A much improved Kristina Wright is currently ranked eighth among BIG EAST players with a .627 slugging pct.

Notre Dame Looks Ahead To Weekend Series With Rutgers

March 31, 2010

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The second three-game BIG EAST Conference softball series of the 2010 season gets underway Thursday (April 1) when Rutgers comes to town for one game beginning at 6 p.m. (ET), followed by an 11 a.m. doubleheader on Saturday (April 3) against No. 24 Notre Dame. Notre Dame looks to get back into the win column on its home turf at Melissa Cook Stadium after dropping a midweek contest at Loyola-Chicago, snapping an 11-game win streak.

Live video, audio and 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 video / audio / stats / chat / text alerts: UND.com
Notre Dame Athletics Twitter: @und_com
In-game Twitter: @ndsoftball
Tickets: 574.631.7356

No. 24 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(24-6 overall / 3-0 BIG EAST)
[und.com – bigeast.org]

Rutgers Scarlet Knights
(12-15 overall / 0-0 BIG EAST)
[scarletknights.com – bigeast.org]

Thursday, April 1 – 6:00 p.m. (ET)
Saturday, April 3 – 11:00 a.m. / 1:00 p.m.
Melissa Cook Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.

Series: Notre Dame, 26-7 (25-6 BIG EAST)
Series streak: Notre Dame, W2
First meeting: March 30, 1996 – Notre Dame, 15-0
Last meeting: April 19, 2009 – Notre Dame, 4-3

One-Hitters …
– 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 23 of its last 25 contests.
– The defending BIG EAST Tournament champions are 228-43 (.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.
– Notre Dame (3-0) is one of two BIG EAST teams with a perfect league record (Providence is 2-0) … this will be Rutgers’ BIG EAST opening series.

Numbers Don’t Lie …
Here is how Notre Dame ranked nationally and among the BIG EAST heading into the eighth week of the season – [national rank] (BIG EAST rank):

Team[1st] (1st) - Batting average - .351[4th] (1st) - Slugging pct. - .599(1st) - On-base pct. - .412[11th] (1st) - Runs scored - 198(1st) - Hits - 268(1st) - RBI - 185[17th] (2nd) - Doubles - 45[4th] (1st) - Triples - 15[17th] (1st) - Home runs - 38(1st) - Stolen bases - 43[42nd) (2nd) - ERA - 2.10(1st) - Opposing batting avg. - .183[15th] (1st) - Wins - 24(1st) - Hits allowed - 122(1st) - Runs allowed - 59(2nd) - Earned runs allowed - 55(2nd) - Doubles allowed - 17(1st) - Triples allowed - 1[3rd] (1st) - Fielding pct. - .978
Sadie Pitzenberger[36th] (4th) - Batting average - .433(7th) - Slugging pct. - .639[44th] (3rd) - Runs scored - 29(2nd) - Hits - 42(t-4th) - Doubles - 8[2nd] (1st) - Triples - 6(4th) - Total bases - 62[11th] - Toughest to strikeout - 32.3
Heather Johnson(5th) - Batting average - .400[28th] (2nd) - Slugging pct. - .812(5th) - Hits - 34[28th] (3rd) - RBI - 32[19th] (t-1st) - Home runs - 10(2nd) - Total bases - 92
Christine Lux(3rd) - Slugging pct. - .759(t-5th) - Runs scored - 24[21st] (2nd) - RBI - 33[28th] (3rd) - Home runs - 9(5th) - Total bases - 60[18th] (t-1st) - Sacrifice flies - 3
Kristina Wright(9th) - Batting average - .373(8th) - Slugging pct. - .627
Katie Fleury(10th) - Batting average - .370(10th) - Slugging pct. - .593(9th) - On-base pct. - .475[41st] (2nd) - Runs scored - 30(t-8th) - Doubles - 7(t-8th) - Total bases - 48(t-6th) - Walks - 16(t-5th) - Stolen bases - 10
Alexa Maldonado[11th] (2nd) - Triples - 4(t-10th) - Total bases - 45
Jody Valdivia(1st) - ERA - 1.65(2nd) - Opposing batting avg. - .171(1st) - Innings pitched - 122.2[25th] (1st) - Strikeouts - 155[2nd] (1st) - Wins - 18(1st) - Games started - 21
Brittany O'Donnell(5th) - ERA - 2.15(1st) - Opposing batting avg. - .168

Irish Crack Top 25 …
After receiving votes for the bulk of the 2010 softball season, Notre Dame was ranked 24th in the March 39 NFCA Top 25 Poll … the Irish were last ranked (25th) in the final 2009 regular season poll, the first time the program ended a season in the top 25 since 2002 … Notre Dame was the only team to join the poll, replacing No. 25 Baylor, who dropped out of the rankings but still received votes.

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.

Sadie Streaks To Record …
Sadie Pitzenberger is on a 25-game hitting streak … 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.

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 17 jams (Jackie Bowe – 3, Jody Valdivia – 11).