April 26, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Following a two-game sweep at Villanova last week, Notre Dame hits the road again for a BIG EAST Conference softball doubleheader at USF on Wednesday.
The Irish will then return to campus for three contests versus St. John’s (April 30-May 1) to kickoff a six-game homestand.
With a 9-1 BIG EAST record, Notre Dame will be jockeying with USF and its 12-1 league mark for a position atop the conference standings. USF is tied with DePaul for first place in the regular-season race.
The Irish are third in the league standings and their 33-8 (.805) overall record is the best of any other squad.
USF swept Connecticut in a three-game series last week as pitcher Sara Nevins went 2-0 in the circle with a save. Nevins did not give up a run in 11.1 innings of work while striking out 11 batters. Her program-record eight saves leads the nation.
During their last outing, the Red Storm dropped a home doubleheader to Pittsburgh.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(33-8 overall / 9-1 BIG EAST)
[und.com – bigeast.org]
(32-16 overall / 12-1 BIG EAST)
[gousfbulls.com – bigeast.org]
USF Softball Stadium – Tampa, Fla.
Wednesday, April 27 – 11:00 a.m. (ET) / 1:00 p.m.
TV: Bright House Sports Network (Tampa)
Live stats: UND.com
Series: Tied, 10-10 (6-5 BIG EAST – Notre Dame)
Series streak: Notre Dame, W5
First meeting: 3.26.93 – USF, 3-2 (8)
Last meeting: 4.11.10 – Notre Dame, 2-0
St. John’s Red Storm
(19-26 overall / 6-9 BIG EAST)
[redstormsports.com – bigeast.org]
Melissa Cook Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
Saturday, April 30 – 12:00 p.m. (ET) / 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 1 – 11:00 a.m. (ET)
Live video / audio: UND.com
Live stats / blog: UND.com
Series: Notre Dame, 31-1 (30-1 BIG EAST)
Series streak: Notre Dame, W5
First meeting: 4.21.96 – Notre Dame, 2-0
Last meeting: 5.7.09 – Notre Dame, 5-1
IRISH ALERT text message updates: UND.com
Twitter: @und_com / @ndsoftball / @ndcoachgumpf
Facebook: facebook.com/unddotcom, facebook.com/notredameathletics
– Notre Dame is 9-1 in true road contests this season, with the only loss coming at Cal State Fullerton (March 16).
– Wednesday’s game at USF will pit the league’s best hitting against the top pitching corps … the Irish top the BIG EAST with a .357 batting average in league play and boast three of the top five hitters in Sadie Pitzenberger (1st – .609), Heather Johnson (2nd – .531) and Alexia Clay (5th – .500) … Johnson leads all batters by slugging at a 1.281 rate … USF’s 0.67 ERA is the best in the league … Notre Dame also paces the league in slugging pct. (.631), on-base pct. (436) and walks allowed (13).
– One week after freshman Laura Winter saw her nine-game winning streak from the circle come to end, she was nearly flawless in the opener at Villanova (April 21) with nine strikeouts while taking a one-hit shutout into the seventh inning … Winter went on to collect her fourth save of the season in the second game.
– Johnson’s 21- game hitting streak, which tied the second-best jaunt in school history, came to an end in game one at Villanova … but she made up for it in the latter contest of the twinbill with her second five-RBI output of the season … Johnson’s streak was the nation’s second-longest this season entering the doubleheader … she is currently batting .385 with 50 hits, 50 RBI, seven doubles and 11 home runs for a .692 slugging pct.
– Last Meeting With USF (April 11, 2010): Jody Valdivia hurled a one-hitter with six strikeouts in 7.0 innings to lead Notre Dame past visiting USF, 2-0 … Valdivia’s 13th shutout of the season helped the Irish sweep the three-game series from to run the team’s winning streak over the Bulls to five contests following a two-game sweep in 2009 … Valdivia finished the series with two wins and an ERA of 1.00 in 14.0 innings of action … Notre Dame out-hit USF, 3-1, and both of its runs were scored on sacrifice flies.
– Last Meeting With St. John’s (May 9, 2010): A decisive 10-run sixth inning capped off a comeback win for Notre Dame over St. John’s at Red Storm Field … the BIG EAST Conference contest was tied, 2-2, heading into the frame before the Irish scratched across the double-digit total on nine hits along with four RBI by Heather Johnson … Notre Dame defeated the Red Storm, 12-2, in six innings.