March 31, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The second week of home games begins on Tuesday for the University of Notre Dame softball team, as the Irish welcome Ball State for a 4 p.m. (ET) first pitch at Melissa Cook Stadium. The game was added to the Notre Dame schedule over the weekend as a makeup for four prior home games that have been postponed or canceled due to inclement weather. Wednesday’s originally scheduled Notre Dame non-conference game against Michigan State remains set for 6 p.m.
Live video coverage for both games will be available on WatchND, and the WatchND app.
No. 24/25 Notre Dame opened its 2014 home schedule with a 12-2 win in five innings over Eastern Michigan last Wednesday at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish scored all 12 of their runs in the third and fourth frames against the Eagles, and the team’s eight-run bottom of the third inning set a season-high for runs scored in a single inning.
Fans can follow live stats for this week’s games via CBS GameTracker by visiting UND.com.
No. 24/25 Notre Dame vs. Ball State/Michigan State
April 1-2, 2014
Melissa Cook Stadium (1,250)
Notre Dame, Ind.
No. 24/25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(20-7 in 2014)
Ball State Cardinals
(18-11 in 2014; 4-8 all-time against ND)
Michigan State Spartans
(8-20 in 2014; 1-7 all-time against ND)
IRISH SLAP HITS
– Notre Dame is scheduled to host a pair of midweeks contests at Melissa Cook Stadium with the late addition of Ball State to the slate last weekend. The game will replace the previously scheduled Irish contest against Northwestern that was postponed on Tuesday and Thursday due to inclement weather.
– Notre Dame is a combined 38-3-1 (.906) in non-conference home games at Melissa Cook Stadium since the facility opened during the middle of the 2008 season.
– The Irish claimed their first home win of 2014 last Wednesday with a 12-2 victory in five innings over Eastern Michigan. The game served as the official home opening contest after a planned March 22-23 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) series against Pittsburgh was postponed due to cold weather.
– Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the third inning against Eastern Michigan, Notre Dame exploded for 12 runs in its final two offensive halves of the game to earn the comeback win. The eight Irish runs that came across in the bottom of the third were the most in a single inning for Notre Dame this season.
– Notre Dame equaled its season-high for runs scored in a game (12) and set a 2014 watermark by drawing nine walks against Eastern Michigan. The nine walks earned by Irish hitters tied a Melissa Cook Stadium record.
– Freshman outfielder Karley Wester established a season and career-high with three stolen bases against Eastern Michigan, pushing her season total for steals to 14 swiped bags in 17 attempts. The three steals in a single game tied the Melissa Cook Stadium record, making Wester the third Notre Dame player since 2008 to steal three bases in a home contest.
– Junior All-American outfielder Emilee Koerner hit her team-leading seventh home run of 2014 in the bottom of the third inning against Eastern Michigan, blasting a three-run shot over the right field wall. It was only Koerner’s second home run this season that did not lead off an inning, along with a three-run long ball in the second inning against Morehead State on Feb. 9
– Senior captain Chloe Saganowich recorded her third three-hit effort of the season by going 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored against Eastern Michigan. Saganowich has a team-high three of the 11 total three-hit games by Notre Dame players thus far in 2014.
Wins Piling Up At Melissa Cook Stadium
Last week’s 12-2 win over Eastern Michigan continued Notre Dame’s winning ways in its seventh season at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish are a combined 91-16-1 (.843) on their home field, including 38-3-1 (.906) in non-conference games, since the facility opened during the 2008 season.
Scoring In Double Digits Leads To Wins
Last Wednesday’s 12-run output against Eastern Michigan was the fourth time that Notre Dame has scored 10 or more runs in a single game in 2014. The Irish improved to a perfect 4-0 when reaching double digits in the run column this season.
In fact, Notre Dame is now 9-0 when scoring at least six runs in a game in 2014.
ND Still Setting The National Pace In Doubles
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 fourth straight week. Through 27 contests, the Irish have averaged 2.07 two-baggers per game to pace all of Division I softball, and are the only program in the country averaging at least two doubles per contest.
Junior All-American outfielder Emilee Koerner entered the week as the Notre Dame leader with 11 doubles in 2014, the second-most in the ACC. Her sixth inning two-run double on March 16 against Virginia Tech surpassed associate coach Lizzy Lemire (’01) and moved Koerner into a tie for eighth place on the all-time program list with 44 career doubles.
Chloe Heating Up At The Dish
Senior captain Chloe Saganowich has emerged as one of the most consistent Notre Dame hitters over the last month, stringing together a team-leading eight-game hitting streak. Saganowich has batted .435 (10-for-23) with three doubles, one home run, nine RBI and five runs scored during the streak.
Saganowich ranks fifth among regular Notre Dame starting players with a .323 batting average this season.
Offense Continues To Lead The Way
Despite playing only one game last week due to the cancellation of its ACC series at Syracuse, Notre Dame remains a fixture at the top of several ACC offensive categories.
The Irish continued to lead all ACC teams with a .327 batting average, 56 doubles and 30 sacrifice bunts according to the weekly ACC statistics release. Notre Dame’s 56 doubles were also in the top 10 nationally at the start of the week, while the team’s batting average ranked 17th in the NCAA.
Junior second baseman Jenna Simon, the Notre Dame team leader with a .400 batting average, opened the week ranked fourth among all ACC hitters in the statistic. Simon also sat in a tie for seventh in sacrifice bunts (5).
Junior All-American outfielder Emilee Koerner ranked second in the conference with 11 doubles according to the Monday stat report. Koerner was also second in slugging percentage (.756), third in total bases (68) and sixth in runs scored (28).
With her career-high three stolen bases against Eastern Michigan, freshman outfielder Karley Wester moved into a tie for third place on the ACC stat list with 14 steals. Wester added the sixth-best batting average (.376) in the league after last weekend’s games.
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 8-4 all-time against Ball State, including a 5-1 mark in games played at home. The Irish hold a 33-22 aggregate run edge in their previous 12 meetings against the Cardinals.
Notre Dame is 7-1 all-time against Michigan State in a series that dates back to the 1993 season. The Irish are 3-0 against the Spartans in games played on the Notre Dame campus, including a 7-1 victory on April 24, 2012 in the only prior meeting between the teams at Melissa Cook Stadium.