May 2, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team will cap its first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular season schedule this weekend, welcoming former BIG EAST rival Boston College to Melissa Cook Stadium for a three-game set.
The league series is scheduled to begin with a Saturday doubleheader at 1 p.m. (ET). Game two of the opening day twin bill is tentatively set for 3 p.m. The series finale will take place on Sunday at noon, when Notre Dame honors its four seniors, captain Chloe Saganowich, Lauren Stuhr, Monica Torres and Laura Winter.
Live video coverage of this weekend’s games will be available at UND.com on WatchND, and through the WatchND app.
No. 22 Notre Dame (34-10, 13-5 ACC) has won nine of its last 10 games entering its ACC series finale following a three-game sweep of Maryland last weekend at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish outscored the Terrapins a combined 26-6 during the fourth annual Strikeout Cancer series, which saw Notre Dame raise more than $30,000 to directly benefit children in the state of Indiana battling pediatric cancer.
Boston College (30-19, 12-11 ACC) will make its first ever appearance at Melissa Cook Stadium, and its first trip to Notre Dame since splitting a BIG EAST Conference doubleheader on April 29, 2005. The Irish own an 18-6 series advantage over the Eagles all-time, including a 14-5 edge in conference games.
Fans can follow live stats for the series against Boston College via CBS GameTracker by visiting UND.com.
No. 22 Notre Dame vs. Boston College
May 3-4, 2014
Melissa Cook Stadium (1,250)
Notre Dame, Ind.
No. 22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(34-10 in 2014, 13-5 in the ACC)
Boston College Eagles
(30-19 in 2014, 12-11 in the ACC; 6-18 all-time against ND)
IRISH SLAP HITS
– Notre Dame closes its inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular season schedule with this weekend’s series against Boston College at Melissa Cook Stadium.
– Boston College is the fourth opponent on Notre Dame’s official 2014 schedule, but only the second team the Irish will play in the regular season (Virginia Tech) due to cancellations with Pittsburgh and Syracuse, that was also a member of the original BIG EAST Conference.
– Notre Dame moved into second place in the ACC season standings with a three-game sweep of Maryland last weekend during the team’s fourth annual Strikeout Cancer series. The Irish outscored the Terrapins 26-6 during the conference set, which included a 9-1 win in five innings during an ACC Monday telecast on ESPNU.
– The series sweep of Maryland ran Notre Dame’s current winning streak to four in a row, with nine of the last 10 contests having gone the way of the Irish. It is the second time this season that Notre Dame has won at least nine times in a 10-game stretch, after opening the season 9-1 from Feb. 8-Feb. 20.
– Notre Dame maintained its hold on the national doubles per game lead for the eighth week in a row, checking in with an impressive 2.09 doubles per contest following last weekend’s series against Maryland.
– NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Top 25 finalist Karley Wester assumed the batting average lead in the ACC (.469) following a 5-for-8 (.625) series against Maryland, that included a double, triple, three RBI and four runs scored during the three-game set. Along with the top batting average, Wester holds the Irish team lead in hits (67), triples (3), on-base percentage (.530) and stolen bases (25) in 2014.
– Sophomore infielder Micaela Arizmendi homered twice during the Strikeout Cancer series against Maryland to extend her career-high and team lead in home runs to 13 last weekend. Arizmendi has now hit a home run in five of her last eight starts, and has left the yard in eight of the past 16 Irish contests dating back to April 2.
On This Date…
Notre Dame is a combined 6-4 (.600) all-time in games played on May 3 of a given season, winning the last two games played on the date, most recently during the 2011 season (10-2 victory over Valparaiso in six innings).
The Irish have added a 9-7 (.563) mark on May 4 all-time, the date of the series finale and Senior Day on Sunday against Boston College.
Strikeout Cancer Does It Again
Notre Dame softball’s signature awareness initiative, Strikeout Cancer, began supporting leukemia awareness in 2011 in solidarity for Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf and her daughter, Tatum, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the summer of 2010. Now an annual celebration, the proceeds directly benefit South Bend’s Memorial Children’s Hospital (where Tatum started her treatments) and children throughout Indiana who have been diagnosed with cancer.
In its fourth year of existence, Strikeout Cancer has raised more than $105,000 for children battling pediatric cancer, a figure that leads all teams nationwide that participate in the NFCA StrikeOut Cancer initiative. Funds raised have gone toward “wish trips” for cancer patients and two playrooms at South Bend’s Memorial Children’s Hospital.
