March 27, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame softball team opens its 2013 home schedule Thursday when it welcomes Green Bay for a 5 p.m. first pitch inside Melissa Cook Stadium.
Notre Dame (22-7), winners of 18 of its last 20 games, are in a three-way tie for first place in the BIG EAST Conference with a 3-0 league record after sweeping Seton Hall last weekend.
The Irish are 4-3 all-time against Green Bay (5-12), and have won the last four meetings between the teams, sweeping a doubleheader at Ivy Field April 8, 1995 in the last clash between the schools.
Notre Dame is 22-2 in home openers, and has won all four of its season opening games at Melissa Cook Stadium since 2009. The Irish have not lost a home opening game overall since 2003.
Notre Dame vs. Green Bay
March 28, 2013
Melissa Cook Stadium
Notre Dame, Ind.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Green Bay Phoenix
(5-12 overall; ND leads all-time series 4-3)
IRISH SLAP HITS
– Notre Dame swept Seton Hall in its opening BIG EAST series of 2013 last weekend in South Orange, N.J. The Irish defeated the Pirates 10-2 and 10-1 in five innings Saturday before logging a second 10-2 victory in five frames Sunday.
– Notre Dame outscored Seton Hall 30-5 during the three-game set, batting a combined .380 for the weekend. The Irish have now defeated the Pirates 14 straight times dating back to 2006.
– Notre Dame’s next victory will be the 1,000th win in program history. Since the team’s first season of play in 1989, the Irish are a combined 999-445-3 (.691).
– Emilee Koerner earned the nod as BIG EAST Player of the Week for the second time this season after the most productive series of her career at Seton Hall. The Irish center fielder batted .900 (9-for-10) with two doubles, three home runs, five RBI, two stolen bases, a 2.000 slugging percentage, a .909 on-base percentage and seven runs scored out of the leadoff spot in the order. Koerner outscored Seton Hall 7-5 on her own during the three-game set. Laura Winter claimed BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll recognition for the second straight week after going 2-0 in the circle (1.75 ERA) and batting .556 with a career-high 12 RBI against the Pirates.
– Along with extending her team-high on-base streak to an impressive 29 games, Emilee Koerner claimed the number one slot in individual batting average in the NCAA national statistics rankings this week. Koerner is currently hitting at a .543 clip. She also ranked fifth in slugging percentage (1.011), seventh in on-base percentage (.583) and eighth in doubles per game (0.45) amongst Division I peers entering the week.
– Laura Winter set a career-high with six RBI in game two last Saturday against Seton Hall, finishing one run batted in from breaking the program record of seven held by Christine Lux (Eastern Michigan, 4/9/08 and Wisconsin, 4/29/10) and Meagan Ruthrauff (Pittsburgh, 4/9/06).
Home Sweet Home
After 29 games on the road to open the 2013 season, Thursday’s contest at Melissa Cook Stadium will be the home opener for Notre Dame.
The Irish are 4-0 in home openers at Melissa Cook Stadium since the 2009 campaign. Notre Dame is 80-13-1 all-time in games played at its home stadium.
Irish Offense On Fire
The Notre Dame order exploded during the three-game sweep of Seton Hall, securing five-inning run-rule victories in each contest.
The Irish held the advantage in batting average (.380-.241), runs scored (30-5), hits (30-14), RBI (25-5), total bases (56-27), slugging percentage (.709-.466), on-base percentage (.446-.267) and stolen bases (7-1).
Notre Dame leads all BIG EAST teams with 32 home runs, 48 stolen bases and a .516 slugging percentage.
Metrics Show Offensive Production
Hidden within Notre Dame’s .316 team batting average through its first 29 games is the squad’s efficiency in putting the softball back into play.
Using the batting average on balls in play formula (which excludes home runs and strikeouts), the Irish are hitting at a .339 clip, compared to a .281 average for opponents. Emilee Koerner leads all Notre Dame batters with a .545 BABIP.
Irish Reign In Home Openers
Notre Dame is a combined 22-2 all-time in home openers since the program was founded in 1989. The Irish have won their first home game in each season dating back to 2004.
The Rise Of The Phoenix
Notre Dame is 4-3 all-time against Green Bay, and has taken the last four decisions in the series between the teams.
The Irish and Phoenix have not met since April 8, 1995, when Notre Dame swept a doubleheader 3-0 and 9-0 over Green Bay at Ivy Field. The Irish hold an aggregate run advantage of 25-14 in the previous seven meetings between the teams.
Notre Dame is approaching a pair of key win totals that, at the team’s current pace, will be achieved during the 2013 season.
The Irish are a single victory away from earning the 1,000th win in program history. Notre Dame is 999-445-3 (.691) during its 25 years of existence.
Deanna Gumpf is also 13 wins away from becoming the first Irish softball head coach to record 500 career victories (487-199-1, .710).
Buntin For Senior CLASS
Captain Amy Buntin is one of 30 candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS AwardÂ®. Eligible student-athletes must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
The award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The 10 award finalists will be announced at the halfway mark of the regular season, at which time fans will have the opportunity to cast their vote to determine the winner.
Visit Amy’s candidate page at http://www.seniorclassaward.com/athletes/amy_buntin/.