Feb. 19, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
After starting the 2009 season at No. 1 Alabama, the schedule for the Notre Dame softball team gets no easier as the Irish travel to No. 5 Stanford this weekend for the Nike Invitational. The Irish are joined by Western Kentucky and Sacramento State in the visitor column.
"This will be a good chance for us to see how much we've improved since last week," Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf said. "During practice this week we focused on a few key areas in which we need to improve after playing at Alabama, so we expect to be much sharper and more consistent than we were to open the season."
Notre Dame earned a win over East Carolina last week while dropping a pair of games to top-ranked Alabama and one contest to Wisconsin. Katie Fleury's home run proved to be the difference in the contest with the Pirates, which would go down as the game-winner in the 2-1 affair.
Live stats and video will be available for each of Notre Dame's contests against Stanford at UND.com. Live stats only will be provided for games versus Western Kentucky and Sacramento State.
For up-to-the-minute results, sign up for IRISH ALERT text messaging services at UND.com.
Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium - Feb. 20-22
Stanford University - Stanford, Calif.
Live stats / audio: UND.com
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
1-3 overall / 0-0 BIG EAST
[und.com - bigeast.org]
No. 5 Stanford Cardinal
8-1 overall / 0-0 Pacific-10
[gostanford.com - pac-10.org]
Friday, Feb. 20 - 2:30 p.m. (PT)
Saturday, Feb. 21 - 2:30 p.m. (PT)
Sacramento State Hornets
2-0 overall / 0-0 Pacific Coast Softball
[hornetsports.com - pacificcoastsoftball.com]
Friday, Feb. 20 - 10:00 a.m. (PT)
Saturday, Feb. 21 - 4:45 p.m. (PT)
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
-- Looking Back at 2008 --
5-2 overall / 0-0 Sun Belt
[wkusports.com - sunbeltsports.org]
Sunday, Feb. 22 - 9:00 a.m. (PT)
Seven Out of Nine Ain't Bad ...
Seven of Notre Dame's nine starters earned all-league honors at the BIG EAST Conference's annual championship banquet ... the Irish had more selections than any other conference team, trailed by DePaul and South Florida who both placed five on the squad ... Notre Dame placed seven players on the all-conference team in 2004, 2002, 2000 and 1999 ... nine Irish athletes were part of the all-conference teams in 2005 and 2001.
The South Bend 800 ...
Notre Dame notched the 800th win in program history in a game-one win at Syracuse (May 4) with style ... junior pitcher Brittney Bargar blanked the Orange by tossing the fourth no-hitter of her career and the 35th no-no recorded in 20 seasons of Irish softball.
Launches By Lux ...
Christine Lux slammed a pair of solo homers in game two at Syracuse (May 4) ... her total of 15 in 2008 set a new single-season school record ... Notre Dame led the BIG EAST with 39 overall homers during the regular season, 22 of which were hit in conference games ... Lux had eight round-trippers against league foes, one short of the conference record.
Tale of Three Seasons ...
The 2008 season started with Notre Dame winning seven of its first 15 games ... a 17-2 run soon followed and then Notre Dame went 13-10-1 over the last 24 contests ... the team had winning streaks of seven and eight games, and dropped at least two consecutive games on five occasions.
Where There's a Will, There's a Northway ...
Junior Beth Northway had hits in eight of 10 games from April 20-29 ... three of those games were multi-hit affairs, capped off by a 3-for-3 day at Valparaiso (April 29) ... she batted .367 over that stretch to raise her overall average from .218 to .256.
The Bri Spree ...
Freshman Brianna Jorgensborg had only one multi-hit game through 49 contests heading into an April 26 doubleheader with Providence ... she lit the Friars for two hits in three at-bats, then posted three hits including a home run one day later against UConn (April 27) ... Jorgensborg was also 2-for-3 with two RBI at Valparaiso (April 29).
Mother Nature 1, Notre Dame 0 ...
Game two of an April 24 doubleheader with Loyola-Chicago ended in a 2-2 tie when lightning forced an end to the contest ... the Irish had Katie Fleury on first base in the bottom of the seventh with no outs when a bolt flashed over Melissa Cook Stadium ... the tie was just the third in the 1,186 games played in Irish history and the first that did not extend beyond the regulation 7.0 innings ... the last Irish tie came in 1992 when a 6-6 stalemate with Indiana State ended in the 11th inning of an April 28 ballgame.
Gettin' Lucky In Kentucky ...
The April 19 sweep over Louisville snapped a three-game losing streak to the Cardinals and marked the first time Notre Dame has taken a two-game league series from UofL ... Notre Dame last beat Louisville, 1-0, during a BIG EAST Conference Tournament game in 2006 when the Cardinals were ranked 18th in the nation ... after an Irish loss to the Cardinals in the 2008 conference tournament the all-time series record still favors UofL, 7-4.