The 2014 Strikeout Cancer festivities combined to raise more than $30,000 for the second straight year, with all proceeds going directly to local children battling pediatric cancer. Notre Dame also improved to 9-3 (.750) in the Strikeout Cancer series since the 2011 season, having swept the weekend’s games the past two years after earning three wins over Rutgers in 2013.
Irish Offense Spikes On ESPN
A total of six Notre Dame contests this season have appeared on the ESPN Family of Networks following Monday night’s win over Maryland on ESPNU. The Irish are 4-2 in games that has been seen on the Worldwide Leader with a cumulative .386 team batting average and a 43-17 aggregate run count in those games thus far in 2014.
Irish Still One Of The Nation’s Best
In the most recent installment of the NCAA national statistical rankings for the 2014 season that was released on Monday, Notre Dame checked in as the number one team in the country in doubles per game for the eighth straight week. Through 44 contests, the Irish have averaged 2.09 two-baggers per game to pace all of Division I softball, and remain the only program in the country averaging at least two doubles per contest. A team total of 92 doubles for the season also leads the NCAA.
Junior All-American outfielder Emilee Koerner checks in as the ACC individual leader with 21 doubles. Koerner’s RBI double in the fifth inning on Monday against Maryland equaled her single-season program record set in 2013. The Tustin, Calif. native is one double shy (54) of tying Katie Laing (’08) for the program record of 55 career two-baggers.
With a .363 team clip, the Irish are also among the national top 10 in batting average. Notre Dame led the NCAA with a .343 final average in 2010.
Winter Earns 2nd ACC POTW Honor
Notre Dame senior pitcher Laura Winter earned her second ACC Pitcher of the Week citation of the season before Monday night’s game with Maryland. Winter was previously named the ACC Pitcher of the Week, becoming the first hurler to receive the award in program history, on March 10.
Counting her primetime start against the Terrapins, Winter is a perfect 5-0 with a 0.79 ERA in her last five appearances in the circle. The San Diego, Calif. native has allowed only three earned runs in her last 26.2 inning pitched, striking out a total of 36 batters in that span. Winter has also held opposing hitters to a .232 combined average during the last week, while issuing a mere three walks.
Westy A Finalist For Frosh Of The Year
In the inaugural season of the NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award, Notre Dame is represented by one of the most impactful newcomers in program history. Freshman outfielder Karley Wester was named one of the top 25 finalists for the new NFCA honor on April 17, immediately following her masterful 7-for-9 (.778) effort earlier in that week against No. 7/8 Florida State, who boasts one of the top pitching staffs in the country.
Wester became the first Notre Dame softball player to earn a weekly award from the ACC in the team’s first season as a conference member, copping ACC Player of the Week honors on Feb. 17. Through 44 games, the Huntington Beach, Calif. native leads Notre Dame and the ACC with a .469 batting average and 67 hits, to go along with three triples, a .530 on-base percentage and 25 stolen bases. Wester also has a team-high 20 multi-hit games, and has currently reached base in 20 straight contests entering this weekend’s series against Boston College.
Micaela On A Mission
Following a 0-for-3 effort against Eastern Michigan on March 26, sophomore Micaela Arizmendi has turned up the offensive heat each time she has stepped to the plate. In fact, Arizmendi has emerged as not only one of the top sluggers, but also one of the most complete hitters in the entire Atlantic Coast Conference.
In her last 17 starts since March 26, Arizmendi is batting .556 (30-for-54) with eight doubles, eight home runs, 27 RBI, a .607 on-base percentage, a 1.148 slugging percentage and 17 runs scored.
A Month To Remember For Emi
Junior All-American Emilee Koerner thrived during the month of April in her move from the leadoff spot to the number three hole of the Notre Dame lineup. Koerner batted .462 (24-for-52) with 10 doubles, two home runs, 15 RBI and a team-high 22 runs scored, reaching base safely in all 17 games she played in April.
Irish In The ACC
Notre Dame officially opened its tenure in the ACC at Georgia Tech on March 8 after compiling a 297-53 record (.849) in the BIG EAST Conference, winning 13 regular-season and four tournament championship titles in 18 years. The Irish won the most BIG EAST games of any league team during that span.
Following last weekend’s series sweep of Maryland at Melissa Cook Stadium, the Irish are now a combined 118-27 (.814) all-time against the current ACC membership.
Irish Against The Opposition
Notre Dame is 18-6 all-time against Boston College, and has won 16 of the last 18 meetings between the teams dating back to a 1-0 victory over the Eagles on April 5, 1998.