The Irish hit the road for the third time in as many weeks, traveling to Virginia's Cavalier Invite in Newport News, Va.

Cavalier Invite In Store For Weekend Irish Softball Action

Feb. 25, 2010

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Mother Nature has forced a change of venue for the Notre Dame softball program this weekend, as the Irish will now take part in Virginia’s Cavalier Invitational in Newport News instead of Charlottesville, as originally scheduled. The Irish will play a pair of doubleheaders against both Virginia and George Washington this weekend (Feb. 26-27) at Christopher Newport University.

“Despite the change in venue, the team will still be focused on winning each of the four games this weekend,” Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf said. “We’ve seen steady improvement both during competition and throughout our practices these last few weeks, and as always we’re excited to get back onto the field and make big things happen.”

Live stats for each game will be available at, and in-game updates can be readily accessed at For up-to-the-minute scores and highlights, fans can sign up for IRISH ALERTS text-messaging services at

Cavalier Invitational
Host: University of Virginia
Site: Christopher Newport University
Feb. 26-27 – Newport News, Va.

Live stats:
Text alerts:
Notre Dame Athletics Twitter: @und_com
In-game Twitter: @ndsoftball

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(4-4 overall / 0-0 BIG EAST)
[ –]

Friday, Feb. 26 – 11:30 am.
Saturday, Feb. 27 – 10:00 a.m.
George Washington Colonials

(0-0 overall / 0-0 Atlantic 10)
[ –]
Series: First meeting

Friday, Feb. 26 – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 27 – 12:30 p.m.
Virginia Cavaliers

(2-5 overall / 0-0 Atlantic Coast)
[ –]
Series: Notre Dame, 4-0
Series streak: Notre Dame, W4
First meeting: March 12, 1996 – Notre Dame, 5-2
Last meeting: March 2, 2009 – Notre Dame, 6-3

One-Hitters …
– Notre Dame is now in its 22nd season of varsity competition with an all-time record of 848-403-3 … the program boasts 14 NCAA Championship appearances (11 consecutive) and six BIG EAST Conference Tournament titles, the latest coming in 2009.
– With an 11-3 win over Creighton (Feb. 12), head coach Deanna Gumpf is now 4-5 in season-openers at Notre Dame, while the Irish are 9-13 overall in their first game of a new campaign … the 11 runs marked the most ever in a season-opener for the Irish.
– Notre Dame is 76-66 in the month of February, and 68-51 on neutral turf … under Gumpf, Notre Dame is 102-81 at neutral sites.
Christine Lux, a third-team All-American in 2009, headlines a returning Irish cast which includes 13 Monogram winners … the Irish return three NFCA All-Region performers (Lux, Erin Marrone and Dani Miller) … Lux and Miller were each first-team all-BIG EAST selections last season, with Jody Valdivia and Marrone earning second-team nods.
– This will be the first ever meeting between Notre Dame and George Washington, while the Irish have won each of the four contests with Virginia.

Valdivia Named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week …
Jody Valdivia was named the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 22 … she started each of Notre Dame’s three games at the Southern Miss Mizuno Classic (Feb. 20-21), earning two wins and even notching a save … she tossed 16.2 innings with 24 strikeouts while giving up eight hits as not a single run crossed the plate under her watch … Valdivia limited Louisiana Tech (Feb. 20) to three hits and fanned 13 Techsters … it was the sixth game of her career with 10+ strikeouts … she started against Southern Miss (Feb. 20) and received four runs in the first inning from the Irish offense … she was pulled after the first inning, and Notre Dame then gave up six runs to make it a 7-6 contest in the bottom of the sixth … Valdivia reentered the game with the bases loaded and one out, taking care of the next five Golden Eagle batters to notch the save … Valdivia then blanked Stephen F. Austin (Feb. 21) and squeezed out of another jam in the seventh … sitting on a 3-0 lead, Valdivia gave up three singles in the bottom half of the final frame without an out, but retired the next three batters in order to secure the complete-game shutout.

200+ Feet Away …
Christine Lux needs one more home run to tie the career mark set by Jarrah Myers (36) in 2002 … Lux, who hit 15 home runs in each of the last two seasons, has sent two bombs out of the park through eight games played in 2010.

