April 25, 2003
Notre Dame at Boston College, Doubleheader
Saturday, April 26, 11 a.m. * Chestnut Hill, Mass. * Shea Field
Notre Dame at Connecticut, Doubleheader
Sunday, April 27, 11 a.m. * Storrs, Conn. * UConn Softball Field
Crucial BIG EAST weekend kicks off the last two weeks of the regular season:
It is time to use an old cliche’: it is crunch time for the University of Notre Dame softball team (29-11, 10-0). The Irish are riding a 19-game win streak and have taken over first place in the BIG EAST Conference standings, but those accomplishments will be tested over the next two weeks. Notre Dame begins with a key conference doubleheader at Boston College (25-14, 9-1) Saturday at 11 a.m. The Eagles are in second place in the league standings.
The Irish then head to Connecticut (18-19-1, 6-4) for a double dip on Sunday at 11 a.m. The Huskies sit in sixth place in the league standings but could easily move up into the top four and earn a spot in the BIG EAST Championship.
Next week Notre Dame will head to #7 DePaul for a doubleheader on Tuesday, then finish off the regular season with conference doubleheaders against Villanova (fourth place in conference standings) and Rutgers.
Notre Dame matches second-best winning streak in school history:
After a doubleheader sweep at the hands of #22 Northwestern on March 26, Notre Dame was 10-11 on the season and yet to play a BIG EAST Conference game.
Since those two close losses to the Wildcats the Irish have catapulted to 29-11 and 10-0 in the BIG EAST with 19 straight wins. That win streak is tied for the second-best in school history behind the 2001 team’s national best 33-game run.
Here is a breakdown of Notre Dame’s 10-plus win streaks:
33 – 3-28-01 to 5-10-01, began with 6-0 victory over Valparaiso, ended with 2-1 loss to Seton Hall at the BIG EAST Championship … loss before streak to #9 CS Fullerton at the Kia Klassic, 5-4.
19 – 4-1-03 to current, began with 7-3 win at Purdue … loss before streak to #22 Northwestern, 3-2.
19 – 3-16-96 to 4-11-96, began with 4-2 win over Florida Atlantic at Florida State Tournament, ended with 4-1 loss to Villanova … loss before streak to Bradley, 3-1 at Florida State Tournament.
17 – 4-11-98 to 4-28-98, began with 7-0 win over Seton Hall, ended with 4-1 loss to Connecticut in the BIG EAST Championship … loss before streak to Purdue, 4-0.
14 – 3-30-02 to 4-14-02, began with 13-1 (6) victory at Pittsburgh, ended with 3-0 loss to Syracuse … loss before streak to New Mexico, 5-4.
13 – 4-17-02 to 5-3-02, began with 14-1 (5) victory vs. Indiana State, ended with 5-2 loss to Rutgers … loss before streak to Syracuse, 3-0.
13 – 4-16-90 – 4-25-90, began with 4-0 victory at Loyola (Chicago), ended with 2-0 loss to Grace College … loss before streak at DePaul, 3-2.
12 – 4-22-00 to 5-18-00, began with 7-3 victory at Pittsburgh, ended with 0-1 loss to DePaul in the NCAA Region VI tournament … loss before streak to Indiana State, 3-2.
11 – 2-26-00 to 3-15-00, began with 2-1 victory over Arkansas at the Morning News Classic in Fayetteville, ended with 2-1 loss to #3 Arizona at the Kia Klassic … loss before streak to Arkansas at the Morning News Classic, 4-2.
10 – 4-17-91 to 4-29-91, began with 2-0 victory over St. Joseph (Ind.), ended with 4-0 loss at DePaul … loss before streak to Indiana State, 6-1.
Mattison lands first career BIG EAST weekly award:
Senior first base Lisa Mattison has been selected as the BIG EAST player of the week after helping Notre Dame to a perfect 6-0 week. It is the first career weekly award for the Granger, Ind., native.
Mattison added .40 points to her batting average last week, pounding opposing pitching for 12 hits in 20 at bats (.600 average). Mattison led the team in RBI (eight) last week, scored four runs and was perfect at first base on 46 defensive chances. She had a great second game against IPFW on Thursday, going three for three with two doubles, a home run and three RBI.
Andrea Loman assumes the role of the hottest hitter on the team:
During Notre Dame’s current 19-game win streak, eight hitters have boasted an average over .300 – led by senior third base Andrea Loman. Loman has gone 27-61 (.443) with five doubles, two triples, four home runs and 19 RBI over the last 19 games. She also has stolen seven bases over that same stretch.
