April 23, 2004
Notre Dame at Villanova, Saturday, April 24, 12 noon (DH)
Notre Dame at Rutgers, Sunday, April 24, 11 a.m. (DH)
Irish Quick Facts:
* Notre Dame hits the road for the first time in BIG EAST play this weekend.
* The Irish and Villanova will be meeting for the rights to first place in the conference standings on Saturday.
Irish have the ability to seize control of the BIG EAST standings this weekend:
The University of Notre Dame softball team (35-13) is hoping to take a big step toward securing a spot in the BIG EAST Championship this weekend, as it meets Villanova and Rutgers on the road this weekend. The four games are the first road contests for Notre Dame in the BIG EAST in 2004. The Irish have won their first eight conference games at Ivy Field.
Notre Dame is coming off an 8-0 victory at UIC on Thursday, April 22.
Notre Dame moved to 8-0 in the BIG EAST Conference with two victories over Providence (1-0 and 7-1). The Irish pitchers have been solid in their last three outings, allowing just one run to their competitors.
Series history with Villanova:
Notre Dame and Villanova will be meeting for the 27th and 28th time on Saturday … the Irish lead the all-time series 23-3 … Villanova’s victories came in the first regular season game last year (7-6), at the BIG EAST Championship in 2001 and in the first conference meeting between the two teams in 1996 … Notre Dame split the regular season match up with Villanova last season, but came back to defeat the Wildcats twice at the BIG EAST Championship … the Irish won game one at the BIG EAST Championship 9-7, then won the title with a 3-2, nine-inning victory the next day … ’02 graduate Andrea Loman hit a walk off solo home run to provide the winning margin … Notre Dame is 8-0 at Villanova’s softball field … Villanova is 9-3 in BIG EAST competition and 25-16 overall in 2004.
Series history with Rutgers:
Notre Dame and Rutgers will be meeting for the 22nd and 23rd time on Sunday … the Irish lead the all-time series 15-6 … the two team’s split a doubleheader at Ivy Field last season, with the Scarlet Knights taking game one 2-0, then Notre Dame winning game two 1-0 … the last four meetings in the series came at Ivy Field, where the teams split 2-2 … before those four games, the teams met four straight times in Piscataway, NJ, with the Irish winning all four of those contests … Rutgers is 5-7 in BIG EAST Conference play and 22-23 overall in 2004 … Notre Dame is 5-2 at Rutgers’ softball complex.
Ruthrauff posting one of the top offensive campaigns in school history:
Sophomore Meagan Ruthrauff, who leads the Irish in home runs (nine) and RBI (43) is compiling one of the top single-season offensive performances in Notre Dame softball history. With at least 14 games remaining (not counting any possible postseason appearances), she is close to breaking into the top five for single-season totals in home runs, RBI and walks.
Jarrah Myers is the single-season home run leader with 13 – Ruthrauff currently has nine, which is good for fourth all-time (Andrea Loman and Liz Hartmann are also fourth with nine).
Melanie Alkire is the single-season RBI leader with 64 – a mighty number that will be hard to match, but Ruthrauff is currently tied for fifth on the all-time list with 43 (Andrea Loman and Andria Bledsoe also posted 43). Meghan Murray and Jarrah Myers sit in fourth place with 47 RBI.
Jarrah Myers also is the single-season BB leader with 30 – Ruthrauff currently has a team-high 26, good enough for third all-time.
Carissa Jaquish hits first career home run in grand style:
Ignoring some uncomfortably cold elements at UIC on Thursday, April 22, freshman Carissa Jaquish delivered her first career home run in the top of the seventh – with the bases full of Irish runners. Her home run was her third hit of the contest (single, double) and the second grand slam of the season by an Irish freshman (Stephanie Brown).
Jaquish joins ’02 graduate Jarrah Myers in hitting a grand slam for their first career home run. Current junior Liz Hartmann also hit a three-run homer for her first career round tripper.