Numbers Don’t Lie …
Continuing her role as one of the team’s most dependable performers, Erin Marrone leads the squad with a .400 batting average and is tied with Katie Fleury with a team-high eight hits … Marrone batted .500 at the Mizuno Classic (Feb. 20-21) with four hits and three RBI along with a .625 slugging percentage … Fleury paces the Irish with a pair of doubles, while Christine Lux’s seven RBI have each been delivered with two outs … from the circle, Jody Valdivia has punched in a solid 50 strikeouts in 36.2 innings of work … Valdivia’s career strikeout/7.0 inning ratio stands at 7.88 (344/305.2), third-best in program history … she has allowed just a pair of two-out hits (against 40 batters faced in such a situation) this season.

Bouncing Back …
After dropping four straight games (Feb. 12-14) for the first time since 2007 – when the Irish dropped seven straight (April 21-29) – Notre Dame now finds itself riding a three-game winning streak heading into this weekend’s Cavalier Invite.

See the Ball, Hit the Ball …
Amy Buntin (.417) and Katie Fleury (.353) were steady for the Irish at the dish throughout the Kajikawa Classic (Feb. 12-14) … Buntin had five hits – including one double – and three RBI to open her collegiate career … one of Fleury’s six hits was good for two bases as she led the Irish with three hits and three runs against Creighton (Feb. 12) … Christine Lux, Dani Miller and Heather Johnson each recorded home runs for Notre Dame over the four-game stretch … Lux’s three-run jack against Creighton brought her career total to 34, two shy of the program’s all-time record … 10 of the 14 Irish players with an official at-bat recorded at least one hit at the tournament.

Lid Lifter …
Notre Dame’s 11-3 win over Creighton (Feb. 12) marked the most runs ever scored by an Irish team in a season opener … the team posted 11 runs on 11 hits with 11 RBI … by comparison, the Irish finished six games in 2009 with double digit outputs in the hit, run and RBI categories.

A Valiant Valdivia …
Senior pitcher Jody Valdivia led the way in the season-opening victory over Creighton (Feb. 12) with a complete-game 10-strikeout performance against the Bluejays in the abbreviated six-inning contest, extending her winning streak from the circle to 18 straight games dating back to March 2009 … Valdivia brushed off a shaky start after giving up a two-run homer in the first inning, proceeding to retire 14 of the next 15 batters over the next few frames as the Bluejays managed one more run on two hits in the top of the sixth … with the 10-strikeout performance Valdivia eclipsed the 300-strikeout plateau, becoming the ninth Irish pitcher to do so in a career … it was the fifth game of her career with double-digit strikeouts … Valdivia shouldered the loss one day later against Auburn (Feb. 13) to end the streak … Valdivia appeared in four games at the Kajikawa Classic (Feb. 12-14), pitching 20.0 innings with 26 strikeouts … here is how her win streak stacks up against some of the longest in program history:

Overall Winning Streak
22 – Kristin Schmidt – 3.2.01-5.5.01
18 – Jody Valdivia – 3.18.09-2.12.10
16 – Terri Kobata – 4.9.94-5.20.94
16 – Jennifer Sharron – 3.28.01-5.5.01
16 – Carrie Wisen – 3.30.02-5.10.02
14 – Steffany Stenglein – 3.9.05-4.22.05
10 – Brittney Bargar – 3.22.07-4.19.07

Single-Season Winning Streak
22 – Kristin Schmidt – 3.2.01-5.5.01
17 – Jody Valdivia – 3.18.09-5.15.09
16 – Terri Kobata – 4.9.94-5.20.94
16 – Jennifer Sharron – 3.28.01-5.5.01
16 – Carrie Wisen – 3.30.02-5.10.02
14 – Steffany Stenglein – 3.9.05-4.22.05
10 – Brittney Bargar – 3.22.07-4.19.07

Conference Company …
Three of Notre Dame’s losses at the Kajikawa Classic (Feb. 12-14) were at the hands of Pacific-10 teams (Oregon, Oregon State and Washington).