April 14, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Notre Dame softball team welcomes Louisville to Melissa Cook Stadium this weekend (April 16-17) for a three-game BIG EAST Conference series. Additionally, the series coincides with the program's Strike Out Cancer weekend, as the Irish will show their support of head coach Deanna Gumpf's five-year old daughter, Tatum, who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Tatum was diagnosed with A.L.L. last summer and is currently undergoing treatment.
Sunday's game against Louisville will include a number of fan-friendly activities, including Notre Dame softball giveaways, autograph session, home run derby and a silent auction. Details for these events are available at UND.com.
Proceeds from the event will help raise funds and awareness for pediatric leukemia, benefitting the South Bend Memorial Children's Hospital pediatric oncology clinic.
Complete coverage for each of the three games - live video, audio, stats and blog - will be available at UND.com.
No. 24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(29-7 overall / 5-0 BIG EAST)
(31-11 overall / 9-2 BIG EAST)
Melissa Cook Stadium Notre Dame, Ind.
Saturday, April 16 Noon (ET) / 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 17 Noon
Series: Louisville leads, 10-8 (6-5 BIG EAST)
Series streak: Louisville, W1
First meeting: 2.16.02 - Louisville, 4-3
Last meeting: 5.14.10 - Louisville, 5-2
Live video / audio: und.com
Live chat: und.com
IRISH ALERT text message updates: und.com
Twitter: @und_com / @ ndsoftball / @ndcoachgumpf
Facebook: facebook.com/unddotcom / facebook.com/notredameathletics
Notre Dame rides a 12-game winning streak into the weekend, including a perfect 5-0 mark against BIG EAST foes ... the streak is the longest of the season (Notre Dame opened the 2011 campaign with a 9-0 mark, the best start in program history) ... the series with Louisville will cap off a six-game homestand for the Irish.
Dating back to 2009, the Irish have won 29 of their last 30 home games at Melissa Cook Stadium.
In the friendly confines of Melissa Cook Stadium, the defending BIG EAST regular season champions have won 14 straight league contests ... the last home loss came on the back end of a 2009 doubleheader with Louisville (May 3) ... Notre Dame is 24-7 (.774) all-time in BIG EAST games at Melissa Cook Stadium ... now in its 16th season as a member of the conference, Notre Dame is 248-46 (.848) in regular season league play since joining the conference in 1996.
Last Time Out (April 13): Notre Dame made quick work of visiting Loyola-Chicago with an 8-0 non-conference win in six innings ... Loyola-Chicago (15-16) had Notre Dame's number in the last two matchups, defeating (then) No. 24 Notre Dame in just five innings with an 8-0 shutout in 2010 ... Notre Dame needed eight innings to post a 4-3 win over the Ramblers in 2008 prior to a 2-2 draw in the latter game of that season's doubleheader ... Wednesday was a different story ... Notre Dame batted through the lineup and registered six hits in the opening inning and even left the bases loaded ... with 13 hits on the day, Notre Dame reached double-digits in that category for the eighth time in the last 12 contests ... the Ramblers had more errors (4) than hits (3) on the day.
Last Meeting With Louisville (May 14, 2010): Four runs by Louisville in the first inning of the 2010 BIG EAST Conference Softball Tournament semifinal matchup between the Cardinals and No. 24 Notre Dame made all the difference in the nationally televised showdown at Ulmer Stadium ... despite out-scoring the Cardinals, 2-1, after the opening stanza, the second-seeded Irish fell to third-seeded Louisville, 5-2 ... each of Notre Dame's last three losses in the BIG EAST Tournament have been at the hands of the Cardinals (2007, 2008 and 2010).
Heather Johnson enters the weekend in the midst of an 18-game hitting streak, behind only Sadie Pitzenberger (26) and Dani Miller (21) on the all-time chart.
After receiving votes in each of the previous week's polls since the season began, Notre Dame came in at No. 24 in the most recent USA Softball / ESPN Top 25 poll.