March 6, 2007
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Notre Dame had a successful tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. despite battling the elements and changes in the schedule. The Irish showed early offense in scoring three run in the first inning in a 4-1 win over Virginia (3/2). Erin Glasco came up with the big hit as she hit a double off the top of the wall to drive-in the game-winning runs. The Irish continued the trend of early offense in the second game of the day, March 2, against host school Jacksonville. Notre Dame scored four runs in the first and three more runs in the second inning on their way to a 7-2 victory over the Dolphins. Senior Kenya Fuemmeler threw a no-hitter for the first four innings for the Irish. The next day, rain altered the schedule forcing Notre Dame into a single game against the Cavaliers. The Irish fell behind 3-0 before rallying for a six spot in the fifth inning. The big blow of the game would be Glasco’s game-winning three-run home run. Notre Dame would win by the final margin of 6-3. The final day of the tournament was a challenging one against No. 9 Michigan. The Irish hung with the Wolverines for most of the game, but just couldn’t get the offense going in taking a tough 1-0 defeat to Michigan and finishing the tournament a respectable 3-1.
Erin Glasco has proven her worth in clutch situations, as she has already tallied three game-winning RBI hits this season. Further, all six of Glasco’s runs batted-in this season have come with two outs.
Linda Kohan had a strong JU tournament, March 2-4, for Notre Dame. The sophomore went 5-for-12 (.417) with four RBI, three runs scored and four doubles.
Duo Honored By The BIG EAST:
For the second time this season, Notre Dame had a pair of players honored by the conference office on its weekly honor roll on March 6. Sophomore Brittney Bargar won two games in the Crispers/JU Invitational with an earned-run average of 0.75 while Linda Kohan tallied four doubles and four RBI and a .417 batting average in the four games.
A Few Early Trends:
â€¢ Notre Dame continues to fight to the last out and has won three games in bottom of the seventh/eighth inning.
â€¢ The Irish are 3-1 in one-run games this season.
â€¢ Notre Dame is 4-0 when it takes a lead into the fourth inning and 2-6 when it goes through the fourth inning trailing.
â€¢ The Irish are 4-1 when the team scores in the first inning.
â€¢ The Irish have been outscored 6-1 in the third innings of games, but have outscored their opponents 10-4 in the seventh inning on.
â€¢ In neutral site games, Notre Dame has won six of the seven games it has been designated as the home team on the scoreboard.
On Tap This Week:
Notre Dame is headed for Long Beach, Calif. this week, March 11, to take on Eastern Kentucky (2:30 p.m. (PT)) and No. 12/14 UCLA (5:00 p.m. (PT))
Either Way She’s Okay:
Senior Stephanie Brown is 5-for-11 (.455) against left -handed pitchers this season and is batting .438 (14-for-32) against righties.
After the third week of action, senior Stephanie Brown leads the BIG EAST in hits (19). Brown is also third in the conference in batting average (.442), stolen bases (4), runs scored (12), and on base percentage (.529). Brown is also sixth in the league in total bases (20). Sophomore Erin Glasco is tied for third in the conference in walks (7). Sophomore Linda Kohan is tied for the conference lead with four doubles.
Sophomore hurler Brittney Bargar is the league leader in strikeouts (58), innings pitched (60.0) and complete games (8). Bargar is also tied for the league lead in wins (6) and is third in games started (8).
SEC/ACC Not So Bad:
With two wins over Virginia in the Crispers/JU Invitational, Notre Dame improved its record to 4-1 against schools from the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast Conference’s this season.
Scouting Eastern Kentucky:
The Colonel (5-6) had its weekend tournament, the EKU Softball Invitational, cancelled due to weather issues. Eastern Kentucky will play a single game against Marshall (March 6) before heading to California for the Long Beach Invitational. In EKU’s last action before the weather issues the team split a doubleheader with Lipscomb. Freshman Shyenne Hussey has made a major impact on the program already, boasting a .600 batting average and earned OVC Player of the Week honors (Feb. 26). Hussey also leads the team with 18 hits, four home runs and 12 RBI. Senior Kelsey Anderson has been busy with five appearances, three complete games and 28 strikeouts.
