April 12, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) era of University of Notre Dame softball at Melissa Cook Stadium will finally begin this weekend, when the Irish welcome national top 10 team and ACC standings leader Florida State for a three-game series. The conference showdown will mark the first official home games for Notre Dame in the ACC, after a March 22-23 series against Pittsburgh was postponed due to inclement weather.
The Irish and Seminoles are scheduled to play a Sunday doubleheader, with first pitch set for noon (ET) from Melissa Cook Stadium, and the second game tentatively to begin at 2 p.m. The series finale will air live on ESPNU Monday at 7 p.m., with Adam Amin and Amanda Scarborough on the call for the ACC Monday broadcast.
Live video coverage from Sunday’s games will be available on WatchND, and can be accessed at UND.com and through the WatchND app.
No. 23/25 Notre Dame (24-8, 5-3 ACC), winner of six of its last seven games, enters this weekend’s series with a three-game winning streak in ACC play after sweeping North Carolina 6-0 and 11-6 on Wednesday. The Irish lead all conference teams with a .338 batting average through 32 games, and have added an ACC-high 66 doubles this season. Notre Dame’s 2.06 doubles per game average is the most among all teams in the NCAA.
No. 7/8 Florida State (38-5, 15-2 ACC) looks to continue its solid season in its first ever trip to the Notre Dame campus. The Seminoles own a slim 3-2 edge in the series history with the Irish, but Notre Dame has claimed two of its last three meetings with Florida State, most recently a 1-0 decision on March 17, 2006 at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif.
Fans can follow live stats for this weekend’s games via CBS GameTracker by visiting UND.com.
No. 23/25 Notre Dame vs. No. 7/8 Florida State
April 13-14, 2014
Melissa Cook Stadium (1,250)
Notre Dame, Ind.
No. 23/25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(24-8 in 2014, 5-3 in the ACC)
No. 7/8 Florida State Seminoles
(38-5 in 2014, 15-2 in the ACC; 3-2 all-time against ND)
IRISH SLAP HITS
– Notre Dame earned the first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sweep in program history with a pair of wins on Wednesday at North Carolina. The Irish defeated the Tar Heels 6-0 and 11-6 at Anderson Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.
– Notre Dame improved to 4-0 all-time in games played against North Carolina at Anderson Stadium, dating back to a pair of games at the Carolina Classic in February of 2012. The Irish have outscored North Carolina 31-14 in their last four victories over the Tar Heels.
– Head Coach Deanna Gumpf moved within one win of tying former baseball coach Paul Mainieri for second all-time in baseball/softball wins at Notre Dame with career victory number 532 in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader at North Carolina. Gumpf’s squads have averaged nearly 41 wins per season during her 13-year tenure.
– The Irish hit a total of five home runs on Wednesday, the most on a single day of play for Notre Dame this season. Notre Dame set a season-high with three home runs in game two against the Tar Heels.
– Junior Cassidy Whidden paced the Notre Dame offense with a 5-for-7 (.714) series at North Carolina, chipping in three home runs, four RBI and four runs scored. Whidden is the hottest Irish hitter over the past 10 games, batting a team-high .483 (14-for-29) with a double, five home runs, 10 RBI and 10 runs scored since March 13 at UCF.
– Freshman outfielder Karley Wester continued her stellar rookie campaign on Wednesday at North Carolina. Wester went a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot in Notre Dame’s 6-0 game one win. She added a two-hit contest, including a game-tying RBI single, in the top of the fifth inning of game two against the Tar Heels.
– Sophomore Micaela Arizmendi maintained the 2014 Irish RBI lead (29) with two runs batted in at North Carolina, along with a program record-tying three doubles in game one against the Tar Heels. Arizmendi also ranks second in home runs (7) and slugging percentage (.674) behind junior All-American Emilee Koerner.
On This Date…
Notre Dame is a combined 13-7 (.650) all-time in games played on April 13 of a given season, winning 12 of the last 14 games played on the date since the 1996 season (10-5 victory over Villanova).
The Irish have added a 24-5 mark (.828) all-time on April 14, the date of Monday night’s series finale against Florida State on ESPNU.
First ACC Sweep In Chapel Hill
Notre Dame’s 6-0 and 11-6 wins at North Carolina on Wednesday secured the first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sweep in program history. The Irish improved to a perfect 4-0 all-time against the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill.
