May 5, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The top eight teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) will descend on Blacksburg, Virginia, to take part in the 2015 ACC Softball Championship this weekend. The University of Notre Dame softball team joins seven other conference foes at Tech Softball Park from Thursday through Saturday in the single-elimination tournament.
Seeded third in the championship field, Notre Dame will play in the fourth and final quarterfinal game during the opening day of the ACC Championship on Thursday, facing sixth-seeded Pittsburgh at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on the Regional Sports Network (RSN) and ESPN3. A victory would advance the Irish into Friday’s second tournament semifinal game that is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. (RSN/ESPN3). The 2015 ACC Championship game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and will air nationally on ESPN and the WatchESPN app.
Live stats will be available during the ACC Championship via CBS Gametracker at UND.com.
No. 21 Notre Dame (40-12) won 26 of its last 27 games to wrap up the 2015 regular season, logging a 17-1 record in ACC games since March 15 to place third in the conference standings. The Irish have outscored opponents 240-56 during the home stretch, winning 13 game in six innings or less by way of NCAA run rule.
Notre Dame has logged an 11-6 (.647) record this season against the other teams comprising the ACC Championship field, including series sweeps of Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Boston College. The Irish split a pair of games with North Carolina, fell in road series at North Carolina State and Florida State, and did not meet Louisville during the regular season.
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 Notre Dame at the 2015 ACC Championship
May 7-9, 2015
Tech Softball Park (1,024)
No. 21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, ACC Championship No. 3 Seed
(40-12, 17-6 in the ACC in 2015)
Notre Dame ACC Championship Schedule
ACC Championship Semifinal #2 — Friday, 3:30 p.m. (ET)/RSN, WatchESPN
ACC Championship Game — Saturday, 1 p.m. (ET)/ESPN, WatchESPN
IRISH SLAP HITS
Â·Â Â Â Notre Dame improved to 40-12 this season with a 16-1 midweek win in five innings over Michigan State on April 28 in East Lansing, Michigan.
Â·Â Â Â Notre Dame won 26 of its final 27 games during the regular season, outscoring opponents by a cumulative 240-56 run count in those contests.
Â·Â Â Â The 2015 Notre Dame team was only the third Irish team in the 27-year history of the program to win 20 or more consecutive contests in a single season. The current Notre Dame squad’s 24 straight wins from March 15-April 22 was the second-longest streak in Irish history, with the standard bearer remaining the 33 straight wins for the 2001 Notre Dame team that led the NCAA that season.
Â·Â Â Â Notre Dame secured the 17th 40-win season in program history by downing Michigan State 16-1 on April 28. The Irish have surpassed the 40-win plateau in each of the past seven seasons, and in nine of the last 11 campaigns overall.
Â·Â Â Â The Irish are 37-20 (.649) in conference championship play since 1995, winning six BIG EAST titles (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009) and finishing as conference tournament runner-up on seven other occasions.
Â·Â Â Â Notre Dame outscored Pittsburgh 30-7 during a three-game sweep April 3-4 at Vartabedian Field.
Â·Â Â Â Sophomore All-American Karley Wester was named one of the Top 26 Finalists for the 2015 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award on April 8. Wester is the second Irish player to be selected as a finalist for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award, joining two-time All-American Emilee Koerner (2013).
Â·Â Â Â 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.
Irish Seeded Third In ACC Tourney
Notre Dame placed third in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular season standings during its second season in the conference, following a two-game split with North Carolina on April 26 at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish were selected second in the preseason ACC predicted order of finish, as voted on by conference head coaches.
After an 0-5 start to league play during Spring Break, Notre Dame posted a 17-1 mark the rest of the way against ACC opponents, winning 16 straight conference decisions from March 15-April 19.
ND Wins 40th Game of `15 At MSU
Notre Dame closed the 2015 regular season schedule with an emphatic performance, overmatching Michigan State 16-1 in five innings on April 28 at Secchia Stadium. The victory clinched the 17th 40-win season in the 27-year history of the Notre Dame softball program, with the Irish reaching 40 wins for the seventh consecutive season.
Notre Dame finished the regular season unbeaten in nonconference play since March 1, winning all 12 non-league games during that span. The Irish also clinched their 16th run-rule triumph of 2015 after belting 16 hits against Michigan State.
A total of 11 Notre Dame players logged at least one hit during the contest against the Spartans. The Irish have surpassed the 10-hit plateau 24 different times this season, including six of the past 10 starts overall.
Koerner A Force For The Irish
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. One needs to look no further than the past 10 Irish games to notice Koerner’s impact.
The two-time All-American batted at a cumulative .571 clip (20-for-35) in her last 10 starts, clubbing six doubles and three home runs. Koerner added 22 RBI and 17 runs scored to her offensive totals since April 12, slugging an even 1.000 in the number two spot in the Notre Dame lineup.
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 third on the Notre Dame roster with a .440 batting average in the last 27 games dating back to March 15, but the Irish first baseman has made her biggest splash in the power department.
Arizmendi has ripped 13 of her team-leading 15 doubles in her past 27 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 .802 slugging percentage, a .485 on-base percentage and 24 runs scored in helping to lead Notre Dame to a 26-1 record to close out the regular season.
Irish Tested Against Rest Of Field
Notre Dame has collided with six of its possible seven opponents that are also in the field at this weekend’s ACC Championship at Tech Softball Park in Blacksburg, Virginia. Only fourth-seeded Louisville was not on the Irish schedule during the conference slate in the regular season.
Entering the ACC tournament, Notre Dame is a combined 11-6 (.647) against the rest of the championship entrants, earning series sweeps over Virginia Tech (March 28-29), Pittsburgh (April 3-4) and Boston College (April 11-12) in that span.
Senior co-captain and two-time All-American Emilee Koerner batted. 439 against ACC Championship opponents this season, tying classmate Katey Haus with four total home runs. Junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi connected for nine doubles and Haus has added a team-high 16 RBI against possible tournament foes in 2015, while Koerner scored 20 runs in her 17 starts against other ACC teams bound for the postseason this weekend at Tech Softball Park.
ND Storms Through Second Half
Since the conclusion of its series at North Carolina State on March 8, Notre Dame has posted a 28-3 (.903) mark, which has included 17 ACC victories in 18 games dating back to a 12-0 win in five innings over No. 9/10 Florida State on March 15. The Irish have outscored opponents 257-70 since downing Campbell 4-3 on March 10 to start the streak.
Wester A Top 26 Finalist For USA Softball POY
The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball named sophomore All-American Karley Wester one of the Top 26 Finalists for the 2015 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award on April 8.
Wester is the second Notre Dame softball player in the last three seasons to be selected as a finalist for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award, joining two-time All-American Emilee Koerner (2013). Wester and Koerner, both sophomores at the time of their selection, are the only two Irish players in the history of the award to earn a finalist nod.
Irish In The ACC
Notre Dame officially opened its second season in the ACC at North Carolina State on March 7. Taking into account all prior games, including those before joining the league, the Irish are a combined 146-46 (.760) against the current ACC membership.
Irish Against The Opposition
Notre Dame is 103-42 (.710) all-time against possible opponents at this weekend’s ACC Championship. The Irish are a combined 32-2 (.941) versus first round foe Pittsburgh, winning 12 straight against the Panthers since 2009.