Series vs. Eastern Kentucky:
This is the first ever meeting between these two schools, although Notre Dame did come from behind to defeat fellow Ohio Valley Conference school Tennessee Tech, 6-5, in the Tiger Invitational, Feb. 17.
The Bruins (15-6) are riding a three-game winning streak into this week’s action. UCLA crushed future Notre Dame opponent, Loyola-Chicago 9-1 in five innings on Sunday, March 5, to close the Stacey Winsberg Memorial Tournament. Senior Jaisa Creps improved her stellar slugging percentage to .703, while blasting a three-run home run and scoring two runs against Loyola. Junior outfielder Krista Colburn is red hot with a team-leading.439 batting average. The duo of Jodi Legaspi and Lisa Dodd has been dominating. Legaspi has a team-best 19 walks to go along with her tied for team leading 22 RBI. Dodd also has 22 RBI for the Bruins. The Bruins, an elite level program, are under new leadership this season as Kelly Inouye-Perez is in her first season replacing the legendary Sue Enquist. Anjelica Selden, one of the top-three pitchers nationally, has been the rock of the rotation with an 8-3 record, a 2.50 ERA, and 104 strikeouts in 75.2 innings from the circle. Freshman left- handed starter Megan Langenfeld has made an immediate impact. Langenfeld is 5-1 with a 1.56 ERA in the circle, while also hitting .386 with 18 RBI at the plate.
Series vs. UCLA:
The Bruins have defeated the Irish in each of their three previous meeting. The last time these schools met was in 2005, when UCLA was ranked No. 3 and downed Notre Dame 3-1 at the Palm Springs Classic.
The Places Notre Dame Softball Has Gone:
After three road trips, the Notre Dame softball team has already logged 6,952.5 miles on planes and buses this season to destinations
The Palm Springs Tournament:
Notre Dame had a tough start to the Palm Springs Tournament, Feb. 23-25, taking on a pair of ranked opponents in the ultra competitive field. The Irish were competitive in both early games against No. 9 Oklahoma and No. 17 California but ultimately lost both games by the scores of 7-3 and 7-5, respectively. Notre Dame now on a four-game skid, rallied with two-outs in the seventh inning to tie their next game against UNLV on the two RBI single from sophomore Linda Kohan. Junior Katie Laing would make it a 4-3 Irish winner, as she punched a ball through the left side to drive in senior Carissa Jaquish in extra-innings. Despite a strong pitching performance from senior Kenya Fuemmeler, a complete game four-hitter, the Irish fell to Cal State Fullerton, 2-0, in their next game. Notre Dame would take its final game of the tournament, 3-1, over Ole Miss. Kohan would again provide the late-inning heroics with her two RBI single up the middle in the fifth.
Brown On The Right Track:
Senior Stephanie Brown had an outstanding tournament in Palm Springs, going 11-for-18 with five runs scored. Brown had multi-hit performances in four of the five games, while chipping in three stolen bases.
Gessica Hufnagle, who often splits time at catcher, showed off the wheels against Ole Miss (Feb. 25) as she stole a pair of bases for the first time in her career.
Bargar Continues To Lead:
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Brittney Bargar picked up a pair of wins over the weekend, Feb. 23-25. Bargar won against UNLV and Ole Miss in Palm Springs Tournament.
A Recap of the Tiger Invitational:
Notre Dame opened its 2007 season at the Tiger Invitational hosted by Auburn from Feb. 16-18. Notre Dame started the tournament with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over host school Auburn. Sophomore Erin Glasco came through with a single down the right-field line to drive in freshman Ashley Ellis from third for the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Irish then fell to UAB 8-0 in five inning run-shortened game. Another memorable Irish victory would follow, as once again Notre Dame came from behind in the bottom of the seventh inning. Freshman Heather Johnson would be that games hero with a two-run home run that propelled Notre Dame to a 6-5 victory over Tennessee Tech. Softball would complete its weekend by dropping its final two games to Tulsa (4-2) and Virginia Tech (2-0). Johnson for great play would be awarded a spot on the Tiger Invitational All-Tournament team after hitting .500 (8-for-16) in the five games.
