April 7, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – No. 23 Notre Dame puts its perfect home record on the line this weekend when USF comes to town for a three-game BIG EAST Conference series. The Irish have won each of their six home games in 2010 and are 5-0 against league opponents.
Saturday’s doubleheader will be Notre Dame’s Strikeout Cancer Day, as the team will be raising money to benefit liver cancer research. Donations will go directly to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. The Irish players will be wearing commemorative blue and pink jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game.
CBS College Sports will televise the first game of Saturday’s twinbill starting at 12 p.m. (ET), with Tom Hart (play-by-play) and Ann Schatz (color) providing commentary.
Live stats will be available at UND.com. Additionally, UND.com will host a live chat throughout each of this weekend’s three games.
For up-to-the-minute scores and results, sign up for IRISH ALERTS text-messaging services at UND.com. In-game updates can be accessed at twitter.com/NDSoftball.
Live stats / chat / text alerts: UND.com
Notre Dame Athletics Twitter: @und_com
In-game Twitter: @ndsoftball
Saturday, April 10 – 12:00 p.m. (ET)
(CBS College Sports – PxP: Tom Hart, Color: Ann Schatz)
Saturday, April 10 – 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 11 – 12:00 p.m.
Melissa Cook Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
No. 23 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(26-6 overall / 5-0 BIG EAST)
[und.com – bigeast.org]
(18-16 overall / 3-0 BIG EAST)
[gousfbulls.com – bigeast.org]
Series: USF leads, 10-7 (5-3 BIG EAST)
Series streak: Notre Dame, W2
First meeting: March 26, 1993 – USF, 3-2 (8)
Last meeting: March 29, 2009 – Notre Dame, 6-4
One-Hitters … – Notre Dame (5-0) is one of two BIG EAST teams with a perfect league record (USF is 3-0).
– Notre Dame saw its 11-game winning streak snapped with an 8-0 loss at Loyola-Chicago (March 30) … it was the second shutout loss of the season, with the first coming against No. 1 Washington (Feb. 14) at the season-opening Kajikawa Classic … the Irish posted a 12-game winning streak earlier this season that was snapped with a 2-1 loss to San Diego (March 12) … the team has won 25 of its last 27 contests, responding to the Loyola-Chicago loss with a pair of 8-0 wins against Rutgers last week.
– The defending BIG EAST Tournament champions are 231-43 (.841) in regular season league play … now in their 15th season of BIG EAST competition, the Irish have won 10 regular season league titles (last in 2006) and six tournament titles.
Numbers Don’t Lie … Here is how Notre Dame ranked nationally and among the BIG EAST heading into the ninth week of the season – [national rank] (BIG EAST rank):
Team (1) - Batting avg. (.350) (1) - Fielding pct. (.979) (1) - Slugging pct. (.600)(1) - On-base pct. (.411)(1) - Runs scored (214)(1) - Hits (289)(1) - RBI (200)(1) - Triples (15)(1) - Home runs (42)(1) - Total bases (496)(1) - Opposing batting avg. (.189)(1) - Wins (26)(1) - Hits allowed (138)(1) - Runs allowed (67)(1) - Doubles allowed (18)(1) - Triples allowed (1)(2) - Doubles (51)(2) - Sacrifice Flies (9)(2) - Stolen Bases (48)(2) - Batters struck out (237) - Triples / game (0.47) - Scoring (6.69 runs/game) - W/L Pct. (.813) - Home runs / game (1.31) - Doubles / game (1.59) (2) - ERA (2.21) - Stolen bases / game (1.50)
Jody Valdivia (1) - Victories (20)(1) - Innings pitched (138.2)(2) - Opposing batting avg. (.180) - Shutouts (10) (1) - Strikeouts (173) - Hits allowed / 7 inn. (4.54) - Strikeouts / 7 inn. (8.7) (2) - ERA (1.72)
Brittany O'Donnell(1) - Opposing batting avg. (.170)(1) - Hits allowed (25)(1) - Runs allowed (17)(1) - Earned runs allowed (15)(1) - Doubles allowed (3)
Sadie Pitzenberger (1) - Triples (6.0)(2) - Hits (44)(3) - Runs scored (30)(4) - Doubles (9) - Triples / game (0.19)(5) - Total bases (65)(6) - Slugging pct. (.625) (3) - Batting avg. (.423) - Runs / game (0.94) - Toughest to strikeout (26.0)
Christine Lux(1) - Sacrifice flies (3)(2) - Home runs (10)(3) - RBI (35)(4) - Total bases (66)(4) - Runs scored (66) - RBI / game (1.09) - Home runs (10) - Home runs / game (0.31) (3) - Slugging pct. (.767)
Heather Johnson(1) - RBI (36)(2) - Home runs (10)(2) - Total bases (73)(6) - Batting avg. (.394)(5) - Hits (37) - RBI / game (1.13) - Home runs (10) (2) - Slugging pct. (.777) - Home runs / game (0.31)
Katie Fleury(2) - Run scored (32)(4) - On-base pct. (.486)(7) - Batting avg. (.384)(7) - Walks (18)(9) - Total bases (52)(9) - Slugging pct. (.605) - Runs / game (1.0) (2) - Sacrifice hits / game (0.25)
Alexa Maldonado (2) - Triples / game (0.13)
Kristina Wright(10) - Slugging pct. (.600)
Irish Stay In Top 25 …
After receiving votes for the bulk of the 2010 softball season, Notre Dame was ranked 24th in the NFCA Top 25 Poll released March 29 … despite losing to Loyola-Chicago (March 30) and taking two games from Rutgers (April 1-3), Notre Dame moved up a spot in the latest poll (April 6) to No. 23 … the Irish were ranked 25th in the final 2009 regular season poll, the first time the program ended a season in the top 25 since 2002.
