NOTRE DAME, Indiana — RV/RV Notre Dame Softball will open its season Feb. 13-14 at the 2021 Stinger Classic, hosted by Alabama State (Montgomery, Ala.). The Irish will face North Alabama (12:30 p.m. ET) and No. 8 Alabama (5:30 p.m. ET) on Saturday and Alabama State (10 a.m. ET) on Sunday.
Previously slated to face Tennessee Tech, the addition of Alabama to Notre Dame’s schedule makes the Tide the sixth team that is ranked or receiving votes that the Irish are slated to face this season.
The tournament will mark the first time Notre Dame has taken the field against another team since March of 2020, as the 2019-20 season was cut short due to COVID-19. Notre Dame Softball enters 2021 as the No. 3 team in the ACC, as ranked by conference coaches in the preseason coaches poll. Additionally, graduate student infielder Katie Marino was named to the preseason All-ACC team, marking her second-consecutive season earning the distinction.
This weekend marks the first matchups in program history with both North Alabama and Alabama State. Notre Dame has faced Alabama five times before (0-5). The last meeting of the two teams was on March 4, 2011, in a 4-1 Tide win at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic (Kissimmee, Florida).
Head coach Deanna Gumpf enters her 20th season as Notre Dame’s head coach with 16 returners, including all starters from the 2019-20 season, and six freshmen. Marino and Chelsea Purcell both return for the Irish thanks to the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility granted to spring sport student-athletes in 2020. They are the first graduate students to suit up for Notre Dame Softball in program history.
Saturday, Feb. 13
- vs. North Alabama (12:30 p.m. ET)
- vs. Alabama (5:30 p.m. ET)
Sunday, Feb. 14
- at Alabama State (10 a.m. ET)
Live stream: https://www.youtube.com/user/AlabamaStAthletics
By the Numbers
1.09: P Alexis Holloway ranked second in the ACC with a 1.09 ERA in 2020. In total, Irish pitchers Holloway, Payton Tidd and Morgan Ryan combined for a 1.86 ERA last season, the third-best mark in the conference.
3: Notre Dame came in at No. 3 in the preseason ACC Coaches poll, with IF Katie Marino on the preseason All-ACC team. Of the top six teams in the ACC, Notre Dame is one, and will face the other five in the regular season.
3: Deanna Gumpf announced the selection of three captains for the 2021 season: Seniors IF Sarah Genz, P Alexis Holloway and OF Abby Sweet. Holloway and Sweet are the eighth and ninth two-time team captains in program history.
6: As the schedule stands for 2021, Notre Dame will face six teams that are ranked or receiving votes in the initial USA TODAY/NFCA poll: No. 8 Alabama, RV Liberty, No. 25 Duke, RV Clemson, No. 12 Florida State and No. 15 Virginia Tech.
16: The Irish return 16 veterans in 2021, including every starter from the 2019-20 season. They are joined by six freshmen.
68/1: In 2020, OF Abby Sweet was the toughest player to strike out in the ACC. Sweet struck out just once in 68 at-bats, and led the Irish with a .368 batting average and 21 RBI. She earned ACC Player of the Week on Feb. 25, 2020 for her play at the Mary Nutter Classic (10 hits, six runs, eight RBI, a home run and a .850 slugging percentage).
750: Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf posted her 750th career win on Feb. 28, 2020, in a 6-2 victory over Duke. Gumpf joined former Notre Dame women’s basketball head coach Muffet McGraw as the only coaches in Notre Dame history to achieve the feat.