March 20, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Riding a two-game winning streak into its first home conference series of the season, the University of Notre Dame softball team will look to keep the momentum rolling in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play. The Irish welcome Georgia Tech to Melissa Cook Stadium for the first time this weekend for a three-game ACC set.
No. RV Notre Dame (16-11, 1-5 ACC) and Georgia Tech (11-16, 4-5 ACC) will square off in a Saturday doubleheader to open the series, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. (ET). Sunday’s series finale is expected to begin at noon (ET).
Live stats for this weekend’s series between Notre Dame and Georgia Tech will be available via CBS Gametracker. A live broadcast of each game will also be provided via WatchND.
Notre Dame opens its second season as a member of the ACC looking for its third conference series victory at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish swept Maryland (April 27-28) and Boston College (May 3-4) last season in conference play, splitting one game with Florida State and North Carolina State during their inaugural season as an ACC member.
Entering this weekend, Notre Dame has won eight straight games overall at Melissa Cook Stadium dating back to a 7-2 defeat of Valparaiso on April 24, 2014. The Irish have outscored opponents 70-23 in that span.
Georgia Tech will try to become the first visiting team to defeat Notre Dame in a home conference opener since 2009, when St. John’s edged the Irish 4-3 on March 22 of that season. Notre Dame went on to win eight of its next nine BIG EAST Conference games following that setback.
Reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week Rachel Nasland (8-6, 2.69 ERA) looks to keep her recent surge in conference play rolling after tossing the 35th solo no-hitter (42nd overall) in Notre Dame history last Sunday in a 12-0 win in five innings over No. 9/10 Florida State. Nasland is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in her last two conference starts after limiting Florida State to three earned runs and a .128 batting average against in 11.2 innings pitched last weekend.
Sophomore All-American Karley Wester reached base in five of her first six ACC starts this season, and leads all Irish hitters with a .450 batting average in conference play. Wester has contributed three multi-hit games, three stolen bases and four runs scored over her first six league games in 2015. Senior Cassidy Whidden has added a team-high five ACC RBI, while senior co-captain and two-time All-American Emilee Koerner has logged three extra base hits and matched Wester’s total of four runs scored.
For the latest news and updates on all things Notre Dame softball, visit www.und.com/softball, follow the Irish @NDsoftball and @NDcoachGumpf on Twitter and at Instagram.com/notredamesoftball, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.
No. RV Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech
March 21-22, 2015
Melissa Cook Stadium
Notre Dame, Ind.
No. RV Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(16-11, 1-5 ACC in 2015)
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
(11-16, 4-5 ACC in 2015)
Notre Dame Softball Weekend Schedule
Sunday, March 22
IRISH SLAP HITS
– Notre Dame improved to 16-11 this season with its second straight victory, an 8-4 decision over Cleveland State on opening day at Melissa Cook Stadium Wednesday. The Irish are now 6-1 (.857) in home openers since their first full season in Melissa Cook Stadium in 2009.
– Notre Dame closed a Spring Break schedule that featured eight games in eight days with a 12-0 win in five innings over No. 9/10 Florida State last Sunday in Tallahassee, Florida. It was the first Irish win at JoAnne Graf Field, and the program’s largest margin of victory ever versus a top 10 foe.
– Sophomore pitcher Rachel Nasland spun the 35th solo no-hitter (42nd overall) in Notre Dame program history in the Sunday win over Florida State. Nasland yielded only a pair of walks to the Seminoles during the no-hitter, striking out four batters on 61 pitches.
– Nasland was selected as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season after posting a 2-1 record last week. Over 18.2 innings pitched, Nasland limited opponents to 10 hits (a cumulative .154 average against), walked six and struck out 18 batters.
– Notre Dame is in search of its third home ACC series win during its second season as a conference member this weekend against Georgia Tech. The Irish swept Maryland (April 27-28) and Boston College (May 3-4) last season in three-game home series at Melissa Cook Stadium on their way to a 16-5 conference record and a runner-up finish in the ACC standings.
– Notre Dame improved to 14-2 (.875) this season when outhitting the opposition, including a perfect 8-0 when posting 10 or more hits, with the 8-4 win over Cleveland State on Wednesday.
– Irish softball is one of only two Notre Dame varsity athletic programs to have never posted a losing record. The softball team has completed its first 26 seasons with a .500 record or above in each campaign. Notre Dame’s three-time national champion women’s soccer program has posted 27 straight winning seasons since its inception at the varsity level in the fall of 1988.