The other over .300 hitters in the last 19 games include Lisa Mattison (.421), Andria Bledsoe (.417), Megan Ciolli (.413), Nicole deFau (.370), Meagan Ruthrauff (.328), Mallorie Lenn (.325) and Kellie Middleton (.300).
As a team, Notre Dame has hit 23 home runs in the last 19 games, drove in 119 runs (6.3 per game) and stolen 32 bases.
Pitching putting up equally impressive numbers:
The Notre Dame offense might be grabbing the headlines, but the Irish pitching staff has been equally strong over the last 19 games. Notre Dame’s team ERA over the 19-game winning streak stands at 1.25, as the Irish have allowed just 22 earned runs. Heather Booth has gone 8-0 with a 0.55 ERA (see Booth note later in this package), Carrie Wisen 6-0 with a 0.42 ERA and Steffany Stenglein 5-0 with a 3.16 ERA. Jessica Sharron has made five effective relief appearances as well.
Opposing teams have managed just 63 hits over the last 19 games (3.31 per game) and struck out 100 times (5.26 per game).
The Irish have three players who have hit safely in at least the last 10 games. Lisa Mattison and Andrea Loman lead the way with season-high 11-game hit streaks. It is the second 11-game hit streak by Loman this season. Megan Ciolli is currently on a 10-game hit streak and Liz Hartmann has hit safely in the last seven games.
UIC ends impressive team streaks:
Notre Dame found a way to squeak out its 19th-straight win at UIC on Thursday, but the Flames were able to end two notable streaks. Previous to its nine hits against UIC, Notre Dame had put up at least 10 team hits in the last 10 games. The Flames also touched the Irish pitching for eight hits, breaking a streak of 17-straight games Notre Dame had held their opponents to six hits or less.
Rally at Pittsburgh on April 9 best seventh-inning effort in school history:
Notre Dame achieved a program first on April 9. Their five-run inning in the top of the seventh goes down at the best-ever seventh inning rally by the Irish. Since 1989, the first season of softball, the Irish had never rallied from a four-run deficit in the seventh inning to win, or tie the game.
The big hit in the seventh was provided by Andrea Loman, who drilled a bases-loaded double to plate the tying and winning run.
The month of April has traditionally been a successful 30 days in the history of the Notre Dame softball program – especially over the last three seasons. The 2001 Irish team went 23-0 in April, a key portion of its 54-7 season. The ’02 team from a season ago eclipsed the ’01 team’s win total with 24, and suffered just one loss during the month (24-1, .960).
One of Notre Dame’s goals this month will be to reach the 25-win plateau. The Irish already have 19 wins this month and have at least six games remaining in April.
Notre Dame’s top April performances:
2001 – 23-0 (1.000)
2003 – 19-0 (1.000)
2002 – 24-1 (.960)
1996 – 23-2 (.920)
1998 – 23-3 (.885)
Notre Dame vs. Boston College series history and doubleheader preview:
The Irish and Eagles will be meeting for 18th and 19th time on Saturday. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 12-5 and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings – including five in a row. The Irish are 5-2 at Shea Field.
Boston College has moved into second place in the BIG EAST Conference behind two strong pitching seasons from Tekae Malandris and Kim Ryan. Ryan (12-3) is a three-time conference pitcher of the week and boasts a 1.85 ERA and a eye-opening 158 strike outs in 102.1 IP. Malandris (8-6) is equally effective with a 1.82 ERA and 129 Ks in 103.2 innings.
The Eagle offense cannot be overlooked. Boston College has four everyday players hitting over .300, led by Erin Mackey (.340). Mackey also has 31 RBI and seven doubles. Cara Blumfield (eight HR, 24 RBI) and Lisa Fischer (eight HR, 23 RBI) represent the power in the Eagle line up.
Notre Dame vs. Connecticut series history and doubleheader preview:
The Irish and Huskies will be meeting for the 24th and 25th time on Sunday. Notre Dame holds a 17-6 advantage in the all-time series and have won the last seven. The Huskies swept Villanova on Tuesday to move to 6-4 in the conference and 18-19-1 on the season.
Connecticut has always possessed a strong pitching staff and this season is no different. Claire Hesson (1.73 ERA, 9-7) and Barb Cook (5-6, 1.78 ERA) have seen most of the innings this season. Hesson has posted 110 Ks in 105 IP.
Mandy Schettini has proven to be the tough out in the Huskies line up. She is hitting .316 this season with three triples and 18 RBI. Jennifer D’Angleo has put up 14 RBI with a .236 average.
