NOTRE DAME, Ind. — After a successful first weekend for the 3-2 Irish, the #RV/RV Notre Dame Softball squad will travel to Raleigh, N.C., to take on #RV/RV Illinois and #RV/RV Ohio State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. North Carolina State, the host, will also match up with Illinois and Ohio State, but will not face Notre Dame.
In the four years of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for softball, both conferences have each won twice, with the ACC taking home the titles in 2017 and 2018. North Carolina, Duke, Georgia Tech and Clemson are the additional host schools, while Boston College, Louisville, Pitt and Syracuse round out the ACC squad.
Dail Softball Stadium (Raleigh, N.C.)
Friday, Feb. 14
Illinois (1:30 p.m.)
Saturday, Feb. 15
Ohio State (10 a.m.)
Illinois (3 p.m.)
Sunday, Feb. 16
Ohio State (10 a.m.)
RV Notre Dame bested then-No. 21 Ole Miss (7-5), Missouri State (16-0) and South Alabama (3-1) to claim a 3-2 record for the 2020 NFCA Leadoff Classic. Junior and captain Alexis Holloway (2-1, one save) threw 18.0 innings and 10 strikeouts, for a 0.78 ERA. For her performance on the weekend, Holloway was named to the NFCA Leadoff Classic All-Tournament Team and was selected as one of the NFCA’s top performances across all of Division I softball.
Freshman Joley Mitchell led all eligible players at the NFCA Leadoff Classic with a .600 batting average, four stolen bases (on four attempts) and seven walks (including one intentional) through five games. She slapped six hits and recorded three runs, also noting five putouts and seven assists.
Junior pitcher Morgan Ryan went 1-0 on the weekend, while freshman Brooke Marquez turned in the second-highest batting average on the team (.500) on eight at-bats, with four hits and 3 RBI.
BY THE NUMBERS
16: Notre Dame blanked Missouri State 16-0 last weekend, with eight runs scored in the second inning and eight in the third. It was the first shoutout of the season for the Irish, as Alexis Holloway notched the win and Morgan Ryan pitched the final two innings.
7/.600: Freshman infielder Joley Mitchell was walked a team-high seven times over the weekend, including one intentional walk to load the bases vs. No. 21 Ole Miss. She led all players in the Leadoff Classic in batting average (.600 – min two AB), walks (seven) and stolen bases (4-4).
0.78: Through 18 innings (four appearances), Alexis Holloway posted an ERA of 0.78 with 10 strikeouts, and earned 2020 NFCA Leadoff Classic All-Tournament Team honors. One of Notre Dame’s four captains, Holloway’s record stands at 2-1 (with one save) after the first weekend of play (four appearances). Holloway gave up just two earned runs, and held opposing batters to a .209 average and just one sacrifice hit against. She appeared in the Irish wins over No. 21 Ole Miss (7-5) and Missouri State (start, a 16-0 shutout) and recorded a save vs. South Alabama (3-1).
3: Notre Dame came in at No. 3 in the preseason ACC Coaches poll, with senior infielder Katie Marino and sophomore pitcher Payton Tidd named to the preseason All-ACC team.
4: In January, head coach Deanna Gumpf announced the selection of four captains for the Notre Dame squad: Seniors Katie Marino and Ellie Richards and juniors Alexis Holloway and Abby Sweet.
NOTRE DAME VS. Big Ten/ACC CHALLENGE COMPETITION
The Irish have never faced the Illini, while Notre Dame holds a 7-3 series lead (4-0 in neutral sites) over Ohio State. The last time Notre Dame took on the Buckeyes was on Feb. 17, 2019, when the Irish won 3-2 at the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational.
Follow along on Twitter @NDSoftball and at und.com/mediastats.