April 2, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Following a nine-game homestand at Melissa Cook Stadium, the University of Notre Dame softball team heads back to the road for an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) series this weekend in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Irish collide with No. RV Pittsburgh (25-11, 6-6 ACC) for three games this weekend at Vartabedian Field.
Live stats will be available for all series games via CBS Gametracker. Video coverage for all three matchups will be provided on ESPN3.
No. RV Notre Dame (24-11, 7-5 ACC) enters the contest having won 10 consecutive games, picking up its fifth run-rule victory during the streak with a 10-2 win in six innings over Eastern Michigan on Wednesday at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish completed two straight 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 enters the weekend holding a 29-2 (.935) all-time edge over Pittsburgh, winning nine straight meetings with the Panthers. Pittsburgh claimed its only two wins in series history in consecutive matchups in 2008 and 2009, with the Irish controlling the remainder of series games.
The three-game ACC slate will determine crucial positioning in the conference standings at the midpoint of the league season. Notre Dame and Pittsburgh will meet for the first time in ACC play after last season’s planned series was canceled due to inclement weather. All but one of the previous 31 games between the teams officially took place during BIG EAST Conference play.
For the latest news and updates on all things Notre Dame softball, visit www.und.com/softball, follow the IrishÂ @NDsoftball andÂ @NDcoachGumpf on Twitter and at Instagram.com/notredamesoftball, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.
No. RV Notre Dame vs. No. RV Pittsburgh Panthers
April 3-4, 2015
No. RV Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(24-11, 7-5 ACC in 2015)
No. RV Pittsburgh Panthers
(25-11, 6-6 ACC in 2015)
Notre Dame Weekend Schedule
Saturday, April 4
IRISH SLAP HITS
Â·Â Â Â Notre Dame improved to 24-11 this season with its 10th straight victory, a 10-2 win in six innings over Eastern Michigan on Wednesday at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish have now won 16 straight games at home dating back to a 7-2 victory over Valparaiso on April 24, 2014.
Â·Â Â Â During its current 10-game winning streak, Notre Dame has outscored opponents by a combined margin of 82-9. The Irish have won five of those 10 decisions by way of run-rule.
Â·Â Â 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 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·Â Â 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·Â Â Â Senior co-captain and two-time All-American outfielder Emilee Koerner became the latest professional draft choice in program history on Wednesday night, as she was selected 17th overall in the 2015 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) College Draft that was held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. The Irish standout was the third pick of the draft’s fourth round by the 2014 NPF champion USSSA Pride. Koerner is the third Notre Dame player drafted into the NPF since 2007.
Â·Â Â 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 12-3 (.800) all-time in games played on April 3 of a given season. The Irish have won 10 straight games they have played on the date since sweeping Pittsburgh 6-1 and 10-2 in a BIG EAST doubleheader at Ivy Field in 1999.
Notre Dame has added a 17-7 (.708) mark on April 4, the planned date of this weekend’s series finale against Pittsburgh at Vartabedian Field.
ND Win Streak At An Even 10
Senior catcher Cassidy Whidden crushed a three-run, walk-off home run to left center field to cap a six-run Notre Dame inning, guiding the Irish to a 10-2 win in six innings over Eastern Michigan in a Wednesday night midweek contest at Melissa Cook Stadium.
The Irish won their 10th consecutive game, pushing their record at Melissa Cook Stadium to a perfect 9-0 in 2015. Notre Dame has won 16 straight games at home dating back to a 7-2 decision against Valparaiso on April 24, 2014, and the Irish have outscored opponents by a stunning 82-9 margin during their 10-game winning streak.
Emi Drafted By NPF Champion USSSA Pride
Senior co-captain and two-time All-American outfielder Emilee Koerner became the latest professional draft choice in program history on Wednesday night, as she was selected 17th overall in the 2015 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) College Draft that was held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. The Irish standout was the third pick of the draft’s fourth round by the 2014 NPF champion USSSA Pride.
Koerner is the second Notre Dame player to be drafted into the NPF in as many seasons, joining the 2014 seventh overall choice to the Akron Racers and former teammate Laura Winter (`14). In the modern NPF era, Koerner and Winter are two of three Notre Dame draft choices along with Stephanie Brown (`07), who was the 11th overall pick in the 2007 NPF Draft by the Chicago Bandits.
Koerner has staked her claim to being one of the greatest offensive players in Notre Dame softball history. Through the first 35 Irish games in 2015, Koerner leads all Irish softball players in career doubles (68, active NCAA leader) and slugging percentage (.666), checking in ranked second in career batting average (.389) and on-base percentage (.456). She is also among the top five Notre Dame hitters all-time in total bases (404, third) and runs scored (161, tied for fourth).
An ACC POTW Three-Peat For Nasland
A strong sophomore season continued to roll for Notre Dame pitcher Rachel Nasland, 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 After NC State
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 a 12-2 (.857) 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 99-23 since downing Campbell 4-3 on March 10 to start the string, more than doubling the opposition in hits (132-59) and extra base hits (38-17).
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 12 total victories in their last 14 starts.
Notre Dame has outscored opponents 59-6 (18-2 in the first; 19-1 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 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 136-45 (.751) against the current ACC membership.
Irish Against The Opposition
Notre Dame is 29-2 (.935) all-time against Pittsburgh entering this weekend’s series, winning each of the last nine meetings between the teams.