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Softball Begins Spring Break Trip This Weekend In Las Vegas

March 7, 2002

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Spring Break Trip * March 10-17

Las Vegas, Nevada * Long Beach, Calif. * Fullerton, Calf.

Notre Dame at UNLV, Sunday, March 10, 10 a.m.

Notre Dame vs. Oregon, Sunday, March 10, 12:30 p.m.

Notre Dame at Long Beach State, Wednesday, March 13, 3 p.m.

2002 Kia Klassic

Notre Dame vs. #2 Arizona, Thursday, March 14, 3 p.m.

Notre Dame vs. Cal State Northridge, Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m.

Notre Dame vs. Texas Tech, Friday, March 15, 11 a.m.

Championship Play Begins, Friday, March 15, 5 p.m.

Championship Play Continues, Saturday, March 16

Championship Play Continues, Sunday, March 16

Notre Dame heads to Nevada and California for spring break:

The University of Notre Dame softball team (5-7) begins its spring break trip in Las Vegas, Nev., this weekend with two games against UNLV (10-13) and Oregon (11-7). The Irish will then move on to Southern California, taking on Long Beach State (17-8).

Notre Dame vs. UNLV matchup can be heard live via the internet:

Notre Dame’s matchup with UNLV at 10 a.m. mountain time (8 a.m. eastern) on Sunday, March 10, can be heard live on the internet at A link to the coverage will be available on the front page of Notre Dame’s official athletic website, as well as the softball team page. Scott Robbs will call the game for KSHP 1400 AM.

Early-season schedule among the toughest in school history:

Notre Dame’s early-season schedule, which has included #1 Arizona, #25 South Florida, #11 Oregon State, #8 Arizona State #4 Oklahoma and #19 Louisiana-Lafayette (all rankings reflect position at the time of the game), is the toughest opening 12-game stretch since 1998 (when the Irish faced eight top-25 teams). Notre Dame has faced six top-25 teams in its first 12 games this season.

The Irish schedule doesn’t lighten up during its spring break tour. Notre Dame will face #2 Arizona in the Kia Klassic and will most likely face more ranked teams as it advances in the tournament.

Irish lose three games to inclement weather in College Station, Texas:

Notre Dame made the trip to the Aggie Invitational last weekend (March 1-3), but the southeastern Texas weather did not cooperate. After splitting games vs. #19 Louisiana-Lafayette and Illinois State, the rest of the contests in the tournament were cancelled due to unseasonably cold temperatures, rain and high winds. The Irish were scheduled to face ULL and Illinois State again, as well as #23 Texas A&M. The games will not be made up this season.

Updated information available before the Kia Klassic:

Due to travel arrangements next week, the Notre Dame weekly release will not be e-mailed as scheduled. A limited release with updated information will be posted on before the Kia Klassic begins on Thursday, March 14.

Notre Dame vs. UNLV series history and team analysis:

Notre Dame and UNLV will be meeting for the first time on Sunday, March 10. The Rebels enter the contest with a 10-13 record and are hosting a tournament for the third time this season at its new Eller Media Stadium.

UNLV returns five starters in the field and three pitchers from its 2001 edition (26-30). Geney Orris (P/DP) has keyed the Rebel offense thus far in 2002, hitting .288 with five RBI and four triples. Four pitchers have seen significant time in the circle this season, with Jackie Kerrigan putting up a 1.84 ERA and 3-5 record.

Irish assistant coach Kris McCleary served as an assistant at UNLV during the 2000 and 2001 season after graduating from Notre Dame in 1999.

Notre Dame vs. Oregon series history and team analysis:

Notre Dame and Oregon will be meeting for the fourth time on Sunday, March 10, and the second time in Las Vegas, Nev. The last meeting between the two teams ocurred cin he UNLV Classic, a 11-3 win by the Ducks. Oregon leads the series 2-1, with Notre Dame’s victory coming in the 1996 NFCA Leadoff Classic.

Oregon is 11-7 this season and boasts three hitters with averages over .400. Andrea Vidlund (.426), Kristi Hall (.412) and Alyssa Laux (.410) have all proven to be tough outs in the Ducks lineup. Vidlund also leads the team in home runs (five) and RBI (19).

Three Oregon pitchers have made over five appearances this season, led by Anissa Meashintub’s 2.05 ERA and 4-2 record.

Deanna Gumpf continues her first season as head softball coach at the University of Notre Dame:

One of the top young coaches in the nation, Deanna Gumpf has taken over the Notre Dame softball program this season after four years as the top aide to Liz Miller – who retired at the end of the 2001 season.

In the four seasons Gumpf served as the Irish pitching and assistant coach, the team lowered its ERA and raised the team batting average each season, while also setting team records for strikeouts and home runs.

Gumpf’s staff includes new assistant coaches Charmelle Green (formerly at Syracuse) and Kris McCleary (former Irish catcher – Class of ’99 – who served as an assistant at UNLV), along with volunteer assistant coach Bill Roggeman.

Gumpf earned her first career victory with a 3-2, 10-inning victory over Auburn in the Pepsi Arizona Classic.

Megan Ciolli dominating at the top of the Irish lineup:

Freshman outfielder Megan Ciolli has quickly developed into one of Notre Dame’s most dependable hitters.

Typically batting second in the Irish lineup, Ciolli has a .351 batting average this season with 13 hits in 12 games. Among those hits are her first career home run, two doubles and four RBI. She also leads the team in sacrifice hits with four (three bunts, one game-winning sacrifice fly).

