April 26, 2002
Notre Dame at Boston College, Saturday, April 27, 12 p.m.
Notre Dame at Providence, Sunday, April 28, 11 a.m.
Last BIG EAST Conference road trip set for this weekend:
The University of Notre Dame softball team (29-13, 11-1) heads to the East Coast this weekend for its last road games of the regular season. The Irish will face Boston College (23-22, 9-5) on Saturday before a trip to Rhode Island to take on Providence (13-32-1, 3-13) Sunday.
With the new system the league introduced this season to develop the conference standings, every league game played becomes crucial. With the 2/1 point system, a team with a high number of wins but a lower winning percentage could earn the top seed in the BIG EAST Championship (Salem, Va., May 9-12).
As of April 24, Notre Dame (11-1) and Villanova (11-3) were tied with 22 points a piece, while Seton Hall (10-6) is third with 20. Boston College (9-5) is in fourth place with 20 points. Syracuse also is in the hunt with a 7-3 league record, but have been a victim of rainouts this season, limiting their amount of conference games.
Notre Dame vs. Boston College series history and team analysis:
Notre Dame and Boston College will be meeting for the 16th and 17th time on Saturday, with the Irish holding a 10-5 advantage in the series. Boston College is currently 9-5 in BIG EAST competition and in fourth place in the latest league standings.
The Eagles feature some of the top hitters and pitchers in the conference. Shortstop Cara Blumfield is hitting .451 this season with 12 doubles, seven home runs and 36 RBI. She also has 10 stolen bases. In the circle, Tekae Malandris is the staff ace with a 10-10 record, 1.74 ERA and six shutouts.
Notre Dame is 4-2 at Commander Shea Field, including a 5-2 victory in the 2000 BIG EAST Championship.
Notre Dame vs. Providence series history and team analysis:
Notre Dame and Providence will be meeting for the 14th and 15th time on Sunday, with the Irish earning a victory in all 13 previous meetings.
Providence is 13-33-1 this season and 4-12 in BIG EAST play, including a two-game sweep of Syracuse last weekend. The Friars are led on offense by Cori Van Dusen (.322, 17 RBI) and Jaclyn Treveloni (.226, three home runs, 12 RBI).
Notre Dame is 6-0 at Raymond Field.
Just call her – Miss Clutch:
Freshman leftfielder Liz Hartmann enters this weekend with a .240 batting average. One could argue, though, that Hartmann has posted more important hits this season than any other Irish player. The Novato, Calif., native provided Notre Dame’s most dramatic hit of the season, belting a three-run home run in the top of the seventh at #4 Nebraska that proved to be the game winner. It was Hartmann’s first career round tripper (though she has since hit #2 against IUPU-Fort Wayne, another game-winning hit).
Entering this weekend’s competition, Hartmann is hitting .340 with runners on base, .667 with the bases loaded and .455 with runners in scoring position. When provided an opportunity for an RBI with a runner on third and less than two out, Hartmann is a perfect seven for seven this season. Completing her title as Miss Clutch, Hartmann leads the team in two-out RBI with 13.
Irish ranked first in the NCAA east region:
The NCAA Division I Women’s Softball Committee updated its Division I women’s softball biweekly regional poll on April 25. Notre Dame is ranked first in the east region, giving the team a solid foundation for a possible spot in the NCAA Championship.
1. Notre Dame (27-13)
2. Villanova (37-9)
3. Syracuse (19-15)
4. Seton Hall (25-13)
5. Long Island (24-20)
6. Virginia Tech (30-16)
7. St. Peter’s (22-14)
8. Canisius (20-12)
9. Fairfield (25-22)
10. UMBC (35-16)
Irish riding high after knocking off #4 Nebraska on Tuesday:
The 2002 University of Notre Dame softball posted one of the biggest wins in the program’s history on Tuesday, upsetting #4 Nebraska 3-2 in Lincoln.
The Cornhuskers represent the highest-ranked team the Irish have ever defeated and freshman leftfielder Liz Hartmann provided the game-winning hit with a three-run home run in the top of the seventh inning.
It was a memorable return to her alma mater for Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf, a 1992 Nebraska graduate.
Other stars for the Irish in the game included starting pitcher Steffany Stenglein (7.0 innings pitched, 2 runs, five strikeouts, five hits), Alexis Madrid (two for three, perfect on five defensive chances) and Andria Bledsoe (lead-off single in the seventh to kick-start Irish rally).
Notre Dame back on the national scene:
Winning 21 out of its last 22 games, the Irish have started to get votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25. The poll was released before Notre Dame’s victory over #4 Nebraska on Tuesday.
Notre Dame began the 2002 season ranked 14th (the highest-ever preseason ranking for the team), eventually dropping out of the poll after the NFCA Leadoff Classic.
Notre Dame in BIG EAST Conference regular-season competition:
The Irish began BIG EAST Conference play in 1996 and compiled a 19-1 record. Since that solid performance in their first season, the Irish have gone a combined 106-11 (.910) against conference foes during six regular seasons.