On a Series Note …
Notre Dame is 0-2 at home against USF … this will be the first time the two teams have met in Melissa Cook Stadium (previous two matchups were played at Ivy Field) … Notre Dame posted its first ever sweep over the Bulls last year in Tampa … before the sweep, USF had won five straight in the series.
Ahead of Schedule …
Notre Dame belted a school-record 66 home runs in 2009 … through 32 games, the 2009 team had 32 home runs … thus far in 2010, Notre Dame has hit 42 home runs in 32 games … what makes the current home run total more remarkable is that fact that Notre Dame has gone homerless in 11 games, also experiencing a pair of three-game stretches without a dinger.
All Good Things Come To An End …
Sadie Pitzenberger saw her 26-game hitting streak (Feb. 20-April 1) come to and end in the series finale with Rutgers … she broke the school record with a single in her second at-bat in the first of two games at Seton Hall on March 27 … Dani Miller held the previous record (21) and accomplished the feat as a freshman in 2009 … coming off a pair of knee injuries that sidelined her for much of her freshman and sophomore seasons, Pitzenberger was used primarily as the lineup’s designated player early in the season and became a fixture in the outfield during the Southern Miss Mizuno Classic (Feb. 20-21) … in fact, the hitting streak began with her first defensive start against Louisiana Tech (Feb. 20) … over the course of the 26-game streak, Pitzenberger was good for 43 hits (nine doubles, six triples), 30 runs (scored at least once in all but five games) and 17 RBI in 94 at-bats … amazingly, she struck out only once … Pitzenberger posted a .469 on-base percentage and a .681 slugging pct. with a .457 batting average during the jaunt … furthermore, Pitzenberger was not walked once during the streak and has not been walked at all this season … she has gone 191 plate appearances since her last true walk (and 120 at-bats since her last walk of any type – two intentional walks over that stretch).
Two Times Three …
Notre Dame kept its focus during a pair of rain delays and used three two-run home runs to help down Rutgers (April 3) by an 8-0 count in a game that lasted 5:25 … Notre Dame’s fourth home run, a solo blast by Alexia Clay, ended the game in unconventional walk-off fashion in the sixth inning … Notre Dame was out-hit by Rutgers, 6-5, as all but one of the Irish hits went for four bases … Christine Lux, Brianna Jorgensborg and Dani Miller each accounted for the two-run shots.
Wins On Top of Wins …
Jody Valdivia (20-3) ran her BIG EAST regular-season winning streak to 14 in her 10th complete-game shutout of the year against Rutgers (April 3), working around six hits and punching out five without a walk … since the beginning of the 2009 season, Valdivia is now 15-0 with a 1.34 ERA in BIG EAST play (including tournament games) … she is on pace to shatter the Notre Dame single-season records for both shutouts (15 by Terri Kobata in 1994) and wins (30 by Brittney Bargar in 2008).
Stay for a While …
Notre Dame is 6-0 at home this season including a pair of BIG EAST Conference wins … the Irish are hitting .418 on their home turf while posting a 1.00 ERA and holding opponents to a .198 hitting clip … Notre Dame has hit 13 doubles, four triples and 15 home runs in Melissa Cook Stadium, with six players boasting a slugging pct. over 1.000 … Notre Dame has outscored the opposition, 53-7, at home with four shutouts.
Stealing and Stolen …
Kelsey Thornton swiped her 10th bag (in 12 attempts) and scored in the third inning of game two versus Rutgers (April 3) … Katie Fleury (10 steals in 12 attempts) also has double-digit stolen bases for Notre Dame this season … no Irish player has stolen more than 10 bases in a season since 2007 (13 from Stephanie Brown).
Jorgensborg Is Back …
After beginning the season 1-for-22, Brianna Jorgensborg now has five hits and seven RBI in her last 11 at bats, including two doubles and one home run.
Junior Duo Sweep BIG EAST Weekly Awards For Second Time …
For the second time in three weeks, Notre Dame swept the BIG EAST Conference’s weekly softball awards (March 29) … Sadie Pitzenberger became the second repeat winner for the Player of the Week distinction and third-year starter Jody Valdivia earned her third Pitcher of the Week award this season (the only league hurler to earn the award multiple times) … Notre Dame won every game (7-0) for the week by at least four runs, winning five by nine or more … Pitzenberger set a Notre Dame record by extending her hitting streak to 24 games … her two triples on the week gave her six this season, which tied her for second in the nation … the outfielder added to her statistical totals with four doubles, 12 runs, 11 RBI and a stolen base while going 14-for-26 (.538) at the plate … six of her 14 hits went for extra bases … the final game of the week against Seton Hall (March 28) saw Pitzenberger go 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBI … Valdivia went 5-0 with three shutouts (two solo, one combined), including her first career no-hitter during Notre Dame’s BIG EAST opener at Seton Hall (March 27) … the junior extended her winning streak to 17 straight games and moved to 12-0 in her last 12 BIG EAST decisions … she struck out 32 batters in 26.0 innings with 20 of them coming in two starts against the Pirates.