Ciolli is able to hit for power, but the Irish rookie is adept at moving up the runners, or bunting for a hit, as well. In Notre Dame’s 6-0 victory over Southern Mississippi, Jenny Kriech led off the second inning with a single. Ciolli was planning to move Kriech over to second, but the Irish co-captain was thrown out trying to steal.

Ciolli quickly shifted from bunt to hit away, and she smacked the next pitch for her first career home run.

Jenny Kriech producing at the top of the lineup:

Centerfielder and 2002 All-American Jenny Kriech, limited the first weekend of the season by a battle with the flu, has returned to form at the top of the Irish lineup.

Kriech leads the team in hits (14) and doubles (3). Her season average stands at .318, while she has been perfect in the field and has two outfield assists.

Kriech’s triple with two outs in the bottom of the fifth against Illinois State proved to be the key play in the game. She eventually scored the game-winning run on Megan Ciolli’s single up the middle.

Notre Dame in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25:

Here are Notre Dame’s rankings each week in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 (released on Wednesday each week of the season) –

Preseason: 14

Feb. 20: 19

Feb. 27: 24

March 6: also receiving votes

Notre Dame softball standout Jarrah Myers named the 2001-02 BIG EAST/A?ropostale Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year:

She will receive a $4,000 stipend which will be applied to graduate studies. The winner is determined by the league’s Academic Awards Committee.

A?ropostale Stores is the official apparel of BIG EAST Championships and is the sponsor of the Conference’s Post Graduate Student-Athlete Scholarship Program. This year A?ropostale will award 31 scholarships to Conference student-athletes to assist in their pursuit of graduate or professional studies. The Men’s and Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athletes will be announced in conjunction with the BIG EAST Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships on March 1 and 5. A?ropostale is a popular clothing and accessories retailer that has over 275 stores in 37 states throughout the United States. Named after the Companie Generale A?ropostale, the pioneer French airmail company, the merchandise continues to embody the spirit and adventure of its name. The company also operates a web site at

Myers, a senior catcher from Carbondale, Kan., is the fourth Notre Dame female to win the award. She was chosen for the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award from a pool of 15 candidates which may encompass athletes from any of the 12 BIG EAST women’s sports.

Myers, an environmental science major in the Notre Dame honors program, earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA)/Louisville Slugger All-America Third Team honors as a junior in 2001 and was a member of the U.S. National Team last year. Prior to the 2002 season, she was named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team. Myers was named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team as a junior in 2001 and the first team in 2000. Last season she led the Irish in batting (.380), RBI (41) and home runs (7). Myers ranks among the top five on the ND career lists for triples, home runs and RBI.

As a Dean’s List student, Myers earned Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team honors as a junior and third team accolades as a sophomore. She will graduate as a four-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star and plans to pursue a master’s degree in forensic science. Myers does extra research in the organic chemistry department and volunteers on a bimonthly basis at an elderly assistance home.

The conference also announced the ’01-02 BIG EAST/A?ropostale Female Scholar-Athlete Award winners, who will each receive $2,000 toward graduate studies.

Notre Dame and Villanova picked as co-favorites in the BIG EAST:

Notre Dame and Villanova ended up tied in the 2002 BIG EAST Softball Preseason Poll, as both teams earned 94 points.

Notre Dame is coming off a 20-0 regular season record in conference competition last season, while Villanova wrapped up league play with a 15-5 record. The Irish received six first-place votes, while the Wildcats earned four. Seton Hall (third), Virginia Tech (fourth) and Connecticut (fifth) rounded out the top five in the preseason poll.

Notre Dame will begin conference competition on March 23, hosting a doubleheader against St. John’s.

California girls:

The 2002 Notre Dame roster is loaded with talent from the Golden State, as seven Irish players call California home. The 2002 freshman class brings three players from the West Coast (Liz Hartmann – Novato, Steffany Stenglein – Irvine, Carrie Wisen – Fullerton), while the returning Irish from California are Chantal DeAlcuaz (Modesto), Andrea Loman (Riverside), Alexis Madrid (Temecula) and Jessica Sharron (Agoura Hills).

How to get information on the 2002 Notre Dame softball team:

In addition to weekly releases and game recaps on, media members may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting Alan Wasielewski at:

Notre Dame home softball games will be available via live statistics on

Keep up with the Irish via the sports hotline:

The Notre Dame sports information hotline has modified its menu offerings for the 2002 winter and spring sports seasons.

The hotline provides schedule and results information for varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the live coverage and game recaps already provided on the official athletic website at

Here’s how the hotline now is aligned (as of Dec. 28, 2001):

* Dial (219) 631-3000

* Select any of the following subgroups:

(1) Upcoming schedule and recent results of ALL varsity sports currently in action (select cells 3-9 for the most updated results for specific sports).

(2) Upcoming football schedules for the 2002-05 seasons.

(3) Men’s basketball information (press 1) and baseball information (press 2).

(4) Women’s basketball information (press 1) and softball information (press 2).

(5) Men’s ice hockey information (press 1), men’s lacrosse information (press 2) and women’s lacrosse information (press 3).

(6) Men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field information

(7) Men’s swimming and diving information (then press 1), women’s swimming information (press 2) and women’s rowing information (press 3).

(8) Tennis information (then press 1 for men’s tennis and 2 for women’s tennis).

(9) Information for men’s and women’s fencing (press 1), men’s golf (press 2) and women’s golf (press 3).