Megan Ciolli named BIG EAST Player of the Week for the first time:
Junior centerfielder Megan Ciolli landed her first BIG EAST player of the week award in 2004 on Monday, April 19. She led the Irish in batting in five games, posting a .563 average, including a five for seven doubleheader vs. Providence.
Ciolli also had two hits in Notre Dame’s 2-0 victory at #18 Nebraska on April 13. The weekly award is the first of Ciolli’s career, although she is a two-time first-team all-BIG EAST selection.
Freshman home run record in serious jeopardy:
Junior Liz Hartmann slammed seven home runs during her rookie season in 2002 to set the school mark for round trippers by a freshman – and teammate Stephanie Brown has that record in sight for 2004. Brown has already sent six balls out of the park this year and needs just two more to break Hartmann’s mark.
Hartmann continues trek up the all-time home run list: Junior Liz Hartmann, who still has one full year of eligibility left, has the Notre Dame all-time home run record in reach. She has 22 entering this weekend’s action (seven as a freshman, nine as a sophomore, six as a junior) and sits in fifth place on the all-time top five for home runs at Notre Dame. The top five:
1. Jarrah Myers (1999-2002), 36
2. Andrea Loman (2000-03), 31
3. Melanie Alkire (1998-2001), 30
4. Sara Hayes (1992-95), 26
5. Liz Hartmann (2002-current), 22
Many of Hartmann’s home runs have come in dramatic fashion – see the “Homers in the clutch” note later in this package.
Games played records will fall in 2004:
Notre Dame has already played 48 games this season – and have at least 14 regular-season games scheduled for the rest of the season. That would give the ’04 Irish 62 games played before any postseason contests. The record for games played in a season is 65 by the 1992 squad. The individual games played record will also fall this season, with Megan Ciolli, Meagan Ruthrauff, Heather Brown, Nicole deFau and Sara Schoonaert all appearing in 48 games so far for Notre Dame.
Irish hit 40 games on April 6 for the second time in school history:
Notre Dame completed its 40th game on April 6 vs. Purdue, matching the 1996 team as the fastest to reach the 40-games played mark.
Notre Dame’s 29-11 record matches the ’03 team as the fourth-best in school history over the first 40 games of the year:
Homers in the clutch:
The Deanna Gumpf era at Notre Dame has provided some of the most memorable clutch home runs in Irish history. Over the past three seasons, Notre Dame has claimed an upset victory on the road (vs. #4 Nebraska, 2002), an amazing comeback victory on the road (vs. La.-Lafayette, 2003), a BIG EAST Championship (vs. Villanova, 2003) and two first-weekend come-from-behind victories (at the UNLV Classic this season) via dramatic home runs.
Liz Hartmann has played a role in three of the memorable moments. In 2002, her three-run blast in the top of the seventh pushed Notre Dame to a 3-2 victory over #4 Nebraska at the Cornhuskers’ dedication of their new field in Lincoln. Last season, Hartmann tied the school record for home runs in a single game with two shots vs. La.-Lafayette. Her first against the Lady Cajuns tied up the game in the seventh inning (after Notre Dame had rallied from a 5-1 deficit) and then ended the game in the ninth inning on a three-run round tripper.
Hartmann hit yet another game winning home run vs. Saint Louis at the Hoosier Invitational, launching a solo shot in the sixth inning to provide the winning margin (4-3 victory).
The 2003 BIG EAST Championship was claimed on a walk off home run by ’03 graduate Andrea Loman, who smashed a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth.
During the UNLV Classic on the first weekend of competition for the Irish this season, the team utilized four clutch home runs to secure two victories. Sophomore Kellie Middleton launched a two-run shot to complete Notre Dame’s rally from a 7-4 deficit to defeat Hawaii 8-7. The next day, freshman Stephanie Brown completed another Irish rally with a two-run shot in the top of the seventh vs. #8/8 Nebraska – followed by another two-run shot by Hartmann to claim the winning margin. Hartmann had previously cut the Cornhusker lead down to 4-2 with a two-run homer in the fifth.
