March 6, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It is finally time for Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play for the University of Notre Dame softball team in 2015. The Irish usher in the new league schedule with a challenging three-game set at No. RV North Carolina State (7-7) this weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina.
No. 22/23 Notre Dame (12-6) and the Wolfpack are set to open the ACC series on Saturday at noon (ET) inside Dail Softball Stadium. Game two of the doubleheader is expected to begin at approximately 2 p.m. Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for a noon first pitch.
This weekend’s series between Notre Dame and North Carolina State will be just the second ever meeting between the teams on the softball diamond. The Irish won the first game in series history 3-2 before the Wolfpack took the nightcap (6-2) of an ACC midweek doubleheader on April 22, 2014 at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Notre Dame closed its regular season tournament schedule with 10 or more wins for the sixth consecutive year after playing 11 of its first 18 contests against teams ranked or receiving votes in the national top 25 polls. The Irish posted two top 10 victories (No. 6/7 UCLA 8-4, Feb. 6 and No. 7/8 Georgia 5-3, Feb. 21) and four top 25 triumphs (UCLA, Georgia, No. 20 Missouri 3-2, Feb. 27 and No. RV/25 Texas 5-1, Feb. 21) in the month of February, the first time Notre Dame had ever accomplished either feat in the opening month in program history.
Live stats will be available for all three Notre Dame games at North Carolina State via CBS Gametracker at UND.com. A free video feed will also be provided through GoPack.com for each contest.
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. 22/23 Notre Dame at No. RV North Carolina State
March 7-8, 2015
Dail Softball Stadium
No. 22/23 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(12-6 in 2015)
No. RV North Carolina State Wolfpack
(7-7 in 2015)
Notre Dame-North Carolina State Schedule
Sunday, March 8
IRISH SLAP HITS
– Notre Dame improved to 12-6 in 2015 with a 3-1 weekend at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The Irish are now 18-3 (.857) all-time in games played during the tournament in Kissimmee, Florida.
– Notre Dame gained one spot to No. 22 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll that was released on Tuesday. The Irish remained idle at 23rd in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 weekly rankings. Notre Dame has now been ranked in the national top 25 for 19 straight weeks.
– Notre Dame’s 3-2 victory over No. 20 Missouri on Feb. 27 was the fifth Irish win of 2015 against teams ranked or receiving votes in the national top 25 polls. Notre Dame has defeated No. 6/7 UCLA (8-4 on Feb. 6), No. 7/8 Georgia (5-3 on Feb. 21), No. 20 Missouri, No. RV/25 Texas (5-1 on Feb. 21) and No. RV Cal State Fullerton (7-2 on Feb. 8) thus far this season.
– Deanna Gumpf became the winningest “diamond” head coach in Notre Dame history with career victory 559 against No. 20 Missouri.
– The Irish have won seven of their last eight games dating back to an 8-6 triumph over Maryland on Feb. 19 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Notre Dame has outscored opponents 49-21 during that span, outhitting the opposition 72-39 while adding eight doubles and six home runs. The Irish are also a perfect 13-for-13 on stolen base attempts in the last eight contests.
– Entering its second season in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Notre Dame is in search of its fourth road league series win this weekend at North Carolina State. The Irish took two out of three games last March at Georgia Tech (March 8-9, 2014) before sweeping North Carolina (April 9, 2014) and Virginia (April 18-19, 2014).
– 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.
On This Date…
Notre Dame is a combined 7-9 (.438) all-time in games played on March 7 of a given season, winning the last three games played on the date. Notre Dame downed UC Riverside 10-0 in five innings during its last March 7 game in 2010.
The Irish have added an 11-5 (.688) mark on March 8, the date of the Sunday series finale against North Carolina State.
First Trip To Raleigh Opens ACC
Notre Dame officially opens its second season as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with three games against North Carolina State this weekend at Dail Softball Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is the first time the Irish have ever traveled to Raleigh to face the Wolfpack on the softball diamond.