Notre Dame is 5-1 all time at the UConn Softball Field.
Loman proving herself as one of the best in the country:
Notre Dame’s season-high 19-game win streak has been keyed by the outstanding play from senior third base Andrea Loman. A tri-captain this season (along with classmates Andria Bledsoe and Alexis Madrid), Loman has led Notre Dame to 19 straight wins with a .443 batting average and 19 RBI. She also has stole seven bases, drawn eight walks and either posted the winning hit or scored the winning run in 10 of Notre Dame’s last 19 victories (see page seven).
On the season, Loman boasts a .397 batting average with seven home runs, 33 RBI, 13 stolen bases and a .686 slugging percentage.
Heather Booth developing into a force:
Freshman Heather Booth has hit a great stride over her last 10 appearances. During the string, she has gone 8-0 with three shut outs and 51 strike outs in 51 IP. Opponents have scored just five runs off her.
Heather Booth has established herself as one of the top pitchers in the BIG EAST this year – her rookie season.
Booth has pushed to get her ERA under the 2.00 barrier, carrying a 1.68 ERA into Saturday’s doubleheader action. She is 15-5 this season with seven complete games, 106 Ks and five shut outs (three combined, two solo).
Notre Dame team members chasing down career records this season:
There are a number of Irish team members ascending the career record charts this season. The senior-captain trio of Alexis Madrid, Andria Bledsoe and Andrea Loman are all approaching the career games played record. Madrid has appeared in 221 career games, Bledsoe 219 and Loman 218. Notre Dame has 10 games remaining on the regular-season schedule this year. Combined with any post season contests, and all three Irish players have a shot at the career games played record of 245, held by Jarrah Myers (1999-2002).
Loman, a top player on the Irish team in all her years with Notre Dame, is threatening a number of career marks. She is second in runs scored (157) behind Jenny Kriech (1999-2002) with 158. She is creeping up the most hits list with 213, needing a strong finish to get in the top five (243). Loman and Bledsoe are both about to appear on the top five in all-time doubles, as Loman has 42 and Bledsoe 38. In fifth-place is Lizzy Lemire with 43 and Melanie Alkire holds the all-time record with 49.
Loman, Bledsoe and Hartmann are all moving up the career home run record list:
1. Jarrah Myers (1999-2002), 36
2. Melanie Alkire (1998-2001), 30
Andrea Loman, 29
4. Sara Hayes (1992-95), 26
5. Meghan Murray (1994-97), 15
Liz Hartmann, 14
Andria Bledsoe, 13
Loman has already broken the career walks record with 82, eclipsing Jarrah Myers’s 76. She is also within reach of the stolen bases mark (Loman has 55, needing four more this season to break Katie Marten’s record of 58 from 1994-97).
Notre Dame single-game home run record has even more company:
Notre Dame’s original single-game home run record was set in 1990 when Sheri Quinn hit two home runs against Loyola-Chicago. Since that day on March 24, 1990, the feat has been matched 14 times. Andria Bledsoe and Liz Hartmann hit two home runs each in Notre Dame’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 28. Hartmann was already a member of the record-holding club after hitting two bombs against Oakland in 2002.
In all, five current Notre Dame players are among the nine in school history who have hit two home runs in one game. Jarrah Myers (1999-2002) is the only Notre Dame player to hit two home runs in a game three times in her career – against Virginia Tech (4-30-02), Seton Hall (4-30-00) and CS Northridge (3-11-01).
New national poll:
USA Softball, in conjuncture with ESPN.com and the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) have formed a new national poll. See page eight of this notes package for both the ESPN/USA Softball poll and the USA Today/NFCA top 25.
Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf in her second season:
Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf led her team to a 44-17 record in 2002 – her first season as the program’s leader. A former assistant at Notre Dame and player at Nebraska (’92), Gumpf and her staff landed the BIG EAST Conference Coaching Staff of the Year award and shared the NFCA Mideast Region Coaching Staff of the Year award with Wisconsin last season.
Head coach Deanna Gumpf has led the team to three 10-plus winning streaks in her first two years at Notre Dame.
Among Notre Dame’s many accomplishments in 2002, the Irish advanced to the final day of competition at the NCAA regionals for the second-consecutive season, won the BIG EAST regular-season and tournament titles and set school records for home runs (54) and fielding percentage (.971).
Just a quick glance at the 2003 Notre Dame softball roster can beg the question; is the Notre Dame campus located on the west coast?
In all, 10 Irish players call California home – that is over 50% of the roster. Add in head coach Deanna Gumpf (La Palma) and the Notre Dame softball team has a distinctive Golden State flavor.