Notre Dame has faced a loaded early season schedule:
In what has developed into a yearly tradition for the Fighting Irish softball team, Notre Dame hit the road for the first five weekends of the season to face several of the top teams in the nation. According to the latest national polls, over the first five weekends of the season Notre Dame faced 12 ranked teams (ESPN.com/USA Softball ranking first, followed by USA Today/NFCA):
* #2/3 California (L, 1-2) – now ranked #4/5
* #6/6 Georgia, (L, 1-7) – now ranked #6/5
* #11/12 Michigan (L, 0-3) – now ranked #10/9
* #8/8 Nebraska (W, 6-4), now ranked #18/19
* #14/14 Nebraska (W, 1-0), now ranked #18/19
* #8/8 Stanford (L, 2-4), now ranked #9/11
*#24/24 CS Fullerton (W, 5-4), now unranked
* #4/6 Florida State (L, 3-4 – 10 innings), now ranked #3/3
* NR Pacific (L, 1-12), now ranked #19/21
* NR Georgia Tech (W, 2-1), now ranked #22/NR
* NR Florida Atlantic (W, 2-0), now ranked NR/#24
* NR Texas A&M, now ranked NR/#24
The Irish also will take on DePaul later this season, which has earned votes in the top 25 this season. In addition, Hawaii has received votes for the national polls this season.
While a tough schedule might affect Notre Dame’s early season record, it has paid huge dividends over the last two years when the Irish return to the Midwest for conference and regional play. The 2002 season saw Notre Dame open up 8-12 while facing eight ranked teams in the first two months of the season. Notre Dame responded by winning 34 of its next 37 games and the BIG EAST Championship entering the NCAA regional. The 2003 season followed a similar pattern, as Notre Dame found itself facing six ranked teams and holding a 10-10 record on March 14. The Irish bounced back with a 20-game win streak and 26 wins in their last 30 games entering the NCAA regional.
So far in 2004, Notre Dame is 18-4 since returning to the Midwest for most of its games.
Head coach Deanna Gumpf:
The 2004 season marks Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf’s third at the helm of the Irish softball program. Her 82 wins over the first two seasons are the most in school history (Liz Miller had 77 while Brian Boulac posted 61) and she has guided the team to set school records for home runs, RBI and fielding percentage over the last two seasons.
Gumpf’s record at Notre Dame stands at 117-47 (.713) entering this week’s action and her teams have captured back-to-back BIG EAST titles and NCAA regional appearances.
The 2004 season will feature Gumpf’s distinctive stamp on the program. The graduation of four starters in the infield gives the opportunity for the Irish starting lineup to feature five players from Gumpf’s first two recruiting classes at Notre Dame.
Notre Dame picked to win its third-straight BIG EAST title:
Notre Dame has been picked to finish first in the BIG EAST Conference for the 2004 season, as voted on by the league coaches and released by the conference office. The Irish garnered seven of 11 first place votes and 95 total points in the poll, followed by Villanova (83 points) and Boston College (74).
Notre Dame won a share of the BIG EAST regular-season crown for the seventh-straight season last year, finishing the conference schedule with a 14-3 record. Led by conference player of the year Andrea Loman, Notre Dame swept through the BIG EAST Championship, scoring 21 runs in three games and earning the title on a walk off home run by Loman in the ninth inning against Villanova.
2004 BIG EAST Preseason Softball Coaches Poll
1. Notre Dame, 95 points
2. Villanova, 83 points
3. Boston College, 74 points
4. Seton Hall, 70 points
5. St. John’s, 55 points
Virginia Tech, 55 points
7. Syracuse, 50 points
8. Connecticut, 49 points
9. Rutgers, 43 points
10. Pittsburgh, 20 points
11. Providence, 12 points
Keeping up with the Irish on the road:
A complete recap, plus game boxscore, will be posted on www.und.com as soon as possible upon completion of Notre Dame’s scheduled games for the day (although during preseason tournament action, the schedule might allow for game-by-game updates). The Notre Dame softball hotline will also be updated as soon as possible after each game, that line can be reached by calling (574) 631-3000, press 4, then 2.
