First-year Notre Dame baseball coach Mik Aoki officially makes his debut at the Fighting Irish helm Friday when Notre Dame faces Michigan State at 4 p.m. (ET) in the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge in Clearwater, Fla.

Fighting Irish Fan Chat - Feb. 15 ARCHIVE

Feb. 14, 2011 is debuting another of its new interactive features for the 2010-11 season, with its weekly Fighting Irish Fan Chats. will sit down for a live chat session with student-athletes, coaches and administrators making news in the world of Fighting Irish athletics. Fans are invited to join in and offer questions or comments for our guests, and if you can’t join us live, each chat will be archived so you can return to at your convenience and read what your favorite Notre Dame athletic personalities have to say on a variety of topics.

Tuesday’s Fighting Irish Fan Chat was a season preview special for the Notre Dame baseball and softball teams, both of which open their seasons this weekend. Both first-year baseball skipper Mik Aoki and softball coach Deanna Gumpf joined us for an in-depth look at their clubs heading into this weekend’s lidlifters.

Aoki is gearing up for his first season at the Fighting Irish helm after a successful stint at Boston College. Notre Dame will open its season at the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge this weekend in Clearwater, Fla., taking on Michigan State (Friday, 4 p.m. ET), Purdue (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET) and Penn State (Sunday, 10 a.m. ET), with all three games scheduled to be webcast live by

Gumpf will be starting her 10th season as the Fighting Irish boss in 2011, with Notre Dame tabbed as the BIG EAST favorite according to a preseason poll of the league’s coaches. The Fighting Irish will open their campaign at 2 p.m. (ET) Friday against Miami (Ohio) at the UCF Invitational in Orlando, Fla., with additional tournament games this weekend against UCF (Friday, 7 p.m. ET), Illinois-Chicago (Saturday, 11:30 a.m. ET) and Delaware (4:30 p.m. ET) before the tournament’s championship pairings are played out on Sunday.

Fighting Irish Fan Chat – Feb. 15

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