The California girls: Steffany Stenglein (Huntington Beach), Carrie Wisen (Fullerton), Jessica Sharron (Agoura Hills), Liz Hartmann (Novato), Chantal DeAlcuaz (Modesto), Alexis Madrid (Temecula), Mallorie Lenn (Garden Grove), Heather Booth (Riverside), Andrea Loman (Riverside) and Meagan Ruthrauff (La Mirada).
Notre Dame preseason favorite to win the BIG EAST Conference:
The BIG EAST Conference has released its 2002 preseason softball poll and the University of Notre Dame softball team ended up as the top choice, as voted on by the league’s coaches, to win the 2003 league championship. The Irish received 99 points in the conference’s preseason release, ahead of Syracuse in second place (85) and Villanova (75) in third. Notre Dame received nine first-place votes, while Villanova and Virginia Tech each received one.
2002 BIG EAST Preseason Softball Poll
Rank, team, (first place votes), points, ’02 record
1. Notre Dame (9), 99 pts., 44-17
2. Syracuse, 85 pts., 25-21
3. Villanova (1), 75 pts., 45-15
4. Virginia Tech (1), 71 pts., 42-18
5. Seton Hall, 69 pts., 29-17
6. Boston College, 63 pts., 26-26
7. St. John’s, 36 pts., 23-30-1
8. Rutgers, 35 pts., 22-25
9. Connecticut, 31 pts., 5-15
10. Pittsburgh, 30 pts., 21-33
11. Providence, 11 pts., 5-15
Mallorie Lenn wins gold medal with the U.S. Junior National team:
Freshman Mallorie Lenn landed a spot on the U.S. Junior National team that eventually won the First Junior Women’s Pan American Championship in Hermosillo, Mexico.
Lenn, from Garden Grove, Calif., was one of the starting catchers on the U.S. team that did not surrender a single run during the tournament. The team was potent on offense as well, dispatching Netherlands Antilles 21-0, Guatemala 20-0 and Jamaica 20-0.
The U.S.’s main competition in the tournament was Canada, and in the first match up during round-robin play Lenn provided the game-winning RBI in her team’s 1-0 victory. Lenn also served as the catcher for the gold-medal game against Canada (a 2-0 U.S. victory).
The victory provided the USA with a berth in the 2003 International Softball Federation Junior Women’s World Championships in Nanjin, China, during the summer of 2003.
Entering the 2003 season, Notre Dame softball has posted 556 wins in 14 seasons (almost 40 wins per season). The Irish have won 67% of their games and have never posted a losing season.
February isn’t the best time to play softball in Northern Indiana, so the Notre Dame softball team hits the road exclusively during the first two months of the season to take on some of the best teams in the nation. In just the last five years, Notre Dame has visited Arizona, Georgia, California, Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, Nevada, Hawaii and Oklahoma in early-season tournament action. This year, the Irish have already visited Tampa, Fla., for the USF/Wilson Tournament and Columbus, Ga., for the NFCA Leadoff Classic, Lafayette, Louisiana for the Louisiana Classic and Fullerton, Calif., for the Kia Klassic.
Irish will not back down from the best in the country:
In what has become an annual tradition for the Notre Dame softball team, the Irish spent the first two month of the season crisscrossing the country and taking on the best teams in the nation.
Notre Dame began the year on Feb. 15, 16 and 17 at the USF/Wilson Tournament in Tampa, Fla., facing traditional power South Florida and several NCAA east regional teams, including Hofstra and Rhode Island. South Florida has recently debuted in the national top 25 at #24.
Three weeks ago Notre Dame was at the challenging NFCA Leadoff Classic taking on defending national champion #4 California, Illinois State and #17 Alabama. The Irish also went to the west coast for the 2003 Kia Klassic in Fullerton, Calif. Notre Dame faced Fresno State, #4 Nebraska and #13 DePaul at the Kia this year.
Notre Dame’s regular-season schedule also features the Blue Demons later this month (April 29).
Notre Dame Sports Information and OCSN will offer live audio for all home BIG EAST games:
The Notre Dame Sports Information Office and the Official College Sports Network will offer live audio of all home BIG EAST softball games this season to those fans signed up for the “Fighting Irish Pass” on www.und.com. Play-by-play and commentary this weekend for all BIG EAST home games will be provided.
Live audio will be available for the following doubleheaders:
Notre Dame vs. Villanova, Friday, May 2, 4 p.m.
Notre Dame vs. Rutgers, Sunday, May 4, 11 a.m.