BIG EAST Championship switched to Syracuse, N.Y. for 2004:
The 2004 BIG EAST Championship will be hosted by Syracuse University this season. During the previous two seasons, the BIG EAST Championship was held in Roanoke, Va., but a schedule change in the Division II National Championship (hosted by the city of Roanoke) dictated a return to campus sites for the BIG EAST Championship.
Thursday, May 13
Game 1: No. 2 seed vs. No. 3 – 5:00 p.m.
Game 2: No. 1 seed vs. No. 4 – 7:00 p.m.
Friday, May 14
Game 3: Winner game 1 vs.
Winner game 2 – 3:00 p.m.
Game 4: Loser game 1 vs.
Loser game 2 – 5:00 p.m.
Game 5: Loser game 3 vs.
Winner game 4 – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 15
Game 6: Winner game 3 vs.
Winner game 5 – 1:00 p.m.
Game 7: Same teams if necessary – 3:00 p.m.
2004 Notre Dame Softball Bio Updates –
#1 Steffany Stenglein * 5-10 * Junior * P *R/R *Huntington Beach, CA (Marina)
* BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week (4-5)
* BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week (3-29)
Career notes – Posted second career perfect game at Valparaiso on March 23, striking out a career-best 14 batters in the six-inning victory and not allowing a single ball out of the infield … other perfect game came vs. Virginia Tech on April 20, 2002 … combined with teammate Carrie Wisen for a no-hitter vs. Valparaiso in 2002, giving her three career no-hit performances.
2004 – Won her fourth straight game at UIC, working six innings, giving up three hits and striking out eight … moved to 4-0 in the BIG EAST with a 6.0 IP effort in game two vs. Providence, giving up one run (her first in BIG EAST play in ’04), striking out nine and issuing just one walk … picked up the victory at #18 Nebraska, working 5.1 innings, giving up four hits, striking out two and walking four … earned her third conference victory of the season in as many starts with a four-inning, two-hit, three-strikeout performance vs. Syracuse (8-0 Irish victory in five innings) … shut down the Connecticut offense in game two of a doubleheader, giving up just two hits and striking out five in a five-inning, 10-0 Irish victory … repeated as the conference pitcher of the week on April 5, picking up three victories during the week – including two BIG EAST Conference wins … earned a complete game victory at Western Michigan in game two, allowing four hits, on earned run and striking out six … named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week for the first time in 2004 (and third of her career) on March 29 after going 2-0 with a spotless ERA and posting 22 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched in two victories, including the perfect game at Valparaiso … threw seven scoreless innings vs. Saint Louis at the Hoosier Invitational to pick up eighth victory of the year (4-3 Irish victory) … earned her second career perfect game and third no-hitter in Notre Dame’s 9-0 six-inning victory at Valparaiso … struck out 14 of the 18 batters she faced and the Crusaders failed to get a ball out of the infield … previous no-hitter included a combined against Valparaiso in 2002 and a perfect game vs. Virginia Tech in ’02 … the 14 strikeouts were a career-best … tossed second complete game in three outings vs. North Carolina (2-0 Irish victory), allowing three hits, two walks and striking out six … posted a complete-game victory vs. Georgia Tech in the NFCA Leadoff Classic Silver Bracket Championship game, giving up just five hits, one run and striking out eight … held the U.S. Olympic Team to one run on four hits over three innings of work in Notre Dame’s 10-0 exhibition loss to Team USA … earned first victory of the season vs. UNLV with a complete-game performance, striking out 10 and giving up one run and five hits … the 10 strikeouts marked the third 10-strikeout performance of her career and first since she sat down 10 vs. Seton Hall in 2002 … surrendered just four hits and two runs in her season opening appearance vs. #2/3 California (a 2-1 Irish loss).
