Sophomore Emilee Koerner

Irish Look To Turn Over New Leaf On Tobacco Road

Feb. 24, 2012

Carolina Classic | Gameday Program Get Acrobat Reader | Stats Package Get Acrobat Reader

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After going 1-4 on the opening weekend of the 2012 softball season, Notre Dame will regroup and head south for the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Irish are set to twice face host North Carolina along with single-game matchups against both Minnesota and Penn State.

Live stats for each game will be available at Fans are also encouraged to follow the action on Twitter (@NDsoftball, @UND_com, @NDsidJorge).

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(1-4 overall, 0-0 BIG EAST)
[ –]

Penn State Nittany Lions
(1-3 overall, 0-0 Big Ten)
[ –]
Sunday, Feb. 26 – 10:00 a.m. (ET)
Anderson Stadium – Chapel Hill, N.C.
Series: Penn State leads, 2-1
Series streak: Penn State, W1
First meeting: March 12, 1994 – Penn State, 5-4
Last meeting: March 12, 2009 – Penn State, 1-0 (8)

North Carolina Tar Heels
(9-0 overall, 0-0 Atlantic Coast)
[ –]
Saturday, Feb. 25 – 12:30 p.m. (ET)
Sunday, Feb. 26 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Anderson Stadium – Chapel Hill, N.C.
Series: Notre Dame leads, 7-2
Series streak: Notre Dame, W4
First meeting: March 12, 1991 – Notre Dame, 3-1
Last meeting: March 5, 2011 – Notre Dame, 4-3 (8)

Minnesota Gophers
(7-2 overall, 0-0 Big Ten)
[ –]
Sunday, Feb. 26 – 9:00 a.m. (ET)
Anderson Stadium – Chapel Hill, N.C.
Series: Notre Dame leads, 1-0
Series streak: Notre Dame, W1
First / last meeting: March 3, 1995 – Notre Dame, 8-0

One-Hitters …

– Notre Dame was able to hang its hat on a nine-game winning streak to open the 2011 season, the best in program history … after dropping its first three games of 2012, the Irish have plenty of reason to remain cool and collective even after finishing the opening weekend with a 1-4 record, … if the opening weekend of the past few seasons can be used as an indicator, the Irish are in store for many more wins in the coming months … Notre Dame started 2-3 in 2007 (finished 32-24), 2-2 in 2008 (finished 38-22-1), 1-3 in 2009 (finished 43-17) and 1-4 in 2010 (finished 47-12).

– The only player in program history to hit 10+ home runs in each of her first three seasons with the program, All-American Dani Miller went yard in back-to-back games to open the 2012 campaign … now with 34 career home runs, Miller is fourth on the all-time list behind Heather Johnson (35), Jarrah Myers (36) and Christine Lux (50).

– Three freshmen started for Notre Dame in the 2011 season opener and two – Katey Haus and Emilee Koerner – cracked the lineup to begin the 2012 slate … first-year infielder Jenna Simon also saw action in the opening game and classmate Cassidy Whidden waited until game two of the campaign to record a hit in her first collegiate at-bat.

Alexa Maldonado crushed a solo home run for Notre Dame’s lone score against Boist State at the Campbell/Cartier Classic, giving her 10 career home runs to match 10 career triples … only two other players in program history have notched 10 home runs and 10 triples in a career: Sarah Hayes (1992-95) – 26 HR / 11 3B, Meghan Murray (1994-97) – 15 HR, 12 3B.

– Miller was named to the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year watch list, giving her a chance to win the award designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country … the preseason list includes 23 seniors, 20 juniors and seven sophomores, with freshmen ineligible for consideration (freshmen can be considered for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award once they have competed at the collegiate level) … the top 25 finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 11 … USA Softball named Miller to its watch list just days after releasing its preseason top 25 poll … Notre Dame was ranked 25th in the poll, the highest of any BIG EAST Conference team … Notre Dame received 12 votes in the USA Today / NFCA preseason rankings, four spots outside of its top 25 … the Irish are currently unranked and not receiving votes in either poll.