May 7, 2002
For best results, click here to download the complete set of notes for the Notre Dame softball team in the BIG EAST Championship. The PDF contains updated statistics, mini-bios on each Notre Dame player, a BIG EAST Championship history section, updated season records and final BIG EAST Conference statistics.
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2002 BIG EAST Championship * Salem, Va. * May 9-12
Thursday, May 9
Game 1: #2 Villanova vs. #3 Syracuse, 11 a.m.
Game 2: #1 Notre Dame vs. #4 Virginia Tech, 1:30 p.m.
Friday, May 10
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 1 p.m.
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m.
Game 5: Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 5 p.m.
Saturday, May 11
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 1 p.m.
Game 7: Same teams as Game 6, if necessary, 3 p.m.
Irish looking to return to the winner’s circle at BIG EAST Championship:
Although the 2001 softball season will go down as the most successful ever in Notre Dame history, last season’s team fell short at the BIG EAST Championship and was eliminated in two games. The 2002 University of Notre Dame softball team (38-14) is focused on regaining the BIG EAST Championship the team won in 1999 and 2000. The Irish will enter this weekend’s tournament with the #1 seed after finishing league play 18-2.
Notre Dame has the second-best all-time winning percentage in BIG EAST Championship play, compiling a 10-8 (.556) record in six tournaments. Only Connecticut (29-12, .707) has better record in championship play than the Irish (the Huskies did not qualify for the championship this season). See page nine of these notes for a BIG EAST Championship history breakdown.
Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech series history and team analysis:
Notre Dame and Virginia Tech will meet for the seventh time on Thursday, May 9, in the second game of the BIG EAST Championship. The Hokies earned the fourth seed in the tournament with a 10-game winning streak at the end of the regular season, including a sweep of then-third place Seton Hall last weekend. Both games against the Pirates went nine innings (the doubleheader was played in Allentown, Pa.) with Virginia Tech earning 1-0 and 4-3 victories. Senior RHP Ashlee Dobbe pitched all 18 innings for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech finished the 2002 season with a 40-16 record and 12-8 in the BIG EAST Conference. Clarisa Crowell proved to be one of the most dangerous hitters in the league, leading her team with a .368 batting average, 11 doubles and 30 RBI. Amy Voorhees and Tiffany Hurt lead the team in home runs with six.
When you face the Hokies, odds are you are going to find Ashlee Dobbe in the pitching circle. The senior righthander has pitched 256.0 innings this season and started 37 games (29 complete games, 12 shutouts). Her ERA is 1.80 with an overall record of 28-11.
Irish grab seventh-straight regular-season title with a sweep of Villanova:
Notre Dame has been competing in the BIG EAST Conference since the 1996 season and has won a regular-season title each season. With a doubleheader sweep (9-1, 9-1) of Villanova on Sunday, May 5, the Irish claimed their seventh-straight regular-season crown (from 1996-98, Notre Dame was in the BIG EAST South Division and won that division’s title).
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 113-12 (.904) against conference foes during seven regular seasons.
Notre Dame in BIG EAST Conference regular-season competition:
Irish destroy season home run record:
A team-record five home runs against Providence (game two) on April 29 pushed the Irish well ahead of the team record for home runs in a season (previously 36). The team total stands at 48 as of May 7.
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.
Home run record #2:
In a season when your team sets a new mark for home runs in a season, one would expect a number of records to fall. That is the case this season.
Home run record #2 the Irish have set this season occurred against Providence in game two of the doubleheader. Notre Dame hit five home runs in the contest, setting a new mark for round trippers in a game.
In the game against the Friars, junior Lisa Mattison became the seventh Irish player to hit two home runs in one single contest.
Home run record #3:
The 2002 University of Notre Dame softball team has set yet another 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.
Home run record #4 – with a rookie twist:
Freshman Liz Hartmann has been on a tremendous hitting tear lately. Her seven home runs this season is a team record for a freshman, and all seven of those home runs have been hit in the last 12 games.