On This Date…
Notre Dame is a combined 1-1 (.500) all-time in games played on March 21 of a given season. The Irish have not played a game on the date since Brian Boulac led his squad to a split against Indiana State (2-1 win) and Ball State (4-3 loss in nine innings) on March 21, 1992.
Notre Dame has added a 5-2 (.714) mark on March 22, the date of the Sunday series finale against Georgia Tech.
Nasland’s No-No (K)Nocks Off Noles
ACC Pitcher of the Week Rachel Nasland threw the 35th solo no-hitter (42nd overall) in program history to power Notre Dame to a 12-0 conference win over No. 9/10 Florida State in five innings last Sunday at JoAnne Graf Field in Tallahassee, Florida.
Only two batters reached by way of a walk in Sunday’s series finale as Nasland struck out four Seminole batters, forced seven fly ball outs and grounded out four Florida State hitters to secure Notre Dame’s first no-hitter against a top 10 opponent.
In fact, Nasland retired 30 of the final 35 batters she faced during her two outings against the prolific hitting Seminoles this past weekend in the marquee ACC series.
Irish Dominant In Nonconference Play At The Cooker
Notre Dame’s 8-4 win over Cleveland State on Wednesday at Melissa Cook Stadium was the seventh straight home nonconference win for the Irish dating back to the 2013 season. Notre Dame has outscored nonleague home opponents a combined 71-21 in that span.
Multiple Hits Key Irish Offense
Through 27 games this season, the Notre Dame offense is batting at an even .300 clip with 139 runs (5.15 runs per game) scored on 218 total hits. A main catalyst for the Irish attack has been player proficiency in picking up multiple hits during the course of games.
Notre Dame batters have combined for 55 multi-hit outings thus far in 2015, an average of just over two players each game logging two or more hits. Sophomore All-American Karley Wester leads all Irish hitters with 15 multi-hit games, including four three-hit contests, while senior Katey Haus has added 10 multi-hit outings (three games with three hits).
Whidden Rakes The Yard
Ever since leaving the second game of Notre Dame’s opening ACC series at North Carolina State (March 7) due to injury, senior catcher Cassidy Whidden has found new life on offense during her team-best seven-game streak of reaching base safely.
In her past seven starts, Whidden is second on the Irish roster with an even .400 batting average (6-for-15) and two doubles, two home runs, six RBI, two stolen bases and six runs scored. Whidden has also worked five walks and been hit by a pitch, pushing her on-base percentage to a phenomenal .545 over her past 22 plate appearances.
Reed Rolling At The Dish For ND
After working back into the Notre Dame lineup following a weeklong absence, freshman Morgan Reed has emerged as a breakout performer in the Irish order. Reed’s past four games at the plate have showcased average, power and patience from the Maylene, Alabama native.
Since returning to the Notre Dame order against Florida State, Reed is batting a cumulative .417 with a home run, four RBI and three runs scored in her last four starts. Reed’s first career home run, a three-run shot during a six-run third inning at Florida State last Sunday, led the Irish newcomer to a career-high four RBI in a 12-0 rout of the top 10 ranked Seminoles.
Reed is tied for third on the Notre Dame roster in both batting average (.310) and on-base percentage (.420) through 24 games (17 starts) of her freshman season.
The First Inning Belongs To The Irish
It has been a rare occurrence on the offensive end of the diamond this season for the Notre Dame lineup to waste any time in scoring runs. In fact, the first inning has been the most prolific of all in terms of Irish run production.
During the season’s first 27 games, Notre Dame has outscored opponents by a combined 34-16 aggregate run total in the first inning. The next closest inning in terms of cumulative output for the Irish would be the team’s 25 total runs posted in the third inning.
Gumpf Establishes New Wins Mark
Head coach Deanna Gumpf became the winningest “diamond” mentor in Notre Dame history with career victory 559 against No. 20 Missouri on Feb. 27, surpassing longtime baseball skipper Jake Kline (1934-75). Gumpf has since extended her career total to 565 victories, an average of more than 40 wins per season, in her 14th season at the helm of the Irish.
Irish In The ACC
Notre Dame officially opened its second season in the ACC at North Carolina State on March 7. Taking into account all prior games, including those before joining the league, the Irish are a combined 130-45 (.743) against the current ACC membership.
Irish Against The Opposition
Notre Dame is 6-1 (.857) all-time against Georgia Tech entering this weekend’s ACC series at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish took two of three games against the Yellow Jackets last season in Atlanta.