Victories for Valdivia …
Similar to her sophomore campaign, Jody Valdivia shook off a relatively rough start to reel off win after win this season … Valdivia started 2009 with a 2-5 record (including four straight losses in her first four starts) but was victorious in each of her last 17 decisions … the 2010 season started with two losses in her first three outings, but Valdivia rallied to post 17 straight between defeats (Feb. 14 vs. No. 1 Washington – March 30 at Loyola-Chicago) … her 17-game winning streak this season tied her own second-best single-season mark in school history:
Single-Season Winning Streak22 - Kristin Schmidt - 3.2.01-5.5.0117 - Jody Valdivia - 2.14.10-3.30.1017 - Jody Valdivia - 3.18.09-5.15.0916 - Terri Kobata - 4.9.94-5.20.9416 - Jennifer Sharron - 3.28.01-5.5.0116 - Carrie Wisen - 3.30.02-5.10.0214 - Steffany Stenglein - 3.9.05-4.22.0510 - Brittney Bargar - 3.22.07-4.19.07
Three Century Marks …
Christine Lux became the sixth player in program history to record 100 hits, 100 runs and 100 RBI in a career after scoring her 100th run against Toledo (March 24) … after the doubleheader with the Rockets, Lux had 100 runs, 151 hits and 140 RBI … Katie Laing (’08) was the last Irish players to finish a career with the 100-100-100 accolade.
Hitting the Trifecta …
Three of Notre Dame’s four home runs in game two against Toledo (March 24) came in the fourth inning … Heather Johnson, Kristina Wright and Alexa Maldonado each homered for the Irish … it was the fourth time in school history that the Irish knocked three home runs in the same inning (each of the occurrences have been in the last three seasons) … it was the 10th multi-homer game of the season for Notre Dame.
Lux Named To Honor Roll …
Christine Lux hit her 39th career home run at Western Michigan (March 18), the first grand slam ever for the slugger … Lux accounted for five RBI against the Broncos, the sixth time she recorded 5+ RBI in a single contest in her career … she had two hits and scored twice in the contest … for her efforts, Lux was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll (March 22).
Welcome Home …
With the doubleheader sweep over Eastern Michigan (March 23) Notre Dame improved to 20-2 overall in home openers, winning its last 13 consecutive … the two losses came in 1992 and 1997 … it was the second true home opener at Melissa Cook Stadium, where the Irish are 2-0 in such contests … Notre Dame had 22 hits in the home-opening doubleheader with Eastern Michigan (March 23) … half of those hits went for extra bases – six doubles, four home runs and one triple.
Defending the Home Turf …
After playing the first 22 games of the season on the road, Notre Dame swept each of its first four home games at Melissa Cook Stadium … the Irish took two games from Eastern Michigan (March 23) and Toledo (March 24) … over that stretch, the Irish scored 37 runs on 42 hits … the team hit 11 home runs, eight doubles and four triples for a .938 slugging pct. … Notre Dame hit .433 as a team, stole 10 of 12 bases, and held opponents to a .200 batting average with a 1.46 ERA.
Gumpf Goes Eastbound for Milestones …
Deanna Gumpf coached her 500th game with the Irish against East Tennessee State (March 6), and won her 350th contest in the home opener with Eastern Michigan (March 23).
Space Jam …
Brittany O’Donnell escaped a pair of bases loaded jams against in game two versus Eastern Michigan (March 23) … it was the third time she has worked her way out of a juiced situation this season … in all, Notre Dame has escaped 19 jams (Jackie Bowe – 3, Jody Valdivia – 13).
We’ll Leave the Light On for Ya …
With the doubleheader sweep over Eastern Michigan (March 23) Notre Dame improved to 20-2 overall in home openers, winning its last 13 consecutive … the two losses came in 1992 and 1997 … it was the second true home opener at Melissa Cook Stadium, where the Irish are 2-0 in such contests … Notre Dame had 22 hits in the home-opening doubleheader … half of those hits went for extra bases – six doubles, four home runs and one triple.
Take Two …
Christine Lux tied the school record with her 36th career home run against Virginia (Feb. 27) and broke the mark one week later against East Tennessee State (March 6) at the UC Riverside Aten Construction Tournament … in the same game she became Notre Dame’s all-time leader in putouts (1,338) when she had an astounding 18 at first base.
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.
Double Dipping …
Notre Dame recorded at least 10 hits in each of its four games at the Cavalier Invite (Feb. 26-27) and extended the streak to seven games with double-digit outputs at each of the three games at the UC Riverside Aten Construction Tournament (March 6-7) … 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.
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.