May 14, 2015
SOUTH BEND REGIONAL CENTRAL
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — For the first time in 10 years, NCAA Regional softball returns to the University of Notre Dame campus. The Irish softball team welcomes Kentucky, Northwestern and Ball State for the 2015 NCAA South Bend Regional this weekend at Melissa Cook Stadium.
All tournament games will be streamed free of charge on WatchND. Live stats will also be available via CBS Gametracker at UND.com.
No. 21/22 Notre Dame (40-13) opens NCAA South Bend Regional play against Ball State (33-23) on Friday at 5 p.m. (ET) at Melissa Cook Stadium. No. RV Kentucky (29-24) and Northwestern (28-21) collide in the first regional matchup at 2 p.m. on Friday.
Notre Dame has now qualified for the NCAA Championship 20 times in 27 seasons, reaching each of the past 17 national tournaments. Head coach Deanna Gumpf has directed the Irish to NCAA Regional appearances in each of her 14 seasons at the helm of the program.
The NCAA South Bend Regional will mark the second time that Notre Dame has served as a regional host during NCAA Championship play, as the Irish welcomed Louisville, Northwestern at Albany to Ivy Field in 2005. The other sites Notre Dame has traveled to for NCAA Regionals include Bloomington (1994), Ann Arbor (1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), Iowa City (2001, 2002), Evanston (2006, 2007), Tucson (2012), Lexington (2013) and Los Angeles (2014).
Kentucky enters NCAA Regional play after competing in last weekend’s Southeastern Conference (SEC) Tournament at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Wildcats are making their seventh consecutive NCAA Championship appearance, and previously played host to Notre Dame, Marshall and Virginia Tech during the 2013 NCAA Lexington Regional at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky.
Northwestern returns to the NCAA Championship for the 15th time in its history, and the 10th different time under head coach Kate Drohan. The Wildcats have advanced out of their region on four separate occasions, reaching the Women’s College World Series two times in program history. Northwestern dropped a 3-2 decision to Notre Dame on April 15 in a previous trip to Melissa Cook Stadium this season.
Ball State, the Mid-American Conference (MAC) tournament champion, will make its third appearance in an NCAA Regional when the Cardinals travel to Melissa Cook Stadium. Ball State first appeared at the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional in 1998 before making a return trip to the national tournament in 2010, taking part in the NCAA Knoxville Regional.
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. 21/22 Notre Dame at the NCAA South Bend Regional
May 15-17, 2015
Melissa Cook Stadium (1,250)
Notre Dame, Ind.
No. 21/22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, NCAA Championship No. 16 National Seed
(40-13 in 2015)
No. RV Kentucky Wildcats
(29-24 in 2015)
(28-21 in 2015)
Ball State Cardinals
(33-23 in 2015)
Notre Dame NCAA Championship Schedule
Saturday, May 16
Game 3 — 12 p.m. (ET) — Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner
Game 4 — 3 p.m. (ET) — Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser
Game 5 — 6 p.m. (ET) — Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Winner
Sunday, May 17
Game 6 — 1 p.m. (ET) — Game 3 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner
Game 7 — 4 p.m. (ET) — Game 6 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser (if necessary)
IRISH SLAP HITS
– Notre Dame will make its 20th overall NCAA Championship (17th straight) appearance this weekend when it hosts the South Bend Regional at Melissa Cook Stadium.
– Notre Dame will serve as an NCAA Regional host for the second time in program history when it welcomes Kentucky, Northwestern and Ball State. The Irish last hosted a four-team regional in 2005 at Ivy Field, where Northwestern, Louisville and Albany joined Notre Dame in the field.
– Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf has guided Notre Dame to NCAA Regional appearances in each of her 14 seasons at the helm of the program.
– A total of seven Notre Dame players were selected to National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Mid-Atlantic all-region teams Thursday. Emilee Koerner, Katey Haus, Micaela Arizmendi and Karley Wester earned first team nods, while senior Cassidy Whidden was tabbed to the all-region second team. Senior Jenna Simon and freshman Morgan Reed were each third team choices.
– Senior co-captain and two-time All-American Emilee Koerner was named Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Year on May 7. Joining Koerner (first) on all-ACC teams were junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi (first), sophomore All-American Karley Wester (first), senior Katey Haus (first), sophomore Rachel Nasland (second) and freshman Morgan Reed (second).
– The Irish are 28-38 (.424) in NCAA Championship play dating back to the program’s first NCAA Regional appearance in 1994 in Bloomington. Notre Dame has reached the final day of the regional bracket eight different times during its history.