Nice Start by the Rookie:
Heather Johnson made an immediate impact in her first week in the Irish lineup. Not only did the Los Alamitos, Calif. native start all five games at third base, she also had the most hits of any player in the Tiger Invitational Tournament, with eight, on her way to hitting .500 with a home run and four RBI. Johnson tallied multi-hit performances in three of the five games.
A Solid First Week:
Brittney Bargar also had a solid first week for Notre Dame in the circle. She won both of Notre Dame’s games while pitching three complete games. For week, Bargar was 2-1 with 24 strikeouts in 20.1 innings pitched. The sophomore also showed impeccable control with only two walks (one intentional) on the week.
A Pair Honored on BIG EAST Honor Roll:
Notre Dame had a pair of players on honored on the BIG EAST honor roll following the first two weekends of action around the conference in sophomore pitcher Brittney Bargar and freshman third baseman Heather Johnson.
Keeping up with the Irish:
Notre Dame’s softball family and friend can keep up with the Irish one of six ways this season. First, the Notre Dame hotline (1-574-631-3000) will be updated as soon as possible following each game. Two, a game recap will be posted on Notre Dame website (www.und.com) following each contest. Three, a text alert will be send out to those fans that wish to sign-up for the Irish text alerts on the Notre Dame website. Four, live audio broadcasts will be available for Irish home games. Fifth, Notre Dame will run GameTracker for selected road games (depending on the host institution) and all homes games at Ivy Field through its athletic website. And sixth, Notre Dame softball will have a weekly notes package that will be put out by Wednesdays of most weeks.
Overview of the Irish:
The Irish returns six position starters, three pitchers and 13 monogram winners from a season ago. Notre Dame has also added three newcomers to the mix in a quest for their ninth consecutive NCAA bid.
Sophomore Brittney Bargar, after a solid freshman season, will be counted upon heavily this season to lead the pitchers. Bargar won 15 games as a freshman, while averaging better than seven strikeouts per game. Also in the rotation this season is senior Kenya Fuemmeler (1-0, 1.64 ERA), who is making the transition from the bullpen. Sophomore Christine Farrell, after missing all of last season with injuries, is making her debut in the circle for the Irish this season. Farrell will take on the role of a later inning specialist.
The infield will be have senior Carissa Jaquish (.219, 61 H, 30 RBI) and freshman Christine Lux vying for playing time at first base. Linda Kohan (.275, 49 H, 29 RBI) will move over to second base after spending time at third and first as a freshman. All-BIG EAST second team selection Katie Laing (.294, 110 H, 57 RBI) moves from second to her natural position of shortstop. Newcomer Heather Johnson will be the opening day third baseman.
The lone returning starter in the outfield is centerfielder Stephanie Brown (.343, 210 H, 42 SB). Brown was a unanimous all-BIG EAST first team selection and a second team NFCA All-American selection as a junior. Five other players will be in consideration for playing time to each side of Brown. Juniors Brittany Glynn (.200, 14 R) and Sarah Smith (.250, 32 R, 6 SB), sophomores Stephanie Mola (15 H, 3 RBI) and Beth Northway (.667, 4 SB) are joined by freshman Ashley Ellis and will all be pushing each other this year.
Senior Gessica Hufnagle (31 R, 40 H, 30 RBI) and sophomore Erin Glasco (30 H, 6 2B, 14 RBI) will split time at both catcher and as the designated player.
Notre Dame in early season tournaments:
Notre Dame began what is now the collegiate softball tradition of early-season tournament action in 1990 when it took part in a Chicago, Ill., tournament. Since that trip, Notre Dame has visited 32 different areas of the country and participated in several elite tournaments. Notre Dame’s all-time record in early-season tournament action is 188-136 (.580) and its most frequent sites visited have been South Florida (seven times), Columbus, Ga. (six times) and Cal State Fullerton (five times). This season, Notre Dame will visit Auburn, Ala. (first time), Palm Springs, Calif. (third time), Jacksonville, Fla. (first time), Long Beach, Calif. (first time) and Cal State Fullerton once again.