Wednesday’s game two result came after the Irish erased a pair of deficits during the contest. North Carolina held a 4-1 lead after four innings, and a 6-4 advantage after five frames, before Notre Dame outscored the hosts 7-0 over the final two innings to secure its third come from behind win in six games.
Two Wins Away From 100…
Senior Laura Winter inched closer to becoming the first pitcher in program history to reach the 100 career win plateau, logging victory number 98 on Wednesday at North Carolina.
Winter earned the win in game one of the doubleheader, surrendering one hit in a complete game effort, striking out seven North Carolina batters. The Irish hurler walked zero Tar Heel hitters in 80 total pitches, her eighth complete game start this season in which Winter issued no walks to an opponent.
Winter also started the evening’s second game, tossing 3.1 innings of three-hit softball before exiting in a no decision.
Top 10 In Both Doubles Per, Average
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 fifth straight week. Through 32 contests, the Irish have averaged 2.06 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. Junior All-American outfielder Emilee Koerner checks in as the Notre Dame leader with 13 doubles in 2014.
With a .338 team clip, the Irish are also among the national top 10 in batting average this season. Notre Dame led the NCAA with a .343 final average in 2010.
Heads-Up Running Wins 1 At UNC
Freshman Karley Wester made an aggressive decision early on in Wednesday’s first game against North Carolina that not only set the tone for Notre Dame’s doubleheader triumph, but also officially counted as the game-winning Irish run.
Wester led off the game for Notre Dame in the top of the first inning with a five-pitch walk against Tar Heel starting pitcher Lori Spingola. Junior Jenna Simon laid down what was a perfect attempted sacrifice bunt, and reached safely on the play. Due to fielder indifference after a throw was made to first base to try to put out Simon, Wester advanced all the way home from first base, while Simon moved into second base, giving Notre Dame a lead it would never relinquish.
`Cass’ Money In The Clutch For Irish
If there was any question that junior catcher Cassidy Whidden has indeed returned to full strength following offseason recovery from a torn ACL, the last 10 games have erased all doubt.
Whidden has reached base safely in nine of her last 10 starts, leading all Notre Dame hitters with a .483 batting average, five home runs, a 1.034 slugging percentage, a .556 on-base percentage and 10 runs scored during that span.
Whidden was 5-for-7 (.714) with three home runs and four RBI during Wednesday’s series at North Carolina, and it was her two long balls in game two that helped clinch the series for the Irish. The Parrish, Fla. native’s leadoff blast in the top of the third inning put Notre Dame on the scoreboard for the first time at 2-1, and her two-run tater in the top of the sixth vaulted the Irish in front for good at 7-6.
Opening The ACC Era At Home
This weekend’s ACC series against Florida State will be the first home games for Notre Dame in its new conference at Melissa Cook Stadium. A three-game set with Pittsburgh on March 22-23 that was scheduled to serve as the league lid lifter for the Irish was postponed due to cold weather.
In 18 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST Conference, Notre Dame was a combined 152-27 (.849) in league contests at home. Current Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf was 100-22 (.820) at both Ivy Field and Melissa Cook Stadium in the regular season against BIG EAST opponents, securing her 100th home conference win with a 3-1 victory over No. 9 Louisville last season. The win also clinched Notre Dame’s 13th and final BIG EAST regular-season championship.
Coach Gumpf Headed Toward The Top
Wednesday’s Notre Dame sweep at North Carolina marked the 531st and 532nd career victories for head coach Deanna Gumpf. The 13th-year Irish skipper is just the third coach in school history to win at least 530 games on the baseball and softball diamonds.
Gumpf, the Irish softball career wins leader, is one victory from tying former baseball coach Paul Mainieri (1995-2006) for second place all-time at 533 wins. Legendary Notre Dame baseball manager Jake Kline (1934-75) won 558 career games in his 42 seasons at the helm of the Irish.
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 a pair of wins on Wednesday at North Carolina, the team’s first ever ACC series sweep, the Irish are now a combined 110-25 (.815) all-time against the current league membership.
Irish Against The Opposition
Florida State holds a 3-2 advantage all-time in the series history, but Notre Dame has won two of the past three meetings between the teams. The Irish and Seminoles will meet for the first time on the Notre Dame campus during the weekend series.
The Irish open the series with 64 all-time wins against Top 25 opponents, after sweeping two games against then No. 23 Louisville earlier this season at the Jacksonville University Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. on Feb. 15-16.