Hartmann set the rookie record for round trippers with a two-run blast in the first game of a doubleheader against Villanova. The previous record was held by Sara Hayes, who hit six home runs as a freshman in 1992.
Hartmann’s teammates Jarrah Myers (the all-time home run leader in Notre Dame history) and Andrea Loman both hit four home runs in their rookie campaigns.
Just call her – Miss Clutch:
Freshman leftfielder Liz Hartmann enters this weekend’s tournament with a .271 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.
Entering this weekend’s competition, Hartmann is hitting .379 with runners on base, .667 with the bases loaded and .450 with runners in scoring position. When provided an opportunity for an RBI with a runner on third and less than two out, Hartmann is nine for 11 this season. Completing her title as Miss Clutch, Hartmann leads the team in two-out RBI with 16.
Ten runs in first inning vs. Oakland ties school record:
Notre Dame’s big inning against Oakland tied the school mark for runs in an inning. The Irish plated 10 in the first, matching the number Notre Dame posted against Rutgers (also in the first inning) on April 30, 1996 (15-0 victory).
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 post most significant win of the young Deanna Gumpf era at Nebraska on April 23:
The 2002 University of Notre Dame softball posted one of the biggest wins in the program’s history on Tuesday, April 23, 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 first-year 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 (leadoff single in the seventh to kick-start Irish rally).
Notre Dame back on the national scene:
Winning 30 out of its last 32 games, the Irish have started to get votes in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25. On May 1, Notre Dame had received 16 votes for the top 25.
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.
Offensive explosion vs. Indiana State has a place in the record books:
Notre Dame’s 14-1 and 11-2 victories in the 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 was hard to beat the 2001 Irish softball team’s perfect 23-0 record in the month of April last season, but the 2002 team gave its best shot last month. The 1996 (23-2), 1998 (23-3), 2001 (23-0) and 2002 (23-1) teams all won 23 games in the month of April. Notre Dame’s four victories over the weekend matched the team record for wins in the month of April and clinched the second-best record in school history for the month (23-1, .958).
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 (20-9) while lowering her ERA to 1.87.
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.
Kriech nabs BIG EAST Conference weekly award:
Senior Jenny Kriech was named BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week on Tuesday, April 30. Kriech helped Notre Dame go 6-0 last week, including a 4-0 conference record and a 3-2 win at #4 Nebraska. For the week, the Irish centerfielder went eight for 14 (.571) with a double, two home runs and three RBI. She also hit her first career home run at home against IUPU-Fort Wayne on April 25.
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.
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.
Already in the 2002 season, the Irish have set a number of home run records, including the most in a season (48 as of May 7) and number of different players hitting a home run (10 as of May 7).
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 first on the team with a .395 batting average this season and has cracked eight home runs, including a legendary shot to put the Irish ahead 2-0 over Long Beach State.
Loman’s 19 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 170 defensive chances this season, Loman has made just six 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 seven errors on the season – she has since made five errors playing with the injury).
Loman returned to the lineup against Purdue full-time on April 11th.
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 surpassed 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. She currently has 34 as of May 1.
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 13 walks this season give her 64 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 54. Katie Marten (1994-97) holds that record with 58.
2002 schedule could develop into the strongest in school history:
The Irish enter this weekend’s action with a 24-18 record and eight of those losses have come to teams ranked higher than Notre Dame in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25.
As of May 7, the Irish schedule reflects 10 ranked opponents. Notre Dame has been close to knocking off many of its top-ranked foes as well as defeating #4 Nebraska in Lincoln on April 23 and #18 DePaul on May 2. 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:
Myers 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.
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.
Ciolli, Loman and 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, freshman Megan Ciolli and junior Andrea Loman have been invited to the participate in a team camp from May 30 – June 3, in Chula Vista, Calif.
The 66 players on the list that includes Ciolli, Loman and Myers will compete for spots on the teams that will represent the U.S. in international competition this summer.
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.