May 2, 2017
by Tony Jones
Notre Dame vs. Butler
May 3, 2017
Melissa Cook Stadium
Notre Dame, Indiana
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(29-19 in 2017)
(20-27 in 2017)
Notre Dame Weekly Schedule
Wednesday, May 3
Notre Dame vs. Butler - 6 p.m. (ET)/ACC Network Extra
Friday, May 5
Notre Dame vs. Boston College - 6 p.m. (ET)/ACC Network Extra
Saturday, May 6
Notre Dame vs. Boston College - 3 p.m. (ET)/ACC Network Extra
Sunday, May 7
Notre Dame vs. Boston College - Noon (ET)/ACC Network Extra
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The final scheduled homestand of the 2017 season for the University of Notre Dame softball team rolls on Wednesday night. The Irish welcome regional foe and former Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) rival Butler to Melissa Cook Stadium for a 6 p.m. (ET) showdown on ACC Network Extra.
Irish Slap Hits Notre Dame has amassed a 1,175-513-3 (.696) all-time record, 30 combined conference championships (19 regular season, 11 tournament) and 21 NCAA Regional appearances, which has included 18 straight berths into the NCAA Championship tournament.
An RBI double by Sara White in the bottom of the sixth inning lifted Notre Dame to a 6-5 win over No. 24 Arkansas on April 29 at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish claimed their first home win over a Southeastern Conference (SEC) foe in program history with the victory. Notre Dame softball raised more than $42,000 during its seventh annual Strikeout Cancer series.
Notre Dame erupted for eight runs over the first three innings, including a pair of three-run home runs, to defeat Northwestern 10-2 in five innings on April 25. It was the first Irish win over the Wildcats in six series trips to Drysdale Field in Evanston, Illinois.
The Irish have won their last 27 nonconference midweek games at Melissa Cook Stadium dating back to the 2013 season.
Notre Dame is unbeaten in 18 prior home games against Butler since 1991, including four wins at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Senior outfielder/captain Karley Wester successfully stole her 117th career base in the bottom of the second inning against IUPUI on April 12 to pass baseball great Steve Stanley (1999-2002) as the all-time Notre Dame softball/baseball leader in stolen bases (now at 125). Wester also has the most hits (312) and runs scored (220) in Irish softball history, with all three totals ranking among the top five of active players in NCAA Division I softball.
Irish softball is one of only two Notre Dame varsity athletic programs to have never posted a losing record. The softball team clinched its 29th straight season with a .500 record or better with a 6-5 win over Western Michigan on April 19. Notre Dame's three-time national champion women's soccer program has logged 29 straight winning seasons since its inception at the varsity level in the fall of 1988.
Irish Close Strikeout Cancer On High Note Against #24 ArkansasIn the spirit of the day in which it represented in uniforms of blue, white and orange, Notre Dame fought until the final out. A 13-2 setback to No. 24/RV Arkansas was erased in a doubleheader finale on April 29 in the seventh annual Strikeout Cancer weekend, as an RBI double from Sara White in the sixth inning lifted Notre Dame to a 6-5 win in the nightcap at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Notre Dame improved to 14-5 (.737) in games played during Strikeout Cancer weekends dating back to 2011, with the 6-5 win over Arkansas the first victory by the Irish against a Southeastern Conference (SEC) foe ever at Melissa Cook Stadium. Notre Dame is now 18-1 this season when taking a lead into the sixth inning following the game two win.
Irish Again Knock Strikeout Cancer Out Of The ParkThe seventh annual Strikeout Cancer series and weekend for the Notre Dame softball program upheld its tradition of fun, fellowship and funds raised for pediatric cancer patients. Irish softball accrued some $42,000 from the event's Friday trivia night and Saturday doubleheader against No. 24 Arkansas, with proceeds directly benefitting families of children battling cancer.
Since the inception of the Strikeout Cancer initiative in 2011, Notre Dame softball has raised more than $200,000 for patients fighting pediatric cancer.
Offensive April For The IrishNotre Dame's offense re-discovered its stroke during the month of April, batting at a .326 clip during its 18 games in the month. The Irish scored an even 100 runs (5.56 runs per game) in that span, and chipped in 20 doubles, three triples and 15 home runs. Notre Dame closed the month by successfully stealing 25 of 26 attempted stolen bases from April 1-29.
Ali Wester led all Notre Dame players with a .431 average in April, adding eight RBI, three stolen bases and 14 runs scored in 18 starts. Morgan Reed finished with nine extra-base hits, a team-high 20 RBI, and tied Karley Wester with a team-high 17 runs scored for the month.
Living By The Home Run Has Been Prosperous For The IrishNotre Dame has logged a 14-6 record in 2017 in games in which it has hit a home run, including a 7-2 mark when leaving the yard two or more times in a single contest. Of the 31 total Irish home runs this season, the most damage has been done by way of the long ball with runners aboard.
Notre Dame has hit 22 home runs with runners on the bases this season, including one grand slam. The Irish are 13-2 in games in which hitters have hit at least one two-run home run in 2017.
Irish Offense At HomeOver the first 16 home games of the 2017 season, Notre Dame has continued red hot production at the plate inside Melissa Cook Stadium. Irish players have batted a combined .350 as a team inside their friendly confines, outscoring opponents 97-77 with 90 RBI at home. Seven of the nine regular Notre Dame starters are batting .280 or above in home games. Along with 31 walks and being hit by pitch nine times, the Irish compiled a .403 on-base percentage over their first 16 home starts.
Irish Against The OppositionNotre Dame carries a 30-2 (.938) all-time record in its series against Butler into Wednesday's game at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish are 18-0 all-time in home games against the Bulldogs in a series that dates back to the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) in the early 1990s, and have not dropped a contest to Butler since the 1992 season.
For the latest news and updates on all things Notre Dame softball, visit www.und.com/softball, follow the Irish @NDsoftball and @NDcoachGumpf on Twitter and at Instagram.com/notredamesoftball, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men's soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League's Buffalo Bills.