March 22, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - A five-week, 22-game road stretch to start the season comes to a close Wednesday when the Notre Dame softball team welcomes Eastern Michigan to South Bend for a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 5:00 p.m. (ET). Complete coverage of the home opener at Melissa Cook Stadium - including live video, audio and stats - will be available at UND.com.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(16-6 overall, 0-0 BIG EAST)
Eastern Michigan Eagles
(9-4 overall, 0-0 Mid-American)
Series: Notre Dame leads, 13-2
Series streak: Notre Dame, W4
First meeting: April 5, 1999 - Eastern Michigan, 5-4
Last meeting: March 23, 2010 - Notre Dame, 9-3
Live audio / chat / stats: UND.com
IRISH ALERT (text message updates): UND.com
Twitter: @und_com / @ ndsoftball / @ndcoachgumpf
Spring Break saw the Irish hit the West Coast for eight games, including six at the prestigious Judi Garman Classic ... after sweeping a doubleheader at Cal Poly, Notre Dame went 2-4 at the Judi Garman Classic ... that mark included a 2-1 victory over No. 9 Oklahoma, the first for Notre Dame over a top 10 opponent since 2009 ... that victory was also against (then) ninth-ranked Oklahoma during the same tournament.
With what is perhaps one of the most challenging non-conference schedules at this point of the season, Notre Dame has already faced four top 10 teams (No. 1 Alabama, No. 4 Washington, No. 5 Michigan and No. 9 Oklahoma) ... the Irish are 1-3 against those squads.
The Irish are currently on a two-game skid heading into their home opener ... the team posted a program-record nine straight wins (Feb. 18-Feb. 27) to start the season, later followed by a six-game winning streak (March 5-March 16).
Last season's home opener: Nine runs in each of the two contests during the 2010 home doubleheader - which was also pitted the Irish against Eastern Michigan - provided enough offense for Notre Dame to sweep the twinbill by respective scores of 9-0 and 9-3 ... Christine Lux and Kristina Wright were each good for one home run and one double on the day, as half of Notre Dame's 22 hits went for extra bases (11 doubles, four home runs, one triple) ... Dani Miller and Heather Johnson contributed four RBI apiece, with Johnson's entire load coming in the first game ... Jody Valdivia (14-2) tacked on her 13th straight win from the circle in game one ... she needed 5.0 innings to toss the four-hit shutout ... the Irish are 20-2 all-time in home openers.
Notre Dame is in its 23rd season of varsity competition with an all-time record of 907-417-3 (.685) ... the program boasts 15 NCAA Championship appearances (12 consecutive) and six BIG EAST Conference Tournament titles, the latest coming in 2009.