April 8, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After nearly a month of being idle in league competition, the University of Notre Dame softball team returns to Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play on Wednesday against North Carolina at Anderson Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. The first game of the conference doubleheader is scheduled for a 4 p.m. (ET) first pitch, with game two tentatively set to begin at 6 p.m.
Live video coverage will be available through the GoHeels TV at goheels.com.
No. 23/25 Notre Dame (22-8, 3-3 ACC) enters Wednesday’s game winners of four of its last five games, and leads the ACC with a .334 team batting average and 60 doubles this season. The Irish are the number one team in the NCAA rankings in doubles per game (2.00), and have the 10th-best batting average nationally according to Monday’s NCAA statistics report.
Notre Dame has won its last meetings with North Carolina (21-16, 12-5 ACC). The Irish won each of their first two games played at Anderson Stadium, 6-5 and 9-3, over the Tar Heels on Feb. 25-26, 2012 during the Tar Heel Classic.
Fans can follow live stats for Wednesday’s game via CBS GameTracker by visiting UND.com.
No. 23/25 Notre Dame at North Carolina
April 9, 2014
Anderson Stadium (500)
Chapel Hill, N.C.
No. 23/25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(22-8 in 2014, 3-3 in the ACC)
North Carolina Tar Heels
(21-16 in 2014, 12-5 in the ACC; 2-8 all-time against ND)
IRISH SLAP HITS
– Notre Dame is scheduled to play its first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) games in nearly one month as part of Wednesday’s doubleheader at North Carolina. The Irish defeated Virginia Tech 9-5 on March 16 in Blacksburg, Va., in their most recent conference contest.
– Notre Dame was victorious in both of its prior meetings with North Carolina at Anderson Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Irish earned 6-5 and 9-3 wins over the Tar Heels on Feb. 25-26, 2012 during the Carolina Classic.
– The Irish improved to 40-3-1 (.910) in non-conference games at Melissa Cook Stadium since the facility opened during the 2008 season with a pair of 11-4 midweek wins last week over Ball State on Tuesday and Michigan State on Wednesday.
– Notre Dame’s 18 hits against Ball State set a team record at Melissa Cook Stadium, surpassing the 16 base knocks the Irish recorded on April 9, 2009 against Valparaiso. The Irish have logged double-digit efforts in the hit column on 12 different occasions thus far in 2014.
– Senior pitcher Laura Winter officially set the Notre Dame all-time wins record against Ball State with career victory number 97, after a scoring change from the March 26 triumph over Eastern Michigan rendered what was thought to be the record win a no decision. Winter struck out 13 Ball State batters over 109 pitches, walking none in the complete game victory.
– Junior All-American Emilee Koerner is in the midst of a current team-high seven-game hitting streak, her second stretch of seven or more games this season with at least one hit. Koerner previously enjoyed a nine-game hit streak from Feb. 28-March 13. The Irish outfielder is batting an even .400 (8-for-20) with three doubles, two home runs, nine RBI and six runs scored in her past seven starts.
– Sophomore Micaela Arizmendi reclaimed the Notre Dame RBI lead at 27 for the season with a solo home run in the top of the second inning on Friday at DePaul. Arizmendi is tied for the Irish lead in home runs (7) and ranks second in slugging percentage (.654) behind junior All-American Emilee Koerner.
On This Date…
Notre Dame has won 16 of 18 games it has played on April 9 of a given year, dating back to the 1989 season. The Irish own a cumulative 133-38 run advantage in their previous 18 games played on April 9.
The final two games in the history of Notre Dame’s legendary home, Ivy Field, were contested on April 9, 2008. The Irish swept Eastern Michigan 10-1 in five innings and 5-1 in the culminating series at Ivy Field before Notre Dame moved into Melissa Cook Stadium the following week.
Don’t Call It A Comeback
Despite falling behind Michigan State 3-0 in the first inning of a non-conference meeting on April 2, Notre Dame proceeded to score 10 unanswered runs, and 11 of the final 12 runs of the contest, in an 11-4 win.
