Feb. 13, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Fresh off a strong opening weekend showing, the University of Notre Dame softball team heads toward the Gulf Coast to compete at the LSU Tiger Invitational this weekend. The No. 19/20 Irish will make their first appearance at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, playing a total of four games over Saturday and Sunday.
Notre Dame (4-1) will open the tournament against Central Arkansas (4-2) at 10 a.m. (CT) Saturday at Tiger Park. It will be the first ever meeting between the Irish and Bears in series history. Notre Dame closes its first day in Baton Rouge against No. 16 LSU (5-0) at 3 p.m.
The Irish complete the weekend with scheduled games against Hofstra (0-0) at 9 a.m. (CT) and LSU at 11:30 a.m. Sunday to cap the program’s inaugural trip to the LSU campus.
Notre Dame won four games during an opening tournament for the sixth time in program history last weekend at the So Cal Collegiate Classic in California, highlighted by an 8-4 victory over then No. 6/7 UCLA on Feb. 6. It was the first time in series history that the Irish defeated UCLA, having previously fallen to the Bruins on eight occasions (and by only one run three times).
The Irish gained two spots in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 rankings to open this week at 19, adding two places in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 to reach the 20th position in the coaches poll. Notre Dame has not been ranked as high in either poll during the second week of the regular season since checking in at No. 17 in the week two NFCA poll in 2003.
Live stats will be available for all four Notre Dame games at the Tiger Invitational via CBS Gametracker at UND.com.
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.
No. 19/20 Notre Dame at the LSU Tiger Invitational
Feb. 14-15, 2015
Tiger Park (2,489)
Baton Rouge, La.
No. 19/20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(4-1 in 2015)
No. 16 LSU Tigers
(5-0 in 2015)
No. RV Hofstra Pride
(0-0 in 2015)
Central Arkansas Bears
(4-2 in 2015)
Notre Dame Tiger Invitational Schedule
Saturday, Feb. 14
Sunday, Feb. 15
IRISH SLAP HITS
– Notre Dame won at least four games in an opening weekend for the sixth time in program history after posting a 4-1 mark at last weekend’s So Cal Collegiate Classic. The Irish also opened 4-1 overall for the second straight season.
– Notre Dame gained two spots to move up to No. 19 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll that was released on Tuesday. The Irish also jumped two places to 20th in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 weekly rankings.
– A six-run surge in the top of the seventh inning on Feb. 6 capped a Notre Dame comeback from a 4-2 deficit, sending the Irish to an 8-4 win over No. 6/7 UCLA at Easton Stadium in Los Angeles. It was Notre Dame’s first win over the Bruins (1-8) in series history, and its fourth triumph in six games at Easton Stadium dating back to last season’s NCAA Los Angeles Regional.
– UCLA was the first top 25 opponent Notre Dame has downed during a season opening tournament since the Irish defeated No. 19 Florida 4-2 on Feb. 13, 2005, at the Gainesville Regional Utilities Classic in Gainesville, Florida.
– Senior infielder Katey Haus parlayed a stellar offensive weekend into being named the first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Softball Player of the Week of 2015 on Monday. Haus led all Notre Dame hitters with a .625 batting average (10-for-16) during the team’s 4-1 opening weekend at the So Cal Collegiate Classic.
– Head coach Deanna Gumpf officially recorded career victory number 550 at Notre Dame during a 3-1 win over Utah to open the 2015 season on Feb. 6. Gumpf, only the third head coach in Irish program history, has logged a 553-221-1 (.714) record during 14 seasons at the helm of Notre Dame.
– Irish softball is one of only two Notre Dame varsity athletic programs to have never posted a losing record. The softball team has completed its first 26 seasons with a .500 record or above in each campaign. Notre Dame’s three-time national champion women’s soccer program has posted 27 straight winning seasons since its inception at the varsity level in the fall of 1988.
ND Outlasts UCLA In LA Thriller
A two-run deficit entering the top of the seventh inning could not thwart Notre Dame. Facing one of the top pitchers in the NCAA, the Irish rallied with a remarkable six runs in the top of the seventh to stun No. 6/7 UCLA 8-4 to close day one of the So Cal Collegiate Classic at Easton Stadium on Feb. 6.
No. 21/22 Notre Dame earned its first win in nine tries against UCLA all-time. The Irish outhit the Bruins 10-6 during the contest, while both teams combined for seven errors on the night. Notre Dame won its season opening contest over Utah 3-1 earlier in the day at Easton Stadium.
