April 20, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame’s 11-game homestand continues this weekend as the Irish play host to DePaul for a three-game BIG EAST Conference softball series. The longtime rivals will be jockeying for a bump in the league standings as DePaul (26-14 overall, 8-3 BIG EAST) currently sits fourth in the rankings, with Notre Dame (23-13, 5-3) one spot behind.
Notre Dame and DePaul shared the 2010 BIG EAST regular season crown one year after the Irish defeated the Blue Demons for the 2009 league tournament trophy. The most frequent opponent on Notre Dame’s schedule since the program’s inaugural 1989 campaign, the two teams have met in every season since 1989 except for 1996, 1999 and 2011.
Notre Dame will honor its stadium namesake Sunday with Melissa Cook Day. Cook’s mother, Linda Demo, will deliver the ceremonial first pitch and a number of items will be auctioned off throughout the day to help benefit the Melissa Cook Foundation.
Fans will also receive free Notre Dame softball posters, drinking glasses and pennants.
Live coverage – including video, audio and stats – for each of the three games at Melissa Cook Stadium will be available at UND.com. Fans are also encouraged to follow the action on Twitter (@NDsoftball, @NDcoachGumpf, @NDsidJorge) or sign up for Irish Alert text message updates at UND.com.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(23-13 overall, 5-3 BIG EAST)
[und.com – bigeast.org]
DePaul Blue Demons
(26-14 overall, 8-3 BIG EAST)
[depaulbluedemons.com – bigeast.org]
Saturday, April 21 – Noon (ET)
Saturday, April 21 – 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Sunday, April 22 – Noon (ET)
Melissa Cook Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
Series record: DePaul leads, 32-23-1 (6-4 BIG EAST)
Series streak: DePaul, W2
First meeting: April 22, 1989 – DePaul, 10-1
Last meeting: April 22, 2010 – DePaul, 15-2 (5 inn.)
Last Notre Dame win: May 9, 2009 – Notre Dame, 1-0 (BIG EAST Championship)
– Notre Dame is in the midst of an 11-game homestand, its longest since 2007 … Notre Dame dropped two of three home games to Syracuse last weekend to fall to 10-2 this season at Melissa Cook Stadium … the Irish are 70-12-1 (.849) inside the friendly confines of Melissa Cook Stadium and 37-10 (.787) against BIG EAST opponents … Notre Dame has won 25 of its last 28 regular-season league matchups on its home field.
– Five Irish players – Amy Buntin (38), Alexa Maldonado (36), Dani Miller (34), Emilee Koerner (31) and Kelsey Thornton (30) – have tallied at least 30 hits through 36 games this season … Thornton had all of two hits in the previous two seasons combined.
– With 10 doubles, Koerner is four two-baggers away from finding herself tied for 14th on the season record chart … Maldonado was the last Irish player to record 14 doubles in a single season, doing so in 2011.
– Laura Winter carries an overall ERA of 2.30, but rocks a 1.88 average in six appearances in league contests … the Irish are holding BIG EAST opponents to 3.65 runs per game.
– Maldonado leads the Irish with 13 multi-hit games as Amy Buntin has driven home multiple runs in 11 contests … both Buntin and Miller have one five-RBI outing this season.
– Katey Haus, Koerner, Buntin and Maldonado each have posted a hitting streak of seven straight games this season … heading into the weekend, Buntin has the longest active hitting streak at four games … Koerner has reached base safely in each of the last six contests.