Brittney O'Donnell (3-0) and the Irish take a seven-game winning streak into the UC Riverside Aten Construction Tournament this weekend.

Irish Venture Westward For Spring Break

March 5, 2010

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Following last week’s trip to the Cavalier Invite on the East Coast, the Notre Dame softball team heads to the West Coast for a nine-game Spring Break swing from March 6-14. The Irish will start things off with three contests at the UC Riverside Aten Construction Tournament in Riverside, Calif., against Ohio State, East Tennessee State and the host Highlanders.

Notre Dame enters its Spring Break trek riding a seven-game winning streak, the longest since posting 10 straight wins in 2009.

“It will be great for our team to play some solid competition on the West Coast over these next several days,” Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf said. “We aren’t afraid to travel to any part of the country to play any team at any time. While we have been on the road a lot these last few weeks, the team has done a great job of keeping focus and performing at a high level.”

Live stats for each game will be available at, and in-game updates can be readily accessed at For up-to-the-minute scores and highlights, fans can sign up for IRISH ALERTS text-messaging services at

Aten Construction Tournament
Host: UC Riverside
Saturday-Sunday, March 6-7 – Riverside, Calif.

Live stats:
Text alerts:
Notre Dame Athletics Twitter: @und_com
In-game Twitter: @ndsoftball

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(8-4 overall / 0-0 BIG EAST)
[ –]

Saturday, March 6 – 9:00 a.m. (PT)
No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes

(10-5 overall / 0-0 Big Ten)
[ –]
Series: Tied, 3-3
Series streak: Notre Dame, W2
First meeting: March 23, 1995 – Notre Dame, 1-0
Last meeting: April 11, 1996 – Notre Dame, 11-3

Saturday, March 6 – 11:30 a.m. (PT)
East Tennessee State Lady Bucs

(7-5 overall / 0-0 Atlantic Sun)
[ –
Series: First meeting

Sunday, March 7 – 11:30 a.m. (PT)
UC Riverside Highlanders

(5-9 overall / 0-0 Big West)
[ –]
Series: Notre Dame, 1-0
Series streak: Notre Dame, W1
First / last meeting: March 4, 2008 – Notre Dame, 8-2

One-Hitters …
– Notre Dame is now in its 22nd season of varsity competition with an all-time record of 852-403-3 … the program boasts 14 NCAA Championship appearances (11 consecutive) and six BIG EAST Conference Tournament titles, the latest coming in 2009.
Christine Lux tied the school record with her 36th career home run against Virginia (Feb. 27) … it was her third home run of the season … Lux has posted 15 home runs in each of the last to season with the Irish … Lux is also well within reach of capturing another milestone, as she needs six more putouts to tie Jarrah Myer’s school record (1,337) set in 2002.
– Six California natives will be making a homecoming appearance of sorts this week when Notre Dame hits the West Cost: Katie Fleury (San Jose), Heather Johnson (Los Alamitos), Brianna Jorgensborg (Thousand Oaks), Dani Miller (Huntington Beach), Jody Valdivia (Anaheim Hills) and Kristina Wright (Ramona) … head coach Deanna Gumpf and assistant coach Lizzy Lemire are also California natives.
– The last time Notre Dame played at UC Riverside’s Amy S. Harrison Field (March 4, 2008), two doubles by Katie Laing highlighted her 3-for-4 day at the plate and gave her the program’s all-time record by bringing her two-bagger total to 50 … Notre Dame defeated UC Riverside, 8-2.

Bouncing Back …
After dropping four straight games (Feb. 12-14) for the first time since 2007 – when the Irish dropped seven straight (April 21-29) – Notre Dame now finds itself riding a seven-game winning streak heading into this weekend’s Aten Construction Tournament (March 6-7).

Johnson Cops BIG EAST’s Weekly Award …
Senior third baseman Heather Johnson was named the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week (March 1) after she became the 14th Irish player in 22 seasons to hit at least two home runs in the same game when she did so against Virginia (Feb. 27) … Johnson posted a game-high three RBI in game two against the Cavaliers and drove in a team-best seven runs throughout the four-game invite … Johnson hit .583 with seven hits in 12 at bats and her 13 total bases helped her boast a slugging percentage of 1.083 … she also stole a base and assisted on four putouts from third base … Johnson had three multi-hit and two multi-RBI efforts on the weekend, including at least one RBI in each game.

The South Bend 500 …
With 498 career games as the head coach at Notre Dame, Deanna Gumpf is two contests away from hitting 500 with the Irish.

Finalizing February …
Notre Dame is now 80-66 (.548) all-time in the month of February, and 72-51 (.585) on neutral turf … under Gumpf, Notre Dame is 106-81 (.567) at neutral sites.

So Far, So Great …
Notre Dame has hit 15 home runs through 12 games this season … in 2009, the Irish had five shots leave the park in the first 12 games of that campaign … the 2009 team went on to set the program’s single-season record with 66 home runs in 60 games played.

Double Dipping …
Notre Dame recorded at least 10 hits in each of its four games at the Cavalier Invite (Feb. 26) … the last time the Irish accomplished that feat was in 2008, during a pair of doubleheaders at St. John’s (April 5) and Seton Hall (April 6) … in 2003, Notre Dame went 10 straight games with 10+ hits from April 13-23.