#4 Carrie Wisen *5-7 * Junior * P/DP * R/R * Fullerton, CA (Sonora)
2004 – Earned her first save of the year at Nebraska, pitching the last 1.2 innings, giving up one hit and striking out two … escaped a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the bottom of the sixth vs. the Huskers … posted her most impressive outing of the season in relief against Georgia State, throwing 5.2 innings without a hit, striking out nine of the 18 batters she faced … entered the Massachusetts game in relief, throwing three innings with two hits allowed and five strikeouts … threw two scoreless innings vs. Princeton (10-1 Irish win) … earned first victory of the season with 2.2 innings of relief vs. #8/9 Nebraska at the UNLV Classic (a 6-4 Irish victory) … started at DP vs. #24/24 CS Fullerton.
#5 Kenya Fuemmeler * 5-7 * Freshman *P/UT * R/R * Salisbury, MO (Salisbury)
2004 – Scored her first career run in first appearance with the Irish vs. Hawaii … made first career pitching appearance vs. Pacific (12-1 Irish loss), working 0.2 innings with three hits and two runs.
#8 Liz Hartmann * 5-9 *Junior *3B * R/R *Novato, CA (San Marin)
Career notes – Continues climb up the all-time home run list with 21 – good for fourth on the all-time list (Jarrah Myers, 99–02 is the leader with 36) … she is five behind Sara Hayes for third place … has hit four game-winning home runs in the sixth inning or later during her career, including two vs. nationally-ranked Nebraska (’02 and ’04), along with one at La.-Lafayette in 2003 and her solo shot vs. Saint Louis at the Hoosier Invitational this season … joined Jarrah Myers earlier this season as the only Notre Dame players to hit two home runs in a single game three times during their careers.
2004 – walked and scored the game-winning run in game one vs. Providence (1-0 Irish victory) … posted second double of the doubleheader vs. Syracuse, going one for three at the plate … two for two with a double and run scored in game one vs. Syracuse … two for three with a two-RBI double in game two vs. UConn (10-0 Irish victory) … three for three in game one against Connecticut (9-1 Irish victory) … two for three with a double and solo home run in game two at Western Michigan … blasted the game-winning home run in the bottom of the seventh vs. Saint Louis in the Hoosier Invitational (4-3 Irish victory) … three for four with a double and two singles at Valparaiso … one for four with a two-run home run in game two vs. Eastern Michigan (9-0 Irish victory) … posted a fielder’s choice RBI in game one vs. Eastern Michigan, giving the Irish an important insurance run in a 2-0 victory … two for three with three RBI, including a two-RBI single vs. Maryland … shook off the effects of a flu virus vs. North Carolina, going two for three with the lone RBI of the game (2-0 Irish victory) … one for four with two RBI vs. Princeton … hit her third home run of the UNLV Classic vs. Portland State (a 4-1 Irish victory ) … tied her own school record (shared by eight other players) by blasting two home runs to propel Notre Dame to a 6-4 come-from-behind victory vs. #8/9 Nebraska at the UNLV Classic … hit a two-run home run to cut the Husker lead to 4-2, then hit another two-run homer in the top of the seventh to provide the game-winning runs … with the two homers against Nebraska, she becomes the second player in Notre Dame softball history to hit two home runs in three different games (Jarrah Myers) … her home run vs. Nebraska in the UNLV Classic is the second game-winning home run she has hit against Nebraska in her career – Hartmann hit a three-run homer in the top of the seventh at #4 Nebraska in 2002 to push the Irish to a 3-2 upset victory … ended up three for four with two home runs, a double and two runs scored vs. Nebraska in the UNLV Classic … three for four with an RBI double in the season opener vs. Hawaii.
#9 Nicole deFau * 5-3 * Senior * OF * R/R *Southington, CT (Southington)
Career notes: Has already set season-total career highs for doubles (7), triples (2), RBI (8) and at bats (115) … tied for second on the team in doubles this year with seven, which is already a career high and surpasses the four doubles she had in her three previous years combined.
