April 3, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - In what will be the 64th meeting between the programs all-time, the University of Notre Dame softball team closes its midweek trio of games with a Friday trip to Chicago, Ill. to face longtime rival DePaul at 5 p.m. (CT) at Cacciatore Stadium. The Irish and Blue Demons have faced one another 15 more times than the next closest common Notre Dame opponent during the program's 26-year history.
Live video coverage for the game will be available through the DePaul BlueTube at DePaulBlueDemons.com.
No. 23/25 Notre Dame (22-7) enters Friday's contest winner of four of its last five games after a pair of 11-4 victories over Ball State and Michigan State earlier this week at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish currently lead all Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams with a .339 batting average and 58 doubles.
Notre Dame has won seven of the past 10 meetings with DePaul (20-8). The Irish took three of four decisions from the Blue Demons in 2013, including a 9-1 win in six innings in the semifinal round of last season's BIG EAST Championship.
Fans can follow live stats for Friday's game via CBS GameTracker by visiting UND.com.
For the latest news and updates on all things Notre Dame softball, visit UND.com/softball, follow the Irish @NDsoftball and @NDcoachGumpf on Twitter, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.
Notre Dame Midweek Schedule
Notre Dame pushed its current winning streak to four games with a pair of 11-4 midweek victories over Ball State (Tuesday) and Michigan State (Wednesday) at Melissa Cook Stadium.
During Notre Dame's 3-0 start at Melissa Cook Stadium, the Irish have outscored opponents by a combined 34-10 margin. The 34 runs scored through the first three home contests of a season are a stadium record.
The Irish improved to 40-3-1 (.910) in non-conference games at Melissa Cook Stadium since the facility opened during the 2008 season with the pair of midweek wins.
Notre Dame's 18 hits against Ball State on Tuesday set a team record at Melissa Cook Stadium, surpassing the 16 base knocks the Irish recorded on April 9, 2009 against Valparaiso. The Irish have logged double-digit efforts in the hit column on 12 different occasions thus far in 2014.
Senior pitcher Laura Winter officially set the Notre Dame all-time wins record against Ball State with career victory number 97, after a scoring change from last week's triumph over Eastern Michigan rendered what was thought to be the record win a no decision. Winter struck out 13 Ball State batters over 109 pitches, walking none in the complete game victory.
Senior captain Chloe Saganowich extended her current hit streak to 10 games after going 4-for-7 (.571) with a home run and six RBI during Notre Dame's two midweek victories. Saganowich is batting .467 (14-for-30) with five extra base hits and 15 RBI over her past 10 starts.
Sophomore Micaela Arizmendi reclaimed the Notre Dame RBI lead at 26 for the season with a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning against Michigan State. Arizmendi ranks second on the Irish roster in home runs (6) and slugging percentage (.628) behind junior All-American Emilee Koerner.
The Irish rose one spot to number 23 in this week's ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, and remained idle in the number 25 position of the USA TODAY/NFCA Top 25 poll. Notre Dame has now been ranked for seven straight weeks.
Don't Call It A Comeback
It was the second early deficit in three games that the Irish erased in the first three innings, including a 2-0 hole after 2.5 innings against Eastern Michigan on March 26. In fact, Notre Dame is now 6-4 this season when an opponent scores the first run of a game.
And Then There Was One...
Winter moved past fellow Notre Dame great Heather Booth (`06) into sole possession of first place in the Irish career wins column, the second major milestone the senior hurler has cleared this season. The San Diego, Calif. native previously established the Notre Dame career strikeout record earlier this season at Georgia Tech (March 9), surpassing two-time All-American Terri Kobata (`96).
ND Still The National Doubles Leader
Junior All-American outfielder Emilee Koerner checks in as the Notre Dame leader with 12 doubles in 2014, tied for the most in the ACC. Her first inning double on Wednesday against Michigan State surpassed Andrea Loman (`03) and Sara Hayes (`95) and moved Koerner into a tie for sixth place on the all-time program list with 45 career doubles.
Tearing The Cover Off The Last 5
In its last five contests, Notre Dame is batting a collective .414 (58-for-140) with eight doubles, seven home runs, 42 team RBI and 45 runs scored. The Irish have outscored their opposition by a cumulative 45-18 margin during the 4-1 stretch.
Junior Cassidy Whidden is batting a sizzling .583 (7-for-12) in her past five starts, adding a double, two home runs, six RBI, two stolen bases and six runs scored. Whidden is slugging a team-high 1.167, and has reached base at a .667 clip during the span.
Senior captain Chloe Saganowich has added a .563 clip with two doubles, a home run and 11 RBI in her last 16 official at-bats. Junior Katey Haus (.538), freshman Karley Wester (.529) and junior Jenna Simon (.500) are also hitting at .500 or above over the past five games.
Wester Ties A Pair Of Stadium Records
Wester established a season and career-high with three stolen bases against Eastern Michigan on March 26 in Notre Dame's 2014 home opener. The three steals in a single game equaled the Melissa Cook Stadium record, making Wester the third Notre Dame player since 2008 to steal three bases in a home contest.
The Huntington Beach, Calif. native was not done for the game week, tying the stadium single-game hits record after going a perfect 4-for-4 with two stolen bases and two runs scored in her first career start as the Irish leadoff hitter against Ball State on Tuesday. A sixth-inning walk allowed Wester to officially reach in all five of her plate appearances against the Cardinals.
Nasland Finds Her Groove
The San Diego, Calif. native entered with two runners on in the top of the third inning of her home debut against Eastern Michigan on March 26 and stranded both on base, ultimately earning the win after the Irish exploded for 12 runs in the next two innings. Nasland was equally impressive on Wednesday against Michigan State, tossing a final four innings of one-run softball to improve to 4-1 during her rookie campaign.
Coach Gumpf Headed Toward The Top
Gumpf, the Irish softball career wins leader, is three victories from tying former baseball coach Paul Mainieri (1995-2006) for second place all-time at 533 wins. Legendary Notre Dame baseball manager Jake Kline (1934-75) won 558 career games in his 42 seasons at the helm of the Irish.
Irish In The ACC
Following the March 15-16 series at Virginia Tech, the team's second ACC slate this season, the Irish are now a combined 108-25 (.812) all-time against the current league membership.
Irish Against The Opposition