April 27, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 2015 regular season finale has arrived for the University of Notre Dame softball team. After closing out its scheduled home slate with an 18-1 record this past weekend with an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) split against North Carolina, the Irish travel to Michigan State for a midweek showdown on Tuesday at 4 p.m. (ET) at Secchia Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan.
No. 24 Notre Dame (39-12) has won 25 of its last 26 games to wrap up the 2015 regular season, logging a 17-1 record in ACC games since March 15 to place third in the conference standings. The Irish have outscored opponents 224-55 during the string, and have blistered a total of 87 extra base hits in their last 26 starts.
Notre Dame’s four member senior class, Katey Haus, Emilee Koerner, Jenna Simon and Cassidy Whidden, emerged victorious in their final career home regular season contest thanks to a 17-9 win in five innings over North Carolina on Sunday at Melissa Cook Stadium. Koerner tied a Notre Dame program record with seven RBI in a single game, crushing a walk-off double that scored sophomore All-American Karley Wester from first base with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Irish are in search of their fourth straight win against Michigan State (17-33) since the two teams resumed their series in 2012, after not having met since 1995. Notre Dame is a combined 8-1 (.889) all-time against the Spartans, outscoring Michigan State by an aggregate 39-14 run count in prior games.
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No. 24 Notre Dame vs. Michigan State
April 28, 2015
Secchia Stadium (1,100)
East Lansing, Mich.
No. 24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(39-12 in 2015)
Michigan State Spartans
(17-33 in 2015)
Notre Dame Midweek Schedule
IRISH SLAP HITS
Â·Â Â Â Notre Dame improved to 39-12 this season with a 17-9 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) victory in five innings over North Carolina on Sunday at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish finished the ACC season with a 17-6 mark, and posted an 18-1 home record overall in the regular season.
Â·Â Â Â Notre Dame has won 25 of its last 26 games overall, outscoring opponents by a combined margin of 224-55.
Â·Â Â Â The 2015 Notre Dame team was 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 24 straight wins from March 15-April 22 was the second-longest streak 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 looking to secure the 17th 40-win season in program history by notching its next victory. The Irish have surpassed the 40-win plateau in each of the past six seasons, and in eight of the last 10 campaigns overall.
Â·Â Â Â Notre Dame is a combined 28-11 (.718) in day games thus far in the 2015 season, outscoring opponents 254-122 in contests that have begun before 5 p.m. local time.
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 14-2-1 (.853) all-time in games played on April 28 of a given season. The Irish have won 13 of the last 14 games they have played on the date since sweeping Seton Hall 4-2 and 13-5 in BIG EAST Conference play during the 1996 season.
Koerner Drives In Seven, Irish Walk-Off On Senior Day
Notre Dame avenged a 7-3 game one defeat in eight innings to North Carolina by breaking out for a season-high 17 runs and 18 hits in the nightcap, splitting Sunday’s ACC series with the Tar Heels thanks to a 17-9 win in five innings. Â
Senior co-captain and two-time All-American Emilee Koerner went a combined 5-for-9 (.556) with two doubles (including a walk-off double in the bottom of the fifth inning of game two), a grand slam, seven RBI, a stolen base and three runs scored during her final regular season home games. Her seven RBI in the game two victory tied the Notre Dame single-game program record also shared by Chloe Saganowich (’14), Christine Lux (’10, twice) and Meagan Ruthrauff (’06).
When Koerner And Wester Are On, The Irish Score
Over the past 10 games, two Notre Dame All-Americans have served as the most prolific players in the Irish offensive attack. In fact, senior co-captain Emilee Koerner and sophomore Karley Wester have nearly outscored opponents themselves.
During Notre Dame’ 9-1 run in its last 10 starts, Koerner has scored 18 runs from the number two spot in the Irish lineup. Wester, Notre Dame’s leadoff hitter, has crossed the plate a total of 14 times in those games, meaning the two players have accounted for just under 40 percent of all Irish runs (32-of-89) since April 11 at Boston College.
In that span, the Irish pitching staff has limited opponents to a total of 35 runs.
Doubles, Doubles And More Doubles
After leading the NCAA with a program record 107 doubles in 2014, Notre Dame had an uphill climb at the halfway mark this season to even reach the top of the ACC. The second half of 2015 has been all about the double for the Irish offense.
In its last 26 games, Notre Dame has more than doubled its early season output for two-baggers, roping 54 of its 78 total doubles in 2015 since March 15 to tie Pittsburgh for the conference lead. Junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi has led the way with 13 of her 15 doubles this season in her last 26 starts, while seniors Emilee Koerner (11) and Katey Haus (10) have each added double-digit totals to power Notre Dame to 25 wins in the past month.
Irish Looking To Stay Perfect Against Big Ten In 2015
Notre Dame will attempt to improve to a perfect 3-0 this season in games played against foes from the Big Ten Conference. The Irish defeated Maryland 8-6 on Feb. 19 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic before downing Northwestern 3-2 at Melissa Cook Stadium on April 15.
Senior Katey Haus has been the leading Notre Dame hitter against the Big Ten in 2015, grooving four hits (including a triple) while driving in three runs. Sophomore All-American Karley Wester and senior co-captains Emilee Koerner and Jenna Simon have each scored two runs apiece in those wins.
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 Against The Opposition
Notre Dame is 8-1 (.889) all-time against Michigan State, winning four of its five all-time trips to East Lansing entering Tuesday’s meeting between the teams.