April 5, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team opens its BIG EAST Conference home schedule this weekend with a three-game series against Villanova inside Melissa Cook Stadium. The teams are set to meet in a noon doubleheader Saturday before closing with an 11 a.m. first pitch on Sunday.
The Irish (24-8, 5-0 BIG EAST) look to remain unbeaten in BIG EAST play after sweeping Georgetown in a midweek doubleheader Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Notre Dame defeated the Hoyas 8-2 and 15-3 to claim solo first place in the conference standings.
Villanova (12-17, 0-6 BIG EAST) has not beaten the Irish since April 13, 2008 in the first game ever contested at Melissa Cook Stadium (4-1 Wildcats win). Notre Dame owns a 41-4 edge in the all-time series between the teams, including a 35-3 during BIG EAST regular season matchups.
Fans can follow live stats for all games via by visiting UND.com. Live video will also be available through the Notre Dame Athletics YouTube page.
Notre Dame vs. Villanova
Melissa Cook Stadium
Notre Dame, Ind.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(24-8 overall, 5-0 BIG EAST)
(12-17 overall, 0-6 BIG EAST; ND leads all-time series 41-4, 35-3 in the BIG EAST)
IRISH SLAP HITS
– Notre Dame opens its 2013 BIG EAST Conference home slate with three contests against Villanova this weekend at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish are scheduled to play a total of 11 conference games at home this season.
– Notre Dame claimed the top spot in the BIG EAST standings with a midweek sweep of Georgetown, taking an 8-2 and 15-3 decision Wednesday at Guy Mason Field in Washington, D.C. The Irish outhit the Hoyas 32-8 and had more RBI (20-5), total bases (41-14), stolen bases (5-0), a higher slugging percentage (.594-.280) and on-base percentage (.519-.192) in the two-game series.
– With its 8-2 game one win Wednesday at Georgetown, Notre Dame won the 1,000th game in program history. In 25 seasons of competition, the Irish are a combined 1,001-446-3 (.691).
– For the second straight week, Emilee Koerner claimed the number one slot in individual batting average in the NCAA national statistics rankings. Koerner is currently hitting at a .538 clip. She also ranks fifth in slugging percentage (.971), sixth in doubles per game (0.47) and 11th in on-base percentage (.574) amongst Division I peers entering the week.
– Notre Dame leads the BIG EAST Conference in team batting average (.328), slugging percentage (.521), triples (8) and stolen bases (53 on 62 attempts). The Irish rank second in on-base percentage (.393), runs (195), hits (290), RBI (172), doubles (56), home runs (33) and batters struck out (244).
– The Irish have not lost the first BIG EAST home series of the season since dropping both games of a doubleheader to Boston College on April 4, 1997. Notre Dame has only been swept in a home opening series twice in its history.
– Amy Buntin has reached base in a team-high 12 consecutive games. The 2012 All-American is batting .484 (15-for-31) with one home run, 13 RBI and 12 runs scored in her last 12 starts. Buntin’s on-base percentage of .538 ranks second on the team during the stretch (Emilee Koerner, .667).
Notre Dame’s 8-2 victory over Georgetown in game one Wednesday was the 1,000th win in program history. The Irish needed only 1,449 games to reach the milestone, and have a .691 all-time winning percentage (1,001-446-3).
Head coaches Brian Boulac (1989-92, 135-90-2), Liz Miller (1993-01, 377-156) and Deanna Gumpf (2002-present, 489-200-1) have been credited with all 1,001 team wins. Notre Dame has averaged just over 40 wins per season (40.04) during its 25-year history.
Sultanas Of Swing
The Irish enter the weekend ranked second in the BIG EAST with 33 team home runs. The top two Notre Dame power hitters this season, Laura Winter and Emilee Koerner, have both enjoyed a long ball surge not previously seen in their careers.
Winter, who did not hit a home run in her first 84 career at-bats, has smashed a team-high nine homers in her past 62 official at-bats. The junior pitcher is slugging a career-best .829 this season.
Koerner left the yard only twice in 150 at-bats as a freshman in 2012, but has already hit eight home runs in 117 trips to the plate this season.
Multiple Hit Machines
Thirteen different players have combined for 68 multi-hit games during Notre Dame’s 24-8 start this season. Emilee Koerner has accounted for 17 multi-hit outputs to lead the team, followed by the 10 of Jenna Simon.
Notre Dame players have logged four hits in a game one time (Koerner, Seton Hall, March 24) and three hits on 22 occasions. Conversely, opposing players have only managed three-hit individual performances against Irish pitching five times in 2013.
Irish At Home In Conference Play
Notre Dame is 136-24 (.850) in conference home games since joining the BIG EAST in 1996. The Irish have compiled a 94-18 mark at home in conference play under head coach Deanna Gumpf.
Notre Dame has logged a 43-9 mark in BIG EAST games played inside Melissa Cook Stadium, including perfect records during the 2010 (10-0) and 2011 (11-0) seasons.
Irish With Edge Over The Cats
Notre Dame is 41-4 all-time against Villanova, including a 35-3 mark in BIG EAST competition, and has won the last eight meetings between the teams. The Irish are 17-3 against the Wildcats on the Notre Dame campus.
The schools have not played one another since Notre Dame swept a doubleheader April 21, 2011 at Villanova (2-1 and 10-8). Heather Johnson and Alexa Maldonado each hit home runs during the two-game sweep, while Johnson finished with a team-high five RBI.
Laura Winter allowed one earned run in eight total innings of work in the circle, striking out 10 batters.
Gumpf Nearing 500
Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf is 11 wins away from becoming the first Notre Dame softball head coach to record 500 career victories (489-200-1, .709).
Gumpf’s squads have averaged nearly 41 wins (40.75) per season during her 12-year tenure at the helm of the Irish, and have won seven BIG EAST regular season and four tournament championships during that span.