Erin Marrone made her debut at catcher against Wisconsin (April 16) and started each of Notre Dame's games after that from behind the plate ... the freshman has also started games for Notre Dame in right field and the designated player spot throughout the season ... she finished Notre Dame's game against UC Davis (March 1) at first base when the defensive lineup was shifted due to an injury to Heather Johnson early in the game.
Melissa Cook Stadium Unveiled ...
The rain in the South Bend area may have washed out an April 12 BIG EAST Conference doubleheader between Notre Dame and Rutgers, yet the day may still go down as one of the most significant in Irish history ... Notre Dame unveiled its new playing facility - Melissa Cook Stadium - during a morning ceremony held just outside the complex ... University president Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., blessed the site which will house the Irish softball program for years to come, and remarks were given from then-athletics director Dr. Kevin White, head softball coach Deanna Gumpf, senior tri-captain Katie Laing, and benefactors Lisa Hoffman and Paul and Linda Demo ... the Demos, parents of Melissa Cook, also helped bless a bronze relief of the former Irish player that sits just inside the main entrance of the stadium ... areas of the stadium made possible by gifts from the Delahanty and Hoffman families were honored as well.
Four Means More ...
A school-record three home runs in the fourth inning helped Notre Dame overcome a 5-0 deficit to post an 11-5 non-conference win over Wisconsin (April 16) ... the three homers were the most ever for Notre Dame in a single inning as the Irish totaled four homers in the contest, the first time the team has done so since an April 9 meeting at Pittsburgh in 2006 ... Meagan Ruthrauff had three blasts in that game with Linda Kohan - who tallied a career-high two round-trippers against the Badgers - adding the fourth ... Kohan was joined in the home run department by Katie Fleury and Christine Lux ... Fleury had hit her first career homer - and the first Irish home run in Melissa Cook Stadium - two days earlier against Rutgers (April 14) ... the first bomb of the day for Kohan christened the scoreboard in left-center by leaving a noticeable point of impact.
Just a Couple of Benjamins ...
A win over Villanova (April 13) gave the Notre Dame program its 200th BIG EAST Conference regular-season win ... the Irish are 208-45 (.822) in regular-season games since joining the league ... the program is 272-53 (.837) in overall regular-season conference games, posting a 64-14 (.821) mark as members of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference from 1989-95.
Spin Cycle ...
Sophomore first baseman Christine Lux was batting .182 heading into an April 9 doubleheader against Eastern Michigan ... two games and a few hits later, that average was bumped up to .223, aided especially by a record-setting performance at the plate ... Lux hit for the cycle over the two-game swing, knocking a homer, double and single in game one ... she settled for a triple and one single in the second contest ... Lux tied a school record with seven RBI to open the day, matching Meagan Ruthrauff's total from a 2006 conference game at Pittsburgh, which was played exactly two years prior, though Lux accomplished the feat in an abbreviated five-inning game, seeing the plate only three times ... Ruthrauff had four hits in her five at-bats, including three home runs ... senior Katie Laing totaled seven RBI during Sunday's series at Seton Hall (April 6), with four in game one and three in the capper.
Long, Strong Ivy ...
The home of Notre Dame softball since the program's inception in 1989, Ivy Field saw its final pair of games when the Irish swept Eastern Michigan (April 9) in a non-conference doubleheader ... Notre Dame finished with an all-time record of 288-48-2 (.855) within the friendly confines, including wins in each of the four home games played on its turf in 2008.
The Queens of Queens (N.Y.) ...
Notre Dame stayed flawless against St. John's with a doubleheader sweep on April 5 ... the team is now 26-0 all-time against the Red Storm, but the last two didn't come easy ... the Irish needed all of 12 innings in their 8-4 win to finish the twinbill, which was the largest margin of victory in program history in a game extending past the regulation 7.0 innings ... the last time Notre Dame won in a 12-inning contest was in 1994 when it defeated Indiana on May 20 by a count of 3-1.
More Than Just Downing DePaul ...
Jody Valdivia and Brittney Bargar teamed to help the Irish defeat No. 17 DePaul to wrap up a March 30 conference doubleheader ... Valdivia got the win and went 5.2 innings and struck out three with Bargar stepping in to finish the final 1.1 frames to earn her first save of the 2008 campaign ... the duo's efforts put an end to DePaul's 25-game regular-season conference winning streak that dated back to April of 2006 ... it was also Notre Dame's first win at DePaul since the 2005 season ... the win also signified the first time that Notre Dame beat an opponent that carried a No. 17 ranking, and was the 16th time the Irish shut out a ranked foe ... Notre Dame has 49 all-time wins against ranked opponents.