40 Never Looked So Good …
Notre Dame outscored the opposition 40-3 through four games at the Cavalier Invite (Feb. 26-27), including a trio of sweeps … heading into the UC Riverside Aten Construction Tournament, the Irish have not surrendered a single run in the second or seventh innings in 12 games.

A Higher Five …
If one home run in a game is nice and two are even better, what do you call five home runs in one game? The Irish are searching for that answer after sending five home runs out of the park against Virginia (Feb. 27) … four different players hit home runs, while Heather Johnson blasted a pair … the last time Notre Dame hit five home runs in one game was in 2003 against Louisiana-Lafayette (Feb. 28) … the Irish also did the deed four times in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

Where’s Maldo?
Alexa Maldonado has been keeping defenses on their heels this season by scattering shots all around the ballpark … at the Cavalier Invite (Feb. 26), Maldonado recorded two triples and two doubles in four games … as a freshman in 2009, Maldonado notched two triples over a four-game stretch at Stanford’s Nike Invitational (Feb. 20-21).

Catch Me If You Can …
Seven different Irish players stole at least one base through four games at the Cavalier Invite (Feb. 26-27) … Sadie Pitzenberger led the attack with three swipes.

Valdivia Named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week …
Jody Valdivia was named the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 22 … she started each of Notre Dame’s three games at the Southern Miss Mizuno Classic (Feb. 20-21), earning two wins and even notching a save … she tossed 16.2 innings with 24 strikeouts while giving up eight hits as not a single run crossed the plate under her watch … Valdivia limited Louisiana Tech (Feb. 20) to three hits and fanned 13 Techsters … it was the sixth game of her career with 10+ strikeouts … she started against Southern Miss (Feb. 20) and received four runs in the first inning from the Irish offense … she was pulled after the first inning, and Notre Dame then gave up six runs to make it a 7-6 contest in the bottom of the sixth … Valdivia reentered the game with the bases loaded and one out, taking care of the next five Golden Eagle batters to notch the save … Valdivia then blanked Stephen F. Austin (Feb. 21) and squeezed out of another jam in the seventh … sitting on a 3-0 lead, Valdivia gave up three singles in the bottom half of the final frame without an out, but retired the next three batters in order to secure the complete-game shutout.

See the Ball, Hit the Ball …
Amy Buntin (.417) and Katie Fleury (.353) were steady for the Irish at the dish throughout the Kajikawa Classic (Feb. 12-14) … Buntin had five hits – including one double – and three RBI to open her collegiate career … one of Fleury’s six hits was good for two bases as she led the Irish with three hits and three runs against Creighton (Feb. 12) … Christine Lux, Dani Miller and Heather Johnson each recorded home runs for Notre Dame over the four-game stretch … Lux’s three-run jack against Creighton brought her career total to 34, two shy of the program’s all-time record … 10 of the 14 Irish players with an official at-bat recorded at least one hit at the tournament. Lid Lifter …
Notre Dame’s 11-3 win over Creighton (Feb. 12) marked the most runs ever scored by an Irish team in a season opener … the team posted 11 runs on 11 hits with 11 RBI … by comparison, the Irish finished six games in 2009 with double digit outputs in the hit, run and RBI categories.

A Valiant Valdivia …
Senior pitcher Jody Valdivia led the way in the season-opening victory over Creighton (Feb. 12) with a complete-game 10-strikeout performance against the Bluejays in the abbreviated six-inning contest, extending her winning streak from the circle to 18 straight games dating back to March 2009 … Valdivia brushed off a shaky start after giving up a two-run homer in the first inning, proceeding to retire 14 of the next 15 batters over the next few frames as the Bluejays managed one more run on two hits in the top of the sixth … with the 10-strikeout performance Valdivia eclipsed the 300-strikeout plateau, becoming the ninth Irish pitcher to do so in a career … it was the fifth game of her career with double-digit strikeouts … Valdivia shouldered the loss one day later against Auburn (Feb. 13) to end the streak … Valdivia appeared in four games at the Kajikawa Classic (Feb. 12-14), pitching 20.0 innings with 26 strikeouts … here is how her win streak stacks up against some of the longest in program history:

Overall Winning Streak
22 – Kristin Schmidt – 3.2.01-5.5.01
18 – Jody Valdivia – 3.18.09-2.12.10
16 – Terri Kobata – 4.9.94-5.20.94
16 – Jennifer Sharron – 3.28.01-5.5.01
16 – Carrie Wisen – 3.30.02-5.10.02
14 – Steffany Stenglein – 3.9.05-4.22.05
10 – Brittney Bargar – 3.22.07-4.19.07

Single-Season Winning Streak
22 – Kristin Schmidt – 3.2.01-5.5.01
17 – Jody Valdivia – 3.18.09-5.15.09
16 – Terri Kobata – 4.9.94-5.20.94
16 – Jennifer Sharron – 3.28.01-5.5.01
16 – Carrie Wisen – 3.30.02-5.10.02
14 – Steffany Stenglein – 3.9.05-4.22.05
10 – Brittney Bargar – 3.22.07-4.19.07