– Irish softball is one of only two Notre Dame varsity athletic programs to have never posted a losing record. The softball team clinched its 27th straight season with a .500 record or above with an 8-0 win in six innings over Butler on April 8 at Melissa Cook Stadium. Notre Dame’s three-time national champion women’s soccer program has also logged 27 straight winning seasons since its inception at the varsity level in the fall of 1988.
First Time Hosts At Melissa Cook
Notre Dame was rewarded for facing one of the most challenging schedules in program history by earning a bid to host the regional round of the 2015 NCAA Championship on Sunday.
The Irish received the national No. 16 seed at the top of the NCAA South Bend Regional, clinching its first hosting berth at Melissa Cook Stadium since the facility opened in 2008. Notre Dame has now qualified for the NCAA Championship 20 times in 27 seasons all-time, reaching each of the past 17 national tournaments.
Record Seven ACC Teams In NCAAs
A record seven Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) teams received NCAA Regional invitations, with Notre Dame joined by national No. 9 seed Florida State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, Louisville and Pittsburgh in the NCAA Championship draw.
Notre Dame logged a cumulative 9-7 (.563) mark against fellow ACC qualifiers during conference matchups this season.
Seven ND Players On All-Region Teams
For the second consecutive season Notre Dame landed a program record seven players on NFCA Mid-Atlantic all-region teams, as was announced by the NFCA on Thursday.
Senior co-captain, two-time All-American and 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Year Emilee Koerner, senior Katey Haus, junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi and sophomore All-American Karley Wester were each named to the NFCA Mid-Atlantic all-region first team. The four first teamers were the second-most for Notre Dame in a single season, tying the 2009 and 2011 Irish teams that also had four representatives.
Senior Cassidy Whidden earned all-region recognition for the second straight season by being tabbed to the NFCA Mid-Atlantic all-region second team, as did senior Jenna Simon as a member of the region’s third team. Freshman Morgan Reed rounded out the Notre Dame honorees alongside Simon on the NFCA Mid-Atlantic all-region third team.
Emi Named ACC Player Of The Year
A true leader by example, senior co-captain Emilee Koerner has taken her game to new heights during the second half of Notre Dame’s 2015 season. The most offensively consistent and impactful league player during the final two months of the regular season, Koerner was named the ACC Player of the Year on May 7 in advance of the opening round of the ACC Championship tournament in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Koerner is the first major award winner for the Irish in the ACC since the program joined the conference prior to the 2014 season. She became the 14th conference player of the year selection, and 11th different player overall to receive the distinction, in the 27-year history of the Notre Dame softball program.
Joining Koerner on the all-ACC first team was sophomore All-American Karley Wester, junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi and senior Katey Haus. Rounding out the Notre Dame all-conference selections were sophomore Rachel Nasland and freshman Morgan Reed on the all-ACC second team.
First National Seed For The Irish
While Notre Dame previously hosted an NCAA South Bend Regional in 2005 at Ivy Field, its selection as the 16th overall seed in the 2015 NCAA Championship is the first national seed secured by Notre Dame in program history.
Kentucky was tabbed as the second seed in the South Bend Regional, with Northwestern third. Ball State rounds out this weekend’s field as the region’s fourth seed.
Irish Offense Grades High In ACC
One year after a record setting team performance in which it was the top offensive lineup in the NCAA, Notre Dame has continued to usher along the hit parade in 2015.
Entering NCAA Regional play, the Irish lead all ACC foes with a .349 batting average, 503 hits, 82 doubles and 360 runs scored. The Irish remain a mere nine runs shy of tying the single-season program record of 369 established in 2010.
Mic Heating It Up For May
Junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi has been one of the go-to offensive players for Notre Dame during the recent Irish surge. Arizmendi ranks second on the Notre Dame roster with a .432 batting average in the last 28 games dating back to March 15, but the Irish first baseman has made her biggest splash in the power department.
Arizmendi has ripped 14 of her team-leading 16 doubles in her past 28 starts, to go along with six of her 11 home runs this season over the same span. The southpaw has chipped in 28 RBI, a .789 slugging percentage, a .476 on-base percentage and 24 runs scored in helping to lead Notre Dame to a 26-2 record entering the NCAA Championship.
Irish In The NCAA Championship
Notre Dame qualified for the NCAA Championship for the 20th time in the last 21 seasons with its at-large bid. The Irish are 28-38 (.424) all-time in NCAA Regional play, and have reached the final day of the regional bracket eight different times.
Irish Against The Opposition
Notre Dame is 18-17 (.514) all-time against possible opponents at this weekend’s South Bend Regional.