March 9, 2015
RALEIGH, N.C. – Spring Break rolls on for the University of Notre Dame softball team this week in North Carolina. The Irish are scheduled to play two midweek games before leaving the state, facing off with Campbell on Tuesday at 6 p.m. (ET) before meeting North Carolina Central for the first time on Wednesday at 4 p.m. in nonconference action.
Live stats will be available for both Notre Dame midweek games via CBS Gametracker at UND.com. A free video feed will also be provided through the Big South Network for Tuesday’s game at Campbell.
No. 22/23 Notre Dame (12-9) has responded well to break its most recent losing streaks, winning six straight games (including three over top 25 opponents) from Feb. 19 through Feb. 27 earlier this season to end a four-game slide. Following a three-game Spring Break losing streak last season, Notre Dame ran off 23 wins in its final 29 games to post a 41-13 record in 2014.
A win over North Carolina Central (5-5) would make the Eagles the 193rd different opponent that Notre Dame has defeated in the 27-year history of the Irish softball program. National top 10 foes UCLA (8-4 on Feb. 6) and Georgia (5-3, Feb. 21), along with Central Arkansas (4-1 on Feb. 14), were previous first-time additions to the Notre Dame win column earlier this season.
Notre Dame enters its showdown with Campbell (13-7) a perfect 2-0 in series history, outscoring the Camels by an 11-1 aggregate run count in those meetings. It will be the first time that the Irish and Campbell will take the diamond against one another in the state of North Carolina.
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 Campbell and North Carolina Central
March 10-11, 2015
Amanda Littlejohn Stadium/Thomas Brooks Park
Buies Creek, N.C./Cary, N.C.
No. 22/23 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(12-9 in 2015)
(13-7 in 2015)
North Carolina Central Lady Eagles
(5-5 in 2015)
Notre Dame Softball Midweek “Triangle” Schedule
Tuesday, March 10
/Big South Network
Wednesday, March 11
IRISH SLAP HITS
– Notre Dame will play its first ever midweek nonconference games in the state of North Carolina during the current Spring Break trip. The Irish and Campbell meet for the third time in series history on Tuesday, while Notre Dame and North Carolina Central face off for the first time on Wednesday.
– Deanna Gumpf became the winningest “diamond” head coach (baseball and softball) in Notre Dame history with career victory 559 against No. 20 Missouri. Gumpf’s squads have averaged more than 40 wins per season (561 total) during her 14 seasons as the Notre Dame skipper.
– The Irish have won seven of their last 11 games dating back to an 8-6 triumph over Maryland on Feb. 19 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Notre Dame has outscored opponents 56-42 during that span, outhitting the opposition 88-62 while adding 10 doubles and eight home runs. The Irish are also 19-for-20 on stolen base attempts in the last 11 contests.
– Sophomore All-American Karley Wester was the leading Notre Dame offensive performer during a three-game set last weekend at North Carolina State. Wester batted .600 (6-for-10) with a double, triple, two stolen bases and three runs scored to power the Irish offense.
– 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.
– 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 8-9 (.471) all-time in games played on March 10 of a given season, winning the last three games played on the date of the Irish showdown with Campbell on Tuesday. Notre Dame downed New Mexico State 5-0 during its last March 10 game in 2012.
The Irish have added an identical 8-9 mark on March 10, the date of the Wednesday meeting with North Carolina Central.
Wester, Haus Rolling Last 11 Games
With Notre Dame winning seven of its last 11 games to flip the calendar to March on the 2015 schedule, two Irish players have continued to make an impact on the stat sheets during the team’s recent surge.
Sophomore All-American Karley Wester batted a team-high .463 with 19 hits, 12 runs and seven stolen bases to lead all Notre Dame hitters in her past 11 games. Wester leads all Irish players with 11 multiple-hit games in over her first 21 starts, including three different games with three hits.
Senior Katey Haus added a .452 (14-for-31) clip over her last 11 starts, adding a team-high three doubles, three home runs, eight RBI, a .839 slugging percentage and .553 on-base percentage during that span.
CAfro Turns It On In Conference
Junior Casey Africano has been a sterling in-conference hitter ever since her first season at Notre Dame in 2013. Africano’s cumulative batting average in conference games (.326) is 39 points higher than her overall career clip (.287), and 14 of her 39 career hits have come in 28 conference games played (12 starts). Africano has kicked in 11 of 23 career RBI and seven of 19 career runs scored against league opposition.
After hitting a solo home run against North Carolina State in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader, three of Africano’s four career long balls have come in conference games (one home run in each game of a BIG EAST doubleheader against Rutgers on April 13-14, 2013).
Irish Against The Carolinas
The two midweek contests against Campbell and North Carolina Central will be the 38th and 39th games Notre Dame has played in its history against teams from either North or South Carolina. The Irish are 27-10 (.730) against opposition from the Carolinas all-time, with North Carolina Central becoming the 12th different foe to join the series list.
Notre Dame has won 10 of 12 meetings with the University of North Carolina, adding multiple wins against East Carolina (four), Campbell (two), Charlotte (two), Charleston Southern (two) and Winthrop (two).
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.
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 Against The Opposition
Notre Dame is 2-0 all-time in its brief series history with Campbell, and will meet North Carolina Central for the first time. The Irish downed Campbell 6-1 in the inaugural contest between the teams on March 9, 2005 during the Hawaii Spring Fling in Honolulu, Hawaii, before taking a 5-0 decision against the Camels on March 15, 2008 at the Lowcountry Invitational in Charleston, South Carolina.