Nov. 7, 2003
The University of Notre Dame softball team has announced its 2004 schedule, which will take the Irish across the nation to face several of the nation’s top teams.
“Once again we have put together a very challenging schedule featuring many of the best programs in the country,” Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf says.
“We want to face the best in the country and find out just where we are and what we need to improve on for the end of the season. The early season schedule is created with the postseason in mind.”
Notre Dame will be in the running for its sixth-straight postseason appearance and has established itself as one of the top programs in the country. The National Fastpitch Coaches Association recently released its top 50 all-time programs, ranked in terms of appearances in the NFCA Top 25 poll. The Irish ended up 32nd in the top 50.
The 2004 early-season schedule will take the traveling Irish to Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Calif., Georgia and spring break will be spent in Florida. Among the opponents faced in the first month of the season include NCAA Championship runner-up California (in the first game of the season on Feb. 13), WCWS participant Arizona (Feb. 20) along with Stanford, Georgia and CS Fullerton.
The Irish will get a chance at redemption on March 12, when they face Michigan – the team that eliminated Notre Dame from the 2003 NCAA Regionals – at the Florida Atlantic Worth Invitational.
The BIG EAST Conference schedule will begin the first weekend in April, when Notre Dame hosts Connecticut and Boston College. Local fans will have a number of chances to see the Irish in action, as Notre Dame is scheduled for 20 games at home this spring.
Notre Dame also will make its yearly trip to Nebraska for two games on April 12 and 13, while also hosting its great rivalry with DePaul on April 27.