It was the second early deficit in three games that the Irish erased in the first three innings, including a 2-0 hole after 2.5 inning against Eastern Michigan on March 26. In fact, Notre Dame is 6-4 this season when an opponent scores the first run of a game.
And Then There Was One…
Senior pitcher Laura Winter became the Notre Dame career leader in wins with her 97th all-time Irish victory on April 1 against Ball State.
Winter moved past fellow Notre Dame great Heather Booth (`06) into sole possession of first place in the Irish career wins column, the second major milestone the senior hurler has cleared this season. The San Diego, Calif. native previously established the Notre Dame career strikeout record earlier this season at Georgia Tech (March 9), surpassing two-time All-American Terri Kobata (`96).
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 30 contests, the Irish have averaged 2.00 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, which rank second in the ACC. Her first inning double on Friday at DePaul surpassed fellow All-Americans Christine Lux (`10) and Jenny Kriech (`02) and moved Koerner into solo sixth place on the all-time program list with 46 career doubles.
Notre Dame’s .334 team batting average was also the 10th-ranked clip nationally to begin the week. The Irish are one of only 12 Division I teams in the NCAA that are currently batting .330 or higher during the 2014 season.
Irish Excel During The `Week’
Notre Dame has enjoyed a marked level of success in games contested during the five-day work week thus far in 2014. The Irish are 9-2 in games played from Monday-Friday of a given week, and have scored 11 or more runs in four of those victories.
Freshman Karley Wester is the team leader with a .474 batting average, 18 hits, a .533 on-base percentage and eight stolen bases in 11 `weekday’ games. Junior All-American Emilee Koerner, classmate Cassidy Whidden and sophomore Micaela Arizmendi have each hit two home runs in those 11 contests, while Whidden, junior Katey Haus and senior captain Chloe Saganowich each have 11 RBI.
Wester Ties A Pair Of Stadium Records
Freshman Karley Wester had an eventful stretch during her first career homestand, tying two different Melissa Cook Stadium records during her first three starts on the Notre Dame campus.
Wester established a season and career-high with three stolen bases against Eastern Michigan on March 26 in Notre Dame’s 2014 home opener. The three steals in a single game equaled the Melissa Cook Stadium record, making Wester the third Notre Dame player since 2008 to steal three bases in a home contest.
The Huntington Beach, Calif. native was not done for the game week, tying the stadium single-game hits record after going a perfect 4-for-4 with two stolen bases and two runs scored in her first career start as the Irish leadoff hitter against Ball State on Tuesday. A sixth-inning walk allowed Wester to officially reach in all five of her plate appearances against the Cardinals.
Nasland Finds Her Groove
Since making her most recent start against UCF on March 13, freshman pitcher Rachel Nasland has excelled in three consecutive outings out of the Notre Dame bullpen. Nasland is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA over her last six innings pitched.
The San Diego, Calif. native entered with two runners on in the top of the third inning of her home debut against Eastern Michigan on March 26 and stranded both on base, ultimately earning the win after the Irish exploded for 12 runs in the next two innings. Nasland was equally impressive on Wednesday against Michigan State, tossing a final four innings of one-run softball to improve to 4-1 during her rookie campaign.
Coach Gumpf Headed Toward The Top
An April 2 Notre Dame 11-4 win over Michigan State was the 530th career victory for head coach Deanna Gumpf, making the 13th-year Irish skipper 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 three victories 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 the March 15-16 series at Virginia Tech, the team’s second ACC slate this season, the Irish are now a combined 108-25 (.812) all-time against the current league membership.
Irish Against The Opposition
Notre Dame is 8-2 all-time against North Carolina, including a 2-0 record against the Tar Heels at Anderson Stadium. The Irish also hold a cumulative 37-21 run advantage over North Carolina, and were last defeated by the Tar Heels on March 5, 1994 (3-5) at the Aggie Invitational in College Station, Texas.