2004 – Came through with a key sacrifice fly in the sixth inning at #18 Nebraska, providing Notre Dame an insurance run (2-0 Irish victory) … three for three with two runs scored in game two vs. Syracuse (8-0 Irish victory) … hit her third career home run in the sixth inning against Boston College (7-1 Irish victory) … finished one step away from hitting for the cycle in game one vs. Connecticut (9-1 Irish victory), posting a double in the first, single in the fourth and triple in the sixth to finish three for four … scored the winning run in the sixth inning vs. Western Kentucky (2-1 Irish victory) by doubling to lead off the inning and scoring on a double by Meagan Ruthrauff … got on base four times at Valparaiso, scoring three runs and going two for three with a double … singled and eventually scored an important insurance run during the sixth inning in game one vs. Eastern Michigan … has moved up to second in the line up to take advantage of her bunting skills … played a crucial role in Notre Dame’s victory over Georgia Tech in the NFCA Leadoff Classic Silver Bracket Championship game, throwing out the tieing run at the plate from leftfield in the bottom of the sixth inning (2-1 Irish victory) … three for three with a double, two singles and a run vs. Princeton … made a great catch in rightfield vs. #8/8 Stanford, bringing back a ball that looked destined for a grand slam home run … one for three with an RBI single vs. #2/3 California (2-1 Irish loss) … logged first triple of the season for ND in the first game of the year vs. Hawaii – driving in Nicole Wicks with the tieing run (4-4) in Notre Dame’s eventual 8-7 victory.
#11 Gessica Hufnagle *5-6 *Freshman *C * R/R * Middlebury, IN (Northridge)
2004 – Made first career appearance at catcher in Notre Dame’s 10-1 victory over Princeton … scored her first career run after pinch running for Liz Hartmann vs. #8/8 Stanford, scoring on a throwing error by the Cardinal (4-2 Irish loss).
#16 Mallorie Lenn * 5-8 * Sophomore * C *R/R * Garden Grove, CA (Pacifica)
2004 – Two for three with a double and run scored in game one vs. Syracuse (11-3 Irish victory) … two for four with a single and double in game two vs. Boston College (7-1 Irish victory) … blasted her second home run of the first conference weekend in game one against Boston College, driving in two runs … hit her third home run of the season against Connecticut in game one, a solo shot in the fifth inning (9-1 Irish victory) … bases loaded single in the first inning at Western Michigan drove in the game winning run in Notre Dame’s 5-1 victory … … hit home runs in consecutive games, following up her shot vs. Eastern Michigan with a two-run bomb at Valparaiso … was two for three with two RBI vs. the Crusaders … smacked her first home run of the season in game two vs. Eastern Michigan, a solo shot in the second inning that turned into the game winning run (9-1 Irish victory) … earned third multiple hit game of the year in game one vs. Eastern Michigan (two for three) … notched a two RBI single vs. Florida A&M (8-0 Irish victory) … two for three (two singles) vs. Georgia State … posted first multiple hit game of the season vs. Florida Atlantic, going two for three with an RBI double (2-0 Irish victory) … broke out of an 0-24 slump vs. UMass with a single up the middle … one for three with an RBI single vs. Utah (4-3 Irish victory) … one for four with a double vs. #8/9 Nebraska in the UNLV Classic … one for two with an RBI vs. UNLV.
#20 Nicole Wicks *5-5 *Junior * OF/IF *R/R *Renton, WA (Hazen)
Career notes: Became the eighth player to tie the school record for triples in a single game, hitting two in game one vs. Syracuse.
2004 – Transfer from the University of Washington … has stepped in as the starting rightfield position due to the loss of Kellie Middleton (injured) …. is currently Notre Dame’s hottest hitter, going nine for 19 over the last six games with three triples and a double … ended up two for three with her first triple at Notre Dame in game one vs. Purdue (her RBI on the triple ended up as the game winner in Notre Dame’s 4-2 victory) … two for three with a double and single in game one vs. Boston College (5-0 Irish victory) … crushed third home run of the season at Valparaiso … tied up the NFCA Leadoff Classic Silver Bracket Championship game with a solo home run in the third inning – her second homer of the tournament … two for two vs. #14/14 Nebraska at the NFCA Leadoff Classic … two for three with two runs scored vs. Princeton … first hit in an Irish uniform was a solo home run vs. #24/24 CS Fullerton (5-4 Irish victory) … ended up one for two with two runs scored vs. the Titans.
