Kellie Middleton earned her second BIG EAST Player of the Week award on Monday, May 2, after driving in seven runs in conference play over the weekend.

Middleton Named BIG EAST Player Of Week

May. 2, 2005

Junior Kellie Middleton was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week for the second time this season on Monday, May 2, as she led the University of Notre Dame softball team to a 4-1 week by driving in a team-high seven runs. Middleton, a native of Norcross, Ga., scored the game-winning run against #15 Northwestern on Tuesday, April 26, and drove in a career-high five RBI against Syracuse in game one on Sunday.

She was previously named the BIG EAST Player of the Week on March 14. Middleton shared this week’s honor with Pittsburgh’s Heather Connor.

BIG EAST Standings Update: Notre Dame (14-2), Seton Hall (15-3) and Syracuse (11-7) have secured spots in the BIG EAST Championship … the Irish still have a shot at the regular-season title, as the team will make up its rained out doubleheader with Rutgers (previously scheduled on April 2) on Saturday, May 7, at 12 noon … if Notre Dame wins both games, it will have sole possession of first place and claim the BIG EAST regular-season title (the 10th consecutive for the program since it joined the league in 1996) and the number one seed in the BIG EAST tournament … the league standings award two points for a victory and one point for a tie (a very rare occurrence) … two victories over Rutgers (1-13 in conference play and 5-41 overall this season) on Saturday would give the Irish 32 points in the league – and push them past Seton Hall (15-3, 30 points, regular-season complete) … a split in the doubleheader with Rutgers would match up Notre Dame and Seton Hall’s regular-season record at 15-3 … Notre Dame would hold all the tiebreakers for the number one seed in the BIG EAST Championship, as the Irish swept Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Villanova this season … the first tiebreaker is a team’s record against the third-place team, which will be either Syracuse or Pittsburgh … the Irish swept both those teams this season, while Seton Hall split with the Orange … if Pittsburgh catches Syracuse in the standings (it has a possible four league games remaining), then the tiebreaker is still the Orange, as both Notre Dame and Seton Hall swept Pittsburgh this season.

Fourth seed in BIG EAST Championship to be decided between three teams: Syracuse has secured itself a spot in the BIG EAST Championship, but its position is not assured … Pittsburgh will play at Villanova on Friday, May 6 … a Panther sweep of the Wildcats will force a Pittsburgh – St. John’s doubleheader to be played on Sunday, May 8 … if Pitt is able to sweep both doubleheaders, it will move ahead of Syracuse in the league standings with 24 points … if Pitt splits at Villanova, they will lock up the fourth spot in the standings, as they hold the advantage over VU because the Pittsburgh swept Syracuse and the Wildcats split with the Orange … Villanova will earn the fourth spot with a sweep of the Syracuse because, although the Panthers could get to 20 points with a sweep of St. John’s, Villanova would hold the advantage over Pittsburgh because of the head-to-head sweep on Friday.

The BIG EAST Championship scenarios:

Notre Dame at Rutgers, Saturday, May 7, 12 noon

Notre Dame sweeps Rutgers – #1 Notre Dame, #2 Seton Hall

Notre Dame splits with Rutgers – #1 Notre Dame, #2 Seton Hall (via tiebreakers)

Notre Dame is swept by Rutgers – #1 Seton Hall, #2 Notre Dame

* Only Notre Dame and Seton Hall have a shot at the #1 and #2 seeds

Pittsburgh at Villanova, Friday, May 6, 12 noon

Pittsburgh sweeps Villanova – Pittsburgh assures at least the #4 seed, will need to play St. John’s on Sunday, May 8, with a shot at the #3 seed.

Pittsburgh and Villanova split – Pittsburgh earns the #4 seed and cannot improve that spot, as two wins vs. St. John’s will only tie them with Syracuse and Syracuse holds the tiebreaker.

Villanova sweeps Pittsburgh – Villanova earns the #4 seed by virtue of its sweep and gives them a tiebreaker advantage over Pittsburgh.

BIG EAST Championship Information: The City of South Bend, Ind., will play host to the 2005 BIG EAST Championship at the Belleville Complex on the west side of town … tickets for the three-day tournament, which will begin on Thursday, May 12, are on sale at the Joyce Center ticket windows, can be ordered on (click on the tickets link) and by calling 574-631-7356. BIG EAST Championship Schedule (double elimination):

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Game One: #1 seed vs. #4 seed, 5 p.m.

Game Two: #2 seed vs. #3 seed, 7 p.m.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Game Three: Winner Game One vs. Winner Game Two, 3 p.m.

Game Four: Loser Game One vs. Loser Game Two, 5 p.m.

Game Five: Loser Game Three vs. Winner Game Four, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Game Six: Winner Game Three vs. Winner Game Five, 1 p.m.

Game Seven: Same Two Teams If Necessary, 3 p.m.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Rain Date