Notre Dame in BIG EAST Conference regular-season competition:
Offensive explosion vs. Indiana State has a place in the record books:
Notre Dame’s 14-1 and 11-2 victories in last Wednesday’s (April 17) doubleheader tied the school record for most runs in a two-game set against a Division I school. The Irish defeated Providence 16-0 and 9-3 at Ivy Field in 2000 to establish the record. Notre Dame’s all-time record for runs in a doubleheader is 28 against Bethel College (Ind.) in the first year of softball competition at the University – 1989.
It will be hard to beat the 2001 Irish softball team’s perfect 23-0 record in the month of April last season, but the 2002 team has the ability to tie that team for wins in the month. The 1996 (23-2), 1998 (23-3), and 2001 (23-0) teams all won 23 games in the month of April and the Irish enter this weekend’s competition with a 19-1 record this month. Four victories over the weekend would match the team record for wins in the month of April and clinch the second-best record in school history for the month.
Stenglein gets second BIG EAST weekly award of the season after posting a perfect game:
Freshman pitcher Steffany Stenglein was named co-BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week on Monday, April 22, after pitching the first perfect game of her career (and first at Notre Dame since 1995) in Notre Dame’s game one victory over Virginia Tech on April 20. It is the second weekly award for the Irvine, Calif., native.
The rookie righthander has steadily improved throughout the entire season, even while battling a stubborn groin pull. Since the Irish returned from spring break with an 8-12 record, Stenglein has lost just one game while lowering her ERA to 1.96.
Myers overpowers Virginia Tech to nab second BIG EAST Player of the Week award this season:
During Notre Dame’s 5-0 week from April 15-21, Myers hit 10 for 14 (.714) with four home runs, 10 RBI and 10 runs scored. The BIG EAST Conference named her Player of the Week for the second time this season on Monday, April 22.
In Notre Dame’s doubleheader sweep of Virginia Tech, the Irish catcher was five for six with three home runs, six RBI and six runs. Her first two homers in game one tied, then broke, the school record for career home runs.
Mattison earns first BIG EAST weekly award of her career:
Junior Lisa Mattison was named the BIG EAST Conference player of the week on Monday, April 8, after helping the University of Notre Dame softball team to a 6-0 record and assume first place in the league with doubleheader sweep at St. John’s and Seton Hall over the weekend.
In six games during the week of April 1-7, Mattison finished 10 for 18 (.556) with two doubles, two runs and a team-high nine RBI. She was also perfect in the field, recording 40 putouts and two assists in 42 chances. It was the first conference weekly award Mattison has earned, though she was a first-team all-BIG EAST selection in 2001 as a designated player.
Irish appear prominently on BIG EAST Conference statistical rankings:
Several Notre Dame players appear on the BIG EAST Conference statistical rankings, released on April 22, for all league games.
Junior Lisa Mattison, who was named BIG EAST Player of the Week on April 8, is second in the conference in batting average (.438). Teammate Andria Bledsoe is right behind Mattison in third with a .421 average.
Notre Dame’s pitching staff is well represented, with both Steffany Stenglein (0.75) and Carrie Wisen (0.36) among the top six in ERA.
In the different statistical categories, Jarrah Myers leads the league in home runs (6), runs scored (16), RBI (15), total bases (32) and slugging percentage (1.000), Megan Ciolli is first in triples (3) and tied for first in stolen bases (5) and Mattison is first in on-base percentage (.550).
Early-season schedule among the toughest in school history:
Notre Dame’s early-season schedule, which has included #1/#2 Arizona (twice), #25 South Florida, #11 Oregon State, #8 Arizona State, #4 Oklahoma, #19 Louisiana-Lafayette and #10 Fresno State (all rankings reflect position at the time of the game), is among the toughest in school history. The Irish have battled each opponent to the end, including three one-run losses to Arizona State, Oklahoma and Fresno State by identical 3-2 scores.
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.
Having an all-star season:
Irish third baseman Andrea Loman has developed into one of Notre Dame’s top offensive and defensive player this season. Loman is second on the team with a .359 batting average this season and has cracked seven home runs, including a legendary shot to put the Irish ahead 2-0 over Long Beach State.
Loman’s 17 career home runs put her fourth on the all-time list.
Even though Loman has been one of the most consistent offensive threats for the Irish this season, her defensive play has been nothing short of spectacular.
Loman eliminates the sacrifice bunt, as she has shown time and time again she can get to the ball and throw the advancing runner out at the appropriate base. In 150 defensive chances this season, Loman has made just five errors.
Loman will be playing over the next few weeks with a broken index finger on her right hand, suffered when she was hit by a pitch in a Seton Hall game. She played the rest of the doubleheader (actually hitting a home run in one of her at bats), but was affected on defense (committing two of her five errors on the season).
Loman returned to the lineup against Purdue on April 11th, showing no ill effects from the injury.
