Feb. 2, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team earned a total of 88 voting points, including one first-place vote, to finish second in the league standings in the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) preseason coaches predicted order of finish, the conference office announced on Monday.
Prior to kicking off their second season as a member of the ACC this weekend at the So Cal Collegiate Classic in California, the Irish finished as the runner-up behind defending ACC champion Florida State (100 points, 10 first-place votes) in the preseason voting. The conference’s 11 head coaches each cast one ballot for the predicted order of finish tabulations, and were not able to vote for their own teams.
Notre Dame (41-13, 16-5 in the ACC in 2014) made its 16th consecutive appearance, and earned its 19th overall bid in 26 seasons of varsity competition, in the NCAA Championship in 2014 by playing in the NCAA Los Angeles Regional. The Irish placed second in the ACC regular-season standings in their inaugural campaign in the conference, ultimately reaching the final game of the ACC Championship tournament in College Park, Md.
Notre Dame also surpassed the 40-win plateau for the 16th time in its history, a watermark the Irish have attained in 10 of the last 13 seasons since Deanna Gumpf became the program’s head coach in 2002.
The Irish return 13 monogram winners this season, including 2014 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American and Division I National Freshman of the Year finalist Karley Wester (.455, 28 RBI, 26 SB, 50 R), two-time NFCA All-American (2013-14) and co-captain Emilee Koerner (.433, team record 28 2B, 11 HR, 51 RBI) and 2014 NFCA All-American Micaela Arizmendi (.382, 17 2B, 15 HR, 61 RBI). Other top returners include 2014 NFCA Mid-Atlantic region first team selection Cassidy Whidden (.336, 11 HR, 35 RBI), and 2014 NFCA Mid-Atlantic second team choices Katey Haus (.333, 14 2B, 3 HR, 52 RBI) and co-captain Jenna Simon (.359, 20 SB, 39 R).
Gumpf enters her 14th season as Notre Dame’s head coach ranked in the top 20 among all active NCAA Division I coaches with a .714 career winning percentage (549-220-1). The Notre Dame coaching staff received the 2014 NFCA Mid-Atlantic Region Coaching Staff of the Year award after the team’s strong performance in its inaugural ACC season.
The Irish will begin the season ranked in both of Division I softball’s major polls for the first time in program history after being slotted 21st in the 2015 ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Preseason and 22nd in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Preseason Top 25 polls.
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.
2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Predicted Order Of Finish
Rank Team Points (First-Place Votes) 2014 Record (Conference)
1. Florida State 100 (10) 55-9 (24-3)
2. Notre Dame 88 (1) 41-13 (16-5)
3. NC State 82 36-18 (16-8)
4. Virginia Tech 69 36-23 (19-9)
5. Louisville 68 36-22 (14-7)
6. North Carolina 56 24-26 (14-11)
7. Syracuse 44 24-25 (12-12)
8. Georgia Tech 33 23-24 (11-17)
9. Boston College 32 30-23 (12-14)
10. Pittsburgh 17 15-29 (6-18)
11. Virginia 16 8-43 (1-25)