Freshman Sara White claimed the game-winning RBI by drawing a bases loaded walk in the top of the seventh, while sophomore Kimmy Sullivan chipped in two insurance RBI during the six-run Notre Dame frame against All-American and United States National Team member Ally Carda.
Haus Named ACC’S Top Player
A stellar opening weekend at the plate earned Notre Dame softball senior infielder Katey Haus the first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Week citation of the season on Monday.
Haus was the fourth different Irish player to be honored with a weekly award since Notre Dame joined the ACC in 2014, and the third to be named as the conference’s player of the week. Senior two-time All-American Emilee Koerner earned the nod on May 5, 2014, while sophomore All-American Karley Wester was the first Notre Dame award winner in the conference after being tabbed as the player of the week on Feb. 17 of last year.
Haus led all Notre Dame hitters with a .625 batting average (10-for-16) during the team’s 4-1 opening weekend at the So Cal Collegiate Classic. Haus also paced all Irish players in home runs (3), RBI (8), slugging percentage (1.250), on-base percentage (.667) and total bases (20).
Gumpf Reaches 550-Win Plateau
Notre Dame won its second straight season opener, improving to 5-0 in its all-time series with Utah following a 3-1 victory on Feb. 6 at Easton Stadium. The Irish outhit the Utes 7-4, including a pair of extra base knocks, and added one stolen base. With the win, 14th-year Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf claimed her 550th career victory in the Irish dugout.
The Offense Is Still Here To Stay
Only five games into the 2015 season, the Notre Dame offense strongly resembles the high-powered 2014 version that led the NCAA in batting average at .357.
The Irish posted a .352 team clip during a 4-1 weekend at the So Cal Collegiate Classic, outscoring opponents by a cumulative 33-20 on the scoreboard. Notre Dame also had more total hits (50-37), home runs (9-5), total bases (82-65) and stolen bases (7-4) than its opponents, and had 10 or more hits in three of its four victories.
Five Notre Dame players with at least 10 at-bats checked in with an average of .290 or better in week one. Senior Katey Haus (.625), senior Cassidy Whidden (.538), junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi (.316), freshman Morgan Reed (.300) and senior two-time All-American and co-captain Emilee Koerner (.294) set the pace for the Irish.
‘The Rotation’ Makes Irish History
The Notre Dame four-pitcher rotation of junior Allie Rhodes (Utah), sophomore Rachel Nasland (Cal State Fullerton), and freshmen Katie Beriont (UCLA) and Sara White (Northwestern State) made Notre Dame history by each earning a victory during a season opening tournament last weekend at the So Cal Collegiate Classic.
It was the first time four different Irish pitchers have ever each won one game during an opening weekend. In fact, Notre Dame has only had four pitchers win at least one game in eight (’93-’96, ’99, ’05, ’11, ’15) of its 27 seasons all-time.
Two-Out RBI Drive The Irish To W’s
Of the 32 total RBI for Notre Dame at the So Cal Collegiate Classic, 19 Irish runs were driven in with two outs on the scoreboard. Seniors Katey Haus and Emilee Koerner each led Notre Dame with four two-out RBI, while classmate Cassidy Whidden added three (47 of Whidden’s 79 career RBI have come with two outs).
Koerner, Wester Make USA Softball POTY Top 50 Watch List
Two-time NFCA All-American Emilee Koerner and sophomore NFCA All-American Karley Wester were each named to the “Watch List” for the 2015 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced on Jan. 28.
Notre Dame has been represented on the top 50 preseason watch list in four straight seasons, with NFCA All-Americans Dani Miller (2012) and Amy Buntin (2013) joining four-time NFCA all-region selection Laura Winter (2014) and Koerner (2014) in previously earning the distinction.
The preseason top 50 watch list included 26 seniors, 18 juniors and six sophomores, with freshmen ineligible for consideration. Freshmen can be considered for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award once they officially compete at the collegiate level. Student-athletes from 32 NCAA Division I universities and 13 athletic conferences comprised the preseason watch list.
Irish Against The Opposition
Notre Dame is 1-2 (.333) all-time against the field entering this weekend’s LSU Tiger Invitational. The Irish are 0-1 against LSU and 1-1 versus Hofstra, and are set to officially meet Central Arkansas for the first time in series history. Notre Dame is also making its first trip to Tiger Park in Baton Rouge.