Preseason Choice for Third in the BIG EAST:
The Irish were selected to finish third in the BIG EAST Conference for the 2007 season, in a vote by the leagues coaches. The Irish received a first-place vote and totaled 104 points to finish behind front-runner Louisville and South Florida. Notre Dame along with Louisville and USF were all selected for the 2006 NCAA Softball Championships.
Notre Dame will feature three captains this season for only the third time. The Irish captains will be seniors Stephanie Brown and Kenya Fuemmeler and junior Katie Laing. The only other Notre Dame teams to have a trio of captains are the 2003 squad (Alexis Madrid, Andria Bledsoe and Andrea Loman) and the 2002 team (Kas Hoag, Jenny Kriech and Jarrah Myers).
Season Schedule will be a Challenge:
The 2007 season will prove to be a challenge for the Irish, as the team will face several teams ranked in the top 25, or just out of the national rankings.
According to the preseason rankings, the Irish will face (NFCA rankings first, followed by USA Softball) No. 3/3 UCLA, No. 4/4 Northwestern, No.5/5 Northwestern, No. 10/10 California, No. 11/13 Michigan, No. 16/16 Oklahoma, No. 19/17 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 20/21 Louisville, No. 21/20 Fresno State, No. 22/23 South Florida, No. 24/RV Auburn, In addition, Notre Dame will face Call State Fullerton, DePaul and Virginia Tech- all teams who received at least one vote in the preseason national rankings.
The Irish defeated two ranked teams during the 2006 season (No. 10 Arizona State and No. 18 Louisville) and have totaled 15 ranked team victories during Gumpf’s tenure.
Notre Dame will bring back its entire coaching staff from the 2006 season in head coach Deanna Gumpf, assistant coaches Kris Ganeff and Lizzy Lemire and volunteer assistant coach Dawn Austin.
Gumpf In Her Sixth Season:
Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf is in her sixth season at the helm of the Notre Dame softball program. The Irish coach is 226-97 in her coaching career and has taken the Irish to five consecutive NCAA postseason berths.
Gumpf won her 200th career game in Notre Dame’s 14-4 victory over Pittsburgh on April 9 of the 2006 season.
At the start of the season, Gumpf career’s record of 219-90 (.708) was a single percentage better than former Irish head coach Liz Miller 377-156 (.707). She is also ahead of the first ever softball coach at Notre Dame, Brian Boulac 135-90-2 (.597).
A Generous Donation:
Notre Dame softball’s bid for a new facility took a huge step forward this offseason thanks to the generous donation by Linda and Paul Demo. The Demo’s pledged three million dollars for the building of the Melissa Cook Stadium. Cook, a former Irish softball player, was one of four people that were killed in March 2002 when a massive section of scaffolding fell from the John Hancock Center onto her car in downtown Chicago. The families of those who died and were injured reached a settlement in early 2006 with the skyscrapers owners and other companies named in the lawsuit. The Demo’s, the mother and stepfather of Melissa Cook, devoted much of their portion of the settlement to Notre Dame for the upcoming $4.8 million facility. The stadium will be built on the southeast corner of the Notre Dame campus near Eck Baseball Stadium and will hold 1,500 Irish softball fans.
Milestones on the Horizon:
â€¢ Senior Stephanie Brown, after the third week of the 2007 season, is fifth (138) in runs scored at Notre Dame. Brown is also tied for ninth on the all-time hits list with 229, only four behind Andrea Loman (2000-03) for eighth. Further, Brown is eighth on the all-time home runs list (18) only three behind Mallorie Lenn for seventh. Brown is also among the all-time leaders in walks (63-sixth) and stolen bases (46-fifth).
â€¢ Junior Katie Laing is only four behind the top-10 with her 34 career doubles.
â€¢ Senior Gessica Hufnagle is fifth in fielding percentage .978.
Up Next-California (Extended Stay):
The Irish continues their extended Spring Break road trip and head to the prestigious Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. to take on No. 2/6 Arizona State (March 15), Fresno State (March 16) and No. 14/13 Louisiana Lafayette (March 16), before participating in pool play the final two days.