Senior captain Chloe Saganowich

#21 Irish, Longtime Foe Valparaiso Meet In Thursday Showdown

April 23, 2014

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A season-long 10-game homestand for the University of Notre Dame softball team continues on Thursday, when the Irish welcome Valparaiso to Melissa Cook Stadium for a non-conference matchup. First pitch for the contest is set for 6 p.m. (ET).

Live video coverage will be available at on WatchND, and through the WatchND app.

No. 21 Notre Dame (30-10) looks to bounce back from a Tuesday Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) split with North Carolina State, which saw the Irish fall in the nightcap to the Wolfpack 6-2. Junior Jenna Simon was the hero for Notre Dame in game one, lacing an RBI single over the infield to score freshman Karley Wester from second base for a 3-2 Irish win, the team’s 10th conference victory in their inaugural ACC season.

The 30th overall win of 2014 also clinched the 26th straight season of 30 or more wins for the Notre Dame softball team, dating back to the program’s inaugural year of competition at the varsity level in 1989.

Notre Dame and Valparaiso (19-25) will meet for the 36th time in series history on Thursday, and the 25th time on the Notre Dame campus. The Irish have won 32 straight games against the Crusaders dating back to the 1989 season, and are undefeated at home (23-0) against Valparaiso during that span.

Fans can follow live stats for Thursday’s game via CBS GameTracker by visiting

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No. 21 Notre Dame vs. Valparaiso
April 24, 2014

Melissa Cook Stadium (1,250)
Notre Dame, Ind.

No. 21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(30-10 in 2014)

Valparaiso Crusaders
(19-25 in 2014; 2-33 all-time against ND)

Notre Dame Midweek Schedule


– Notre Dame won its eighth Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) game in its last 10 starts with a walk-off 3-2 victory in game one of a Tuesday doubleheader against North Carolina State at Melissa Cook Stadium.

– Junior Jenna Simon laced a full-count pitch from North Carolina State pitcher Emily Weiman over the heads of the Wolfpack middle infield to score freshman Karley Wester from second base for the game-winning walk-off RBI single. It was Notre Dame’s second walk-off win in a seven-inning contest in 2014, with Wester crossing the plate with the bases loaded on an infield fielder’s choice in the bottom of the seventh of a wild 12-11 win over UC Davis at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic on Feb. 21.

– Senior Laura Winter became the first Notre Dame pitcher to win 100 career games with an 8-0 shutout win over Virginia in game one of last Friday’s ACC doubleheader. Winter tossed just the third perfect game in program history against the Cavaliers, striking out nine Virginia batters over five innings to reach the century mark. Winter, the all-time Irish leader in strikeouts, is just six K’s (994) from reaching the 1,000-strikeout plateau for her career.

– Freshman outfielder Karley Wester was tabbed as one of 25 finalists for the inaugural NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award last Thursday. Wester, the second-leading hitter in the ACC with a .462 average this season, also leads Notre Dame with 61 hits, a .520 on-base percentage and 24 stolen bases.

– Sophomore infielder Micaela Arizmendi posted the most memorable ACC weekend by any Notre Dame hitter thus far in the team’s first season as a league member, batting .818 (9-for-11) with three doubles, one home run and eight RBI in three games against Virginia. Arizmendi was a perfect 5-for-5 in the series finale, tying Kathy Vernetti (4/22/90) and Jenn Giampaolo (4/22/95) for the program’s single-game hits record. Arizmendi added two hits and tied junior Cassidy Whidden for the team lead in home runs with her 10th long ball of the season on Tuesday against North Carolina State.

– Notre Dame’s game one win over North Carolina State secured the program’s 26th consecutive 30-win season, dating back to its inception at the varsity level in 1989. The Irish softball and women’s soccer (established in 1988) teams are the only two active varsity athletics programs in Notre Dame history to have never posted a losing season.

– In the latest NCAA national statistics rankings, Notre Dame rose 17 batting average points from last week to place second in the country with a .355 team clip entering the week. The Irish trailed only Michigan (.356) as the most prolific hitting team, in terms of average, in the nation to begin the week.