Sept. 17, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team will host a total of nine exhibition contests over the next month at Melissa Cook Stadium, with six games featuring the Irish as part of the program’s 2014 fall schedule. Notre Dame officially opened its fall slate on Sept. 14 against Purdue at Grand Park in Westfield, which coincided with both teams participating in Shamrock Series festivities in Indianapolis.
Notre Dame returns 13 monogram winners from last season’s squad that made its 16th consecutive appearance, and earned its 19th overall bid in 26 seasons of varsity competition in the NCAA Championship, ultimately finishing the season with a 41-13 record after competing in the NCAA Los Angeles Regional. The Irish placed second in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular-season standings with a 16-5 league mark in their inaugural campaign in the conference, ultimately reaching the final game of May’s ACC Championship tournament in College Park, Md. Notre Dame also surpassed the 40-win plateau for the 16th time in its history, a watermark the Irish have attained in 10 of the last 13 seasons since Deanna Gumpf became the program’s head coach in 2002.
Team records set by the 2014 Notre Dame team included the highest batting average (.357) and most doubles (107, 1.98 doubles per game) in a single season in program history, figures that also led all Division I teams in the NCAA. The Irish, who also had a team-best 533 hits and a .419 on-base percentage, also finished second nationally with a .552 slugging percentage and were seventh in scoring after tallying 6.69 runs per game. Notre Dame was ranked among the national top 25 teams over the final 14 weeks of 2014, tying a program record set by the 2001 Irish team (54-7) for consecutive weeks appearing in the national polls during a single season.
A total of three Notre Dame players received 2014 NFCA All-America citations, with Micaela Arizmendi and Karley Wester copping second team accolades and Emilee Koerner being named as a third team All-American. The three Notre Dame All-America selections were tied for the most among all NFCA Division I members last season with College World Series participant Oregon, NCAA Super Regional qualifier Washington and fellow NCAA Regional competitor Auburn.
The Irish open the home portion of fall play on Sept. 21 at noon (ET) against Western Michigan. Notre Dame then hosts Illinois State at 2:15 p.m. before Illinois State and Western Michigan close the day at 4:30 p.m.
The final games of the month will feature Notre Dame taking on UIC at noon on Sept. 28, followed by the Irish and Eastern Michigan meeting in the third contest of the day at 4:30 p.m. UIC and Eastern Michigan are scheduled to take the diamond at 2:15 p.m.
Notre Dame closes its 2014 fall schedule on Oct. 12 with a pair of home games against Loyola (noon) and Butler (4:30 p.m.), with Loyola and Butler set to square off at 2:15 p.m.