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.
No. 23/25 Notre Dame at DePaul
April 4, 2014
Cacciatore Stadium (1,000)
No. 23/25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(22-7 in 2014)
DePaul Blue Demons
(20-8 in 2014; 33-29-1 all-time against ND)
Notre Dame Midweek Schedule
No. 23/25 Notre Dame at DePaul - Friday, 5 p.m. (CT)/DePaul BlueTube
IRISH SLAP HITS
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.
Home Success Continues For Irish
Notre Dame improved to a combined 93-16-1 (.846) on their home field since Melissa Cook Stadium opened during the 2008 season. The team's current four-game home winning streak dates back to last season's 3-1 win over #9 Louisville on May 5, 2013, which clinched the BIG EAST regular-season championship for the Irish.
Don't Call It A Comeback
Despite falling behind Michigan State 3-0 in the first inning of Wednesday's game, Notre Dame proceeded to score 10 unanswered runs, and 11 of the final 12 runs of the contest, in an 11-4 win.
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...
Senior pitcher Laura Winter became the Notre Dame career leader in wins with her 97th all-time Irish victory on Tuesday against Ball State.
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
In the most recent installment of the NCAA national statistical rankings for the 2014 season that was released on Monday, Notre Dame checked in as the number one team in the country in doubles per game for the fourth straight week. Through 29 contests, the Irish have averaged 2.00 two-baggers per game to pace all of Division I softball, and are the only program in the country averaging at least two doubles per contest.
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
Three of the last four Notre Dame victories have technically been Irish comeback wins, but it would be hard to discern that by looking at the scoreboard and box score of each of those games.
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
Freshman Karley Wester had an eventful stretch during her first career homestand, tying two different Melissa Cook Stadium records during her first three starts on the Notre Dame campus.
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
Since making her most recent start against UCF on March 13, freshman pitcher Rachel Nasland has excelled in three consecutive outings out of the Notre Dame bullpen. Nasland is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA over her last six innings pitched.
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
Wednesday night's 11-4 win over Michigan State was the 530th career victory for Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf, making the 13th-year Irish skipper just the third coach in school history to win at least 530 games on the baseball and softball diamonds.
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
Notre Dame officially opened its tenure in the ACC at Georgia Tech on March 8 after compiling a 297-53 record (.849) in the BIG EAST Conference, winning 13 regular-season and four tournament championship titles in 18 years. The Irish won the most BIG EAST games of any league team during that span.
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
Notre Dame is 29-33-1 (.465) all-time against DePaul, but the Irish have won seven of the last 10 matchups with the Blue Demons since 2009.