April 24, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — With second place in the final Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) standings on the line with a series victory, the University of Notre Dame softball team puts the finishing touches on its 2015 conference season this weekend against No. RV North Carolina at Melissa Cook Stadium.
The three-game series is expected to begin with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. (ET), with the second game tentatively set for 3 p.m. Sunday’s noon series finale will also mark Senior Day for Notre Dame’s four seniors, Katey Haus, Emilee Koerner, Jenna Simon and Cassidy Whidden, as the 2015 Irish seniors suit up for their final regular season game at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Live stats will be available for all three games via CBS Gametracker at UND.com. WatchND will also provide live coverage of the ACC series against North Carolina.
No. 24 Notre Dame (38-11, 16-5 ACC) looks to continue its magical month on the diamond in search of a sixth straight conference series victory this weekend, hosting a formidable North Carolina (34-12, 15-4 ACC) team that leads the ACC in multiple offensive categories. The Irish swept a pair of games against the Tar Heels last season in Chapel Hill during the first meetings between the teams since Notre Dame officially joined the ACC prior to the 2014 campaign.
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. 24 Notre Dame vs. No. RV North Carolina
April 25-26, 2015
Melissa Cook Stadium (1,250)
Notre Dame, Ind.
No. 24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(38-11, 16-5 ACC in 2015)
No. RV North Carolina Tar Heels
(34-12, 15-4 ACC in 2015)
Notre Dame Weekend Schedule
Sunday, April 26
IRISH SLAP HITS
Â·Â Â Â Notre Dame improved to 38-11 this season with its 24th straight victory, an 11-1 midweek win in five innings over Toledo on Wednesday at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Â·Â Â Â During its current 24-game winning streak, Notre Dame has outscored opponents by a combined margin of 204-39.
Â·Â Â Â The 2015 Notre Dame team is only the third Irish team in the 27-year history of the program to win 20 or more consecutive contests in a single season. The current Notre Dame squad’s streak of 24 straight wins is the second-most in Irish history, with the standard bearer remaining the 33 straight wins for the 2001 Notre Dame team that led the NCAA that season.
Â·Â Â Â Notre Dame is a combined 17-2 (.895) in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) games at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish officially joined the ACC prior to the 2014 season.
Â·Â Â Â The 2015 senior class of Katey Haus, Emilee Koerner, Jenna Simon and Cassidy Whidden is a combined 162-55 (.747) in their careers at Notre Dame entering Senior Day weekend at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Â·Â Â Â The Irish have won 16 consecutive games in ACC play dating back to a 12-0 win in five innings at No. 9/10 Florida State on March 15.
Â·Â Â Â Sophomore All-American Karley Wester was named one of the Top 26 Finalists for the 2015 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award on April 8. Wester is the second Irish player to be selected as a finalist for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award, joining two-time All-American Emilee Koerner (2013).
Â·Â Â Â Irish softball is one of only two Notre Dame varsity athletic programs to have never posted a losing record. The softball team clinched its 27th straight season with a .500 record or above with an 8-0 win in six innings over Butler on April 8 at Melissa Cook Stadium. Notre Dame’s three-time national champion women’s soccer program has also logged 27 straight winning seasons since its inception at the varsity level in the fall of 1988.
On This Date…
Notre Dame is a combined 15-3 (.833) all-time in games played on April 25 of a given season. The Irish have won 14 of the last 15 games they have played on the date since downing Loyola-Chicago 6-0 at Notre Dame during the 1992 season.
Notre Dame has added a 14-4 (.778) mark on April 26, the planned date of the Senior Day series finale against North Carolina at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Offensive Surge Makes It 24 For ND
Notre Dame exploded for 11 runs in the final two innings on Wednesday, downing Toledo 11-1 in five innings at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Notre Dame finished with a 12-3 hits edge over Toledo, adding four extra base hits and three stolen bases to the offensive output. Â
Strikeout Cancer A Success
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 and has been in remission since 2012. 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 fifth year, Strikeout Cancer has raised more than $130,000 for children battling pediatric cancer, helping both the Irish and NFCA StrikeOut Cancer initiatives. Funds raised have gone toward “wish trips” for cancer patients and two playrooms at South Bend’s Memorial Children’s Hospital.
The 2015 Strikeout Cancer festivities began with the popular trivia night fundraiser on April 17 at the St. Joe Farm in Granger, with special giveaways highlighting last weekend’s series against Syracuse.
Thank You Seniors
Notre Dame will recognize its four-member senior class during Sunday’s series finale against North Carolina, the final regular season home game for Katey Haus, Emilee Koerner, Jenna Simon and Cassidy Whidden. The Irish quartet will be honored during a pregame ceremony, with additional tributes taking place throughout the game.
Haus is in the midst of a career year at the plate for Notre Dame, entering the weekend featured prominently in numerous statistical categories in the ACC. She was a 2014 NFCA Mid-Atlantic all-region second team selection, and was tabbed to both the 2012 and 2013 BIG EAST Conference Championship all-tournament teams.
Koerner is one of the most decorated players in the history of Notre Dame softball, and is the all-time Notre Dame leader in doubles (73), runs (184), slugging percentage (.687) and total bases (448). She is a two-time NFCA All-American (2013-14), and was a top 10 finalist for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award as a sophomore in 2013.
Simon, the first local captain in the history of the Notre Dame softball program, begins the weekend five stolen bases (72) shy of setting the Irish career record for steals. She also ranks among the top 10 Notre Dame players all-time in runs scored (151), and has been a one-time all-region and all-conference selection with the Irish.
The heart and soul of the Notre Dame roster, Whidden has established herself as one of the best power hitters in program history. A top 10 performer in career home runs (32) and slugging percentage (.590), Whidden was a 2014 NFCA all-region first team choice and has been a two-time all-conference selection for the Irish.
Sunday Funday For The Irish
Notre Dame is 7-1 (.875) in Sunday ACC games this season, outscoring opponents 62-14 during those games. Freshman Morgan Reed leads all Irish hitters with 11 RBI on Sundays in the ACC.
30 (+) Days Of Offense For ND
Since the conclusion of its series at North Carolina State on March 8, Notre Dame has posted a 26-2 (.929) mark, which has included 16 consecutive ACC victories dating back to a 12-0 win in five innings over No. 9/10 Florida State on March 15. The Irish have outscored opponents 221-53 since downing Campbell 4-3 on March 10 to start the streak.
Wester A Top 26 Finalist For USA Softball POY
The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball named sophomore All-American Karley Wester one of the Top 26 Finalists for the 2015 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award on April 8.
Wester is the second Notre Dame softball player in the last three seasons to be selected as a finalist for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award, joining two-time All-American Emilee Koerner (2013). Wester and Koerner, both sophomores at the time of their selection, are the only two Irish players in the history of the award to earn a finalist nod.
Irish In The ACC
Notre Dame officially opened its second season in the ACC at North Carolina State on March 7. Taking into account all prior games, including those before joining the league, the Irish are a combined 145-45 (.763) against the current ACC membership.
Irish Against The Opposition
Notre Dame is 10-2 (.833) all-time against North Carolina entering this weekend’s series after a doubleheader sweep last season in Chapel Hill.