April 13, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame will be playing for more than BIG EAST Conference softball wins when it plays host to Syracuse this weekend at Melissa Cook Stadium. The program's second annual `Strike Out Cancer' event will coincide with the three-game series against the Orange to help raise money for South Bend Memorial Hospital Pediatric Hematology / Oncology Program.
"We're very excited about this weekend because we're playing for something much bigger than the game of softball," Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf said. "Our our family has been affected by cancer, it feels good to be able to give back to the people who are saving children's lives everyday."
In 2011, Notre Dame raised more money than any other school in the nation as part of the NFCA's Strikeout Cancer initiative and presented a check for $12,046 to the pediatric oncology unit of the South Bend Memorial Hospital.
Gumpf's daughter, Tatum, was diagnosed with leukemia in the summer of 2010. Now six-years old, Tatum is on her way to a full recovery. Tatum continues to take medication daily and makes regular visits for treatments and checkups.
There will be a number of events happening in and around Melissa Cook Stadium when the Irish faceoff against the Orange for a doubleheader beginning at noon (ET) Saturday.
- Pregame ceremony honoring Memorial Hospital's youth patients
*All proceeds benefit Memorial Children's Hospital Pediatric Hematology / Oncology Program.
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Live coverage - including video, audio and stats - for each of the three games at Melissa Cook Stadium will be available at UND.com. Fans are also encouraged to follow the action on Twitter (@NDsoftball, @NDcoachGumpf, @NDsidJorge) or sign up for text message updates at UND.com.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Series record: Notre Dame leads, 19-3 (17-3 BIG EAST)
Notre Dame has won each of the last four contests against Syracuse - and eight of the last nine - while sporting a 9-1 record at home against the Orange ... the last home loss to the Orange came in the form of a 3-0 setback at Ivy Field on April 14, 2002 ... six of Notre Dame's 21 hits were good for home runs as the Irish swept a BIG EAST Conference doubleheader at Syracuse in 2011 ... the Irish won the first game, 9-2, while taking a 7-4 victory to end the twinbill ... the two teams played a doubleheader instead of the standard three-game league series due to travel complications incurred by Notre Dame, forcing the team to travel nearly 600 miles from South Bend to Syracuse via bus.
Notre Dame saw its nine-game winning streak come to a close on the backside of Wednesday's doubleheader at Rutgers ... with the nine-straight wins, the Irish have now won at least eight consecutive games in each of the last 13 seasons.
The Irish are 7-0 on their home turf in 2012 and swept the last BIG EAST series played at Melissa Cook Stadium against Connecticut (March 31 - April 1) ... all said and done, the Irish are 67-10-1 (.865) inside the friendly confines of Melissa Cook Stadium and 36-8 (.818) against BIG EAST opponents ... Notre Dame has won 24 of its last 25 regular-season league matchups on its home field.
Picked third in the preseason BIG EAST coaches poll, the Irish will face a formidable foe in Syracuse, the two-time defending league tournament champion ... having already played four contests this week, the Orange is 4-0 after coming off back-to-back two game sweeps of Cornell and Binghamton ... Syracuse is in the midst of a hot streak as the Orange has won eight in a row and 18 of its last 19 contests ... Syracuse has not lost in the month of April ... through her first two conference series, Syracuse's Jasmine Watson is batting .600 (9-for-15) with three home runs, 11 RBI and seven walks.
Prior to the two-game set at Rutgers, Laura Winter ranked first nationally with 0.71 walks allowed per 7.0 innings and was 37th with 8.3 strikeouts per 7.0 innings ... as a squad, Notre Dame ranks among the top 50 in batting average (.300), home runs per game (0.86) and slugging pct. (.459).