Sept. 14, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf and her Irish softball squad will face three regional teams this fall at Melissa Cook Stadium.
The Irish host Eastern Michigan on Sept. 20 (Sunday) with the opening twinbill beginning at noon (ET). Ball State rolls into town exactly one week later for a doubleheader also beginning at noon.
Notre Dame will challenge Valparaiso at 11:00 a.m. on Oct. 4 (Sunday) with a matchup versus Western Michigan taking place at 1:00 p.m. Western Michigan and Valparaiso will wrap up the day with a game at 3:00 p.m.
The Irish posted their 21st winning season in as many years with a 43-17 record in 2009. It was the 11th 40-win campaign in program history and fifth under Gumpf. Notre Dame also advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 11th straight year and was ranked 25th in the final regular season NFCA Top 25 poll. The ranking was the first since 2004 and the first to end the season since 2002.
Notre Dame beat three teams - St. John's, No. 17 Louisville and No. 19 DePaul - without allowing an earned run en route to claiming the program's sixth BIG EAST Tournament title. And not only did Notre Dame hand Louisville just its second home loss of the season, but the Irish became the only team to blank the Cardinals on the year. It was the first time Notre Dame beat ranked opponents in two consecutive contests since 2005 and the first time the Irish beat a pair of top-20 teams in consecutive tries since 2000. Brittney Bargar, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, earned two shutout wins while giving up eight hits.
Rising senior Christine Lux was named an NFCA third-team All-American, becoming the 17th Irish player to cop the honor. Over the course of the 60-game season, Lux amassed a .329 batting average while also tallying 15 home runs, a number that ties the program's single-season mark for home runs that she herself set in 2008.