North Carolina State made its inaugural appearance at Melissa Cook Stadium last April, splitting a midweek doubleheader with Notre Dame.
Irish All-Time In Conference Openers
Notre Dame is a combined 22-4 (.846) all-time in conference opening games dating back to the 1989 season. The Irish have not lost the first league series of a season since dropping a pair of games to Rutgers on March 28-29, 1998.
Another Ranked Foe Falls To ND
Notre Dame claimed its fourth top 25 victory, and fifth overall win against a team either ranked or receiving votes in the national top 25, with a 3-2 triumph over No. 20 Missouri on Feb. 27.
Sophomore pitcher Rachel Nasland yielded three hits to Missouri in a complete game effort to earn the win, adding one strikeout. It was Nasland’s third victorious decision against a top 25 team this season after she was the winning pitcher versus No. RV/25 Texas and claimed the save against No. 7/8 Georgia on Feb. 21.
Juniors Casey Africano and Megan Sorlie combined with freshman Morgan Reed to drive in all three Notre Dame runs during the top of the fourth inning against the Tigers. Reed and All-Americans Emilee Koerner and Micaela Arizmendi each chipped in two hits.
Irish On Fire Last Eight Games
With Notre Dame winning seven of its last eight games to close the final two tournaments on the 2015 schedule, a number of Irish players made an impact on the stat sheets during the team’s recent surge.
Senior Katey Haus batted an even .500 (11-for-22) over her last eight starts to pace all Notre Dame players, adding a team-high three doubles, two home runs, seven RBI, and a .909 slugging percentage and .607 on-base percentage during that span. Sophomore All-American Karley Wester contributed a team-high 13 hits, nine runs and five stolen bases, while senior co-captain and two-time All-American Emilee Koerner chipped in two home runs and six RBI.
Sophomore right-hander Rachel Nasland was virtually untouchable in her last seven appearances in the pitching circle, posting a 4-1 record with one save and a 0.88 ERA over 31.2 innings. Opposing hitters are batting a mere .131 against Nasland since Feb. 19. Junior Allie Rhodes added a perfect 3-0 mark during the string, logging a 3.17 ERA.
ND Rates Highly Among ACC Peers
Thanks in part to its 12-6 start to the season, Notre Dame stacked up well with its fellow ACC foes according to updated conference statistics that were released on Wednesday.
Entering the week, the Irish ranked second in the ACC in total hits (152), runs scored (95), stolen bases (22) and total bases (217). Notre Dame added top five results in batting average (.307, third), home runs (16, fourth), RBI (82, fourth) and hit by pitch (11, fifth) on offense through 18 games.
Notre Dame’s pitching staff was tied for second in the ACC with 106 combined strikeouts, and owned the fourth-best ERA in the league at 2.78.
February, A Month For Top 25 Ws
Notre Dame completed its tournament schedule with five victories over teams that were ranked or receiving national top 25 votes. The two Irish top 10 victories against No. 6/7 UCLA (8-4 on Feb. 6) and No. 7/8 Georgia (5-3 on Feb. 21) remain the only time in program history that Notre Dame has won multiple games over top 10 ranked foes in the month of February during a given season.
Gumpf Establishes New Wins Mark
Head coach Deanna Gumpf became the winningest “diamond” mentor in Notre Dame history with career victory 559 against No. 20 Missouri, surpassing longtime baseball skipper Jake Kline (1934-75). Gumpf added two more wins at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic to run her career total to 561 victories in her 14th season at the helm of the Irish.
Irish In The ACC
Notre Dame officially opens its second season in the ACC with a 16-5 record during conference play. Taking into account all prior games, including those before joining the league, the Irish are a combined 129-40 (.763) against the current ACC membership.
Irish Against The Opposition
Notre Dame is 1-1 (.500) all-time against North Carolina State entering this weekend’s ACC series at Dail Softball Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Irish and Wolfpack split a midweek conference doubleheader (ND 3-2, NCST 6-2) on April 22, 2014 at Melissa Cook Stadium.