March 31, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The season’s first homestand for the University of Notre Dame softball team finally winds to a close on Wednesday, when the Irish welcome Eastern Michigan to Melissa Cook Stadium for a 4 p.m. (ET) nonconference matchup. Live stats will be available via , with a live video stream provided free of charge on WatchND.
No. RV Notre Dame (23-11) enters the contest winners of nine consecutive games, including the first eight times it has stepped foot on the Melissa Cook Stadium diamond in 2015. The Irish have completed two straight Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sweeps at home, downing Georgia Tech on March 21-22 before taking all three games from No. 24 Virginia Tech last weekend.
Notre Dame and Eastern Michigan will meet for the 19th time in series history on Wednesday, with the Irish holding a 16-2 (.889) all-time edge over the Eagles. The Irish have won 16 of the last 17 meetings overall between the teams after Eastern Michigan clawed out a 5-4 win in game one of a doubleheader against Notre Dame on April 5, 1999 at Ivy Field.
Then No. 24/25 Notre Dame opened last season’s home schedule against Eastern Michigan, and the Irish emerged with a 12-2 win in five innings at Melissa Cook Stadium on March 26, 2014. Seven different Notre Dame players logged at least one hit during the contest to help erase an early 2-0 deficit, which featured an eight-run bottom of the third inning for the Irish offense.
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No. RV Notre Dame vs. Eastern Michigan
April 1, 2015
Melissa Cook Stadium
Notre Dame, Ind.
No. RV Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(23-11 in 2015)
Eastern Michigan Eagles
(8-18 in 2015)
Notre Dame Midweek Schedule
Wednesday, April 1
IRISH SLAP HITS
Â· Notre Dame improved to 23-11 this season with its ninth straight victory, an 11-1 win in five innings over No. 24 Virginia Tech on Sunday at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish have now won 15 straight games at home dating back to a 7-2 victory over Valparaiso on April 24, 2014.
Â· During its current nine-game winning streak, Notre Dame has outscored opponents by a combined margin of 72-7. The Irish have won four of those nine decisions by way of run-rule.
Â· Sophomore pitcher Rachel Nasland further added to her breakout season on Monday by being named the ACC Pitcher of the Week for the third straight time (fourth time overall in 2015). Nasland previously earned her first career league pitcher of the week honor on Feb. 24 before receiving the recognition twice more on March 16 and March 23.
Â· Nasland ran her consecutive wins streak to six straight decisions with a 2-0 weekend and 0.50 ERA in the Notre Dame circle against No. 24 Virginia Tech at Melissa Cook Stadium. Nasland surrendered one run, on a wild pitch, over 14 full innings, scattering eight hits to Virginia Tech hitters. She walked two and struck out 14 Hokies batters in a pair of complete game efforts, including her fifth shutout of 2015.
Â· Notre Dame exploded on offense during its past nine games, batting a cumulative .392 with 89 hits (including 18 doubles, one triple and seven home runs), 61 RBI, a team .573 slugging percentage, a team .456 on-base percentage, 16 stolen bases and 72 runs scored.
Â· 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 17-5 (.773) all-time in games played on April 1 of a given season. The Irish have won 14 of the last 15 games they have played on the date since sweeping Seton Hall 6-3 and 10-2 in a BIG EAST Conference doubleheader at Ivy Field in 2001.
Irish Roll Off Ninth Straight W
A total of 23 team hits and a masterful pitching performance carried upward trending Notre Dame to a 6-1 win and an 11-1 victory in five innings over No. 24 Virginia Tech last Sunday at Melissa Cook Stadium.
Along with Saturday’s 2-0 shutout of the Hokies in the series-opening contest, Notre Dame officially claimed its second straight ACC sweep after taking three games from Georgia Tech on March 21-22. The Irish also ran their overall winning streak to nine games dating back to a 12-0 decision in five innings at No. 9/10 Florida State on March 15, and have now won eight games over top 25 opponents thus far in 2015.
Notre Dame closed the three-game set against Virginia Tech with a sizable 31-11 hits edge, including a remarkable 28 singles. The Irish also improved to 21-2 (.913) this season when outhitting opponents, including a perfect 11-0 when posting 10 or more hits in a contest, after Sunday’s pair of wins.
Junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi was the Notre Dame leader with four hits on Sunday, scoring two runs. Freshman Sara White, junior Megan Sorlie, senior co-captain Jenna Simon and senior co-captain and two-time All-American Emilee Koerner each added three hits during the twin bill, with Koerner and Sorlie scoring a pair of runs. Senior Cassidy Whidden also contributed a home run and a team-high four RBI, while sophomore All-American Karley Wester successfully stole two bases.
An ACC POTW Three-Peat For Nasland
A strong sophomore season continued to roll for Notre Dame pitcher Rachel Nasland, as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) selected Nasland as the ACC Pitcher of the Week for the third straight time on Monday.
With her fourth ACC Pitcher of the Week award this season, Nasland surpassed 2014 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Lacey Waldrop of Florida State to take the lead among all ACC hurlers with four separate conference pitcher of the week citations thus far in 2015. Nasland previously earned her first career league pitcher of the week honor on Feb. 24 before receiving the recognition twice more on March 16 and March 23.
Nasland is undefeated in her last five ACC decisions, allowing only two earned runs (0.42 ERA) over 33 full innings pitched against league opponents since March 15. She has walked nine foes during that span, adding 34 strikeouts to her cause. In 11 appearances (10 starts) against top 25 opponents in 2015, the Irish sophomore is 5-3 with a 1.57 ERA and one save, striking out 50 batters in 62.1 innings versus ranked foes.
Irish Right The Ship In March
An auspicious start to the second month of the 2015 softball season left Notre Dame reeling. A 1-4 record after two weekends in March following a series sweep at North Carolina State (March 7-8) served as a launching pad for Notre Dame’s recent success.
Since the conclusion of the series at North Carolina State, Notre Dame has posted an 11-2 (.846) mark, which has included seven consecutive ACC victories dating back to a 12-0 win in five innings over No. 9/10 Florida State on March 15. The Irish have outscored opponents 89-21 since downing Campbell 4-3 on March 10 to start the string, more than doubling the opposition in hits (119-52) and extra base hits (36-15).
Emi Finds A Home In The Two-Spot
Sheer will and determination has helped mold senior co-captain and two-time All-American Emilee Koerner into one of the greatest all-around hitters in Notre Dame history. Her ability to assimilate virtually anywhere in the Irish lineup, having extensively batted at any of the first five slots in the order during her career, might be Koerner’s biggest impact.
With only five career starts in the two-hole prior to making the full-time move for a March 15 contest at Florida State, Koerner’s nine starts batting second since have yielded huge dividends. The Irish center fielder has a team-high .609 batting average (14-for-23) with five extra-base hits, eight RBI and 10 runs scored in her last nine games.
Big Leads Early Have Keyed Irish Surge
Scoring swiftly, and consistently, will almost always yield success in the sport of softball. It is that very basic ideology that has powered Notre Dame’s nine-game winning streak, and led the Irish to 11 total victories in their last 13 starts.
Notre Dame has outscored opponents 57-6 (17-2 in the first; 18-1 in the second; and 22-3 in the third) during the first three innings dating back to a 4-3 win at Campbell on March 10.
Irish Against The Opposition
Notre Dame is 16-2 (.889) all-time against Eastern Michigan entering Wednesday’s game at Melissa Cook Stadium, winning 16 of the last 17 meetings.