New career home run leader:
Jarrah Myers ended her climb up the career home run leader chart in her first two at bats against Virginia Tech on Saturday, April 20. Her solo shot against the Hokies in the second inning was her eighth of the season, 31st of her career and second of the game.
Those 31 round-trippers surpasses the school record of 30, previously held by ’01 graduate Melanie Alkire.
Myers quickly added to her historical total, hitting #32 against Virginia Tech in game two.
Irish are challenging the season home run record:
A burst of home runs in the doubleheader against Pittsburgh and another five homers added against Virginia Tech on April 20 has put the 2002 edition of the Notre Dame softball team in position to set a new school record for team home runs in a season. The team total stands at 33 as of April 25.
With at least 11 regular-season games remaining this season, the Irish could challenge the school record for team home runs (36 hit in 2000). A team-record 10 different players have hit home runs for the team this season, including first career round trippers from Megan Ciolli, Annie Dell’Aria, Nicole deFau, Lisa Mattison, Carrie Wisen and Liz Hartmann.
Power up and down the Irish lineup:
The 2002 University of Notre Dame softball team has already set a new team record. With Liz Hartmann’s heroic home run in the top of the seventh against #4 Nebraska, 10 different players on the Irish roster have hit home runs this season.
That breaks the previous team-best of seven different hitters ‘going yard’ in 2000 and 2001.
In Notre Dame’s regular lineup, only Alexis Madrid has not launched a home run.
Kriech threatening more career records:
Senior centerfielder and 2001 All-American Jenny Kriech already has possession of the school record for career triples (19), but the Irish leadoff hitter is threatening various other marks as well.
Her 10 walks this season give her 61 for her career, which is third on the all-time list and trails Sara Hayes (1992-95) with 66. Kriech also might be able to reach the career record for steals, as she currently has 53. Katie Marten (1994-97) holds that record with 58.
2002 schedule could develop into the strongest in school history:
The Irish enter Tuesday’s action with an 27-13 record and eight of those losses have come to teams ranked higher than Notre Dame in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25.
As of April 15, the Irish schedule reflects 11 ranked opponents (nine already played, plus a doubleheader vs. #18 DePaul). Notre Dame has been close to knocking off its top-ranked foes as well as defeating #4 Nebraska in Lincoln on April 23. The Irish also dropped hard-fought 3-2 decisions to #8 Arizona State, #4 Oklahoma and #10 Fresno State in the first month of the season.
The record for ranked opponents faced is 13 from the 1998 and 2001 seasons. Post-season play at the end of the 2002 campaign could push the Irish schedule this season into the record books.
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 www.aeropostale.com.
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.
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 www.und.com, 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 www.und.com.
Myers invited to USA Softball World Championship selection camp:
Senior Jarrah Myers, a 2002 All-American and member of the U.S. National Team during the summer of ’02, has been invited to the participate in a team camp from May 30 – June 3, in Chula Vista, Calif.
The 20 players on the list that includes Myers will combine with the 22 players selected in January to compete for spots on the teams that will represent the U.S. in international competition this summer. An additional 10-18 players will be added to the camp during the first week of May.
Two teams will be selected following the camp in May/June. One will represent the USA at the U.S. Cup in Honolulu, Hawaii, (July 4-7), the Canada Cup in Surrey, B.C., Canada (July 16-21) and the ISF Women’s World Championship in Saskatoon, Canada (July 25-August 4).
The second team will be called the USA Softball Elite Team and it will help prepare the World Championship team for international events by competing in scrimmages and exhibition games prior to these events. The Elite Team also will compete in the Canada Cup.
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.
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) Baseball information.
(4) Softball information.
(5) Men’s lacrosse information (press 1) and women’s lacrosse information (press 2).
(6) Men’s and women’s outdoor track and field information
(7) Women’s rowing information.
(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).
The week ahead:
As the 2002 season slowly approaches tournament time, the Notre Dame softball team still has some key matchups left in the regular season.
After the Irish complete this weekend’s road trip, they return home for a non-conference game against new Division I member Oakland.
Soon after the Oakland matchup, Notre Dame’s traditional late-season opponent, DePaul, makes the trip to Notre Dame, Ind., for a doubleheader on May 2. The Blue Demons are currently ranked 18th in the country and are one of Notre Dame’s oldest foes and one of the few opponents that hold a series advantage over the Irish (13-21-1).
Originally, the DePaul doubleheader was the last regular season opponent on the 2002 schedule. Snow and rain forced the postponement of the first weekend of BIG EAST play this season, however, and the Irish have four more games left next weekend.
On Friday, May 3, Notre Dame will make up its doubleheader with Rutgers. Following the games against the Scarlet Knights, the Irish face a key matchup with Villanova on Sunday, May 5.
Picked as co-favorites in the conference this season, the Villanova – Notre Dame tilt might decide the #1 seed for the BIG EAST Championship.
The Wildcats are currently 11-3 in conference play and 41-10 overall. They are ranked right behind Notre Dame in the NCAA east region top-10. Villanova also eliminated the Irish from the 2001 BIG EAST Championship the last time the two teams faced each other.