 10 at the D.L. Cooper Softball Complex. The Irish scored wins over Charlotte (5-1) and Presbyterian (8-5), and dropped narrow 1-0 and 6-5 (11 innings) decisions to Wisconsin.
• The 11 inning contest against the Badgers was the longest, in terms of innings played, for Notre Dame since April 5, 2008 at St. John's (8-4 win in 12 innings). The game, amazingly, was tied 0-0 following the regulation seven innings of play, with both teams erupting for 11 runs on 10 hits in the four extra frames.
• Jenna Simon was named to the season's first BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll Monday in recognition of her stellar play at the Charlotte Fast Pitch Classic. Simon, a sophomore second baseman, batted .529 and led the team with nine hits, five stolen bases and four runs scored in the tournament's four games.
• Simon was also the most effective Notre Dame hitter with two outs on the scoreboard during the weekend, batting at a .833 clip (5-for-6).
• Brittany O'Donnell picked up victories in her first two starts of 2013 last weekend, downing Charlotte and Presbyterian at the Fast Pitch Classic. The senior right-hander allowed one earned run in six full innings Saturday against Charlotte, striking out five. O'Donnell followed with a second victorious performance Sunday, bouncing back from a 5-2 deficit early against Presbyterian to outlast Blue Hose pitcher Sydney Seigler for the win. Freshman Allison Rhodes closed both of O'Donnell's starts, earning her first career save against Presbyterian.
• Despite the split record at the tournament, the Irish controlled the stat sheet during the Fast Pitch Classic. Notre Dame held the edge in batting average (.285-.197), runs (18-13), hits (35-23), RBI (15-13), on-base percentage (.328-.260) and stolen bases (17-7) over its three opponents. The Irish pitching staff enjoyed a successful statistical weekend as well, posting a better team ERA (2.03-2.26), fewer earned runs (9-10), more strikeouts (28-20) and a better batting average against (.197-.285) than the opposition.
Up And At `Em Early In 2013
Notre Dame's appearance at the Charlotte Fast Pitch Classic last weekend was unique for the program in more ways than one. Besides being the first time the Irish had appeared at the tournament, Feb. 9 and 10 marked the earliest games played, in terms of calendar dates, in the 25-year history of varsity softball at Notre Dame.
"I think we are an experienced enough team to start a week earlier than we have before," Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf said before the season. "You do have to prepare a bit differently to be ready for an earlier start, but a positive is all of the teams we are playing (at the Fast Pitch Classic) will start at 0-0, too, which hasn't happened in the past."
Along with BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll recipient Jenna Simon, fellow sophomore classmates Emilee Koerner, Cassidy Whidden and Katey Haus were impact players during the season opening Fast Pitch Classic.
Koerner ranks second on the Irish behind Simon with six hits in her first four games, adding a team-high three RBI and a stolen base. Koerner and senior captain Kelsey Thornton each crossed the plates three times on the weekend, just behind Simon's four runs scored.
Whidden took control of Notre Dame's 5-1 win at Charlotte, her first career start at catcher. Along with a clean game called behind the dish, Whidden broke open a four-run fourth inning for the Irish by clocking a three-run home run, the first Notre Dame long ball of the season. In fact, three of her seven career hits have been home runs.
Haus started all four tournament games at the hot corner, making eight assists from third base (second on the team to Simon's 14). Haus added an RBI and a run scored during the weekend.
Winter In Peak Form In Circle
Despite being saddled with a pair of hard-luck losses to Wisconsin, junior right-hander Laura Winter looked in midseason form on the rubber for Notre Dame. Winter allowed 10 hits in 17 innings (two complete games), including only four in 10 full frames against the Badgers on Sunday. Of the 64 batters she faced, only one drew a free pass, and hitters managed just a .164 cumulative batting average and 18 strikeouts against the reigning BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year.
Digging deeper into the numbers, Winter has a 0.76 WHIP (Walks + Hits per Innings Pitched), and opponents are only batting .154 against her on balls put in play through two starts. In comparison, Winter had a final 0.97 WHIP and .272 BAIP last season.
Lux Makes Impact In Return
After missing all but nine games a season ago due to a hand injury, senior Kathryn Lux had her best career offensive game in Notre Dame's Fast Pitch Classic finale against Presbyterian. The Irish first baseman set career-highs in hits (3), doubles (first career), total bases (4) and runs (2), adding nine putouts in the field against the Blue Hose.
Flipping The Script At The End
Freshman southpaw Allison Rhodes made her first two career appearances in the circle last weekend, with both outings producing positive results. Rhodes, just the second left-handed pitcher in program history (Jennifer Sharron `01), did not allow a hit in her 2.1 innings pitched, striking out three batters. The Kirkland, Wash., native earned her first career save after a perfect 1.1 frames closed out an 8-5 win over Presbyterian in Sunday's tournament finale.