#21 Megan Ciolli *5-5 * Junior *OF *L/R * Terre Haute, IN (North Vigo)
* USA Softball National Player of the Year Initial Watch List (40 players)
Career notes – Has moved her career batting average to .359 as of April 11, which would rank third all-time at Notre Dame … poised to crack into the top-five all-time in stolen bases, currently has 39 (Jenn Giampaolo is fifth with 41 – Andrea Loman is the all-time leader with 60). … has moved to third in the Irish lineup to take advantage of her RBI potential (batted first for Notre Dame in 2002 and 2003).
2004 – Three for four with three singles, an RBI and a run scored in game two vs. Providence … two for three with two runs scored in game one vs. Boston College (5-0 Irish victory) … crushed a home run vs. Western Kentucky for ND’s first run of the game, eventually finishing two for three against the Hilltoppers … drove in two insurance runs with a single in the seventh inning at Indiana (4-0 Irish victory), capping a one for four performance … two for four with a run scored and stolen base at Valparaiso … three for four with a run scored in game two vs. Eastern Michigan (9-1 Irish victory) … one for two with a two-RBI double and stolen base vs. Florida A&M (8-0 Irish victory) … put up her second four hit game of the season vs. Maryland, going four for four singles) with three runs scored … one for four with two runs scored and a stolen base vs. Georgia State … three for five with an RBI at #4/5 Florida State … one for three with an RBI single (and eventually scored) vs. UMass (4-2 Irish loss) … three for four with three runs scored and an RBI vs. Princeton … two for three with a run scored vs. NW State … two for three with a run scored vs. Utah … four for four with a home run and three singles vs. Portland State, posting the second four-hit game of her career (Valparaiso 2002) … hit first home run of the season in the first inning vs. Portland State … three for three with two steals vs. #2/3 California (a 2-1 Irish loss).
#22 Sara Schoonaert * 5-3 * Sophomore * SS * R/R * Houston, TX (Clear Lake)
2004 – Posted three hits in game two vs. Providence (7-1 Irish victory) and scored the game winning run after doubling in the second inning … had a single, double, triple and three RBI in the second game vs. the Friars … drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth in game one vs. Providence (1-0 Irish victory) … scored the game winning run in Notre Dame’s 2-0 victory at #18 Nebraska … hit an RBI double in the bottom of the eighth against Purdue (4-3 Irish loss) … broke up a no-hit bid by Western Michigan’s Laura Stewart in game one, doubling to lead off the third inning … posted a two-RBI single in the first inning of game two at Western Michigan … contributed an RBI single for an important insurance run in Notre Dame’s 2-0 victory over Florida Atlantic … scored the lone run of the game on a two-base error vs. #14/14 Nebraska at the NFCA Leadoff Classic … scored the game-winning run in the top of the eighth on a passed ball vs. #24/24 CS Fullerton … posted both ND hits and a stolen base vs. the U.S. Olympic Team and was perfect on six defensive chances vs. Team USA in a 10-0 exhibition loss … two for two vs. #8/8 Stanford … three for three with a run scored vs. #8/9 Nebraska in the UNLV Classic … two for three in the season opener vs. Hawaii.
#24 Stephanie Brown *5-6 * Freshman *2B * L/R * Chandler, AZ (Corona Del Sol)
* 2004 NFCA Leadoff Classic All-Tournament Team
2004 – Ended up three for three with three RBI and a run scored in game one vs. Syracuse (11-3 Irish victory) … exploded for a dominate doubleheader in her first conference action vs. Connecticut, going five for six in the two games with six RBI, two home runs (including a grand slam) and scoring four runs … two for two in game two vs. UConn, including her first career grand slam in the fourth inning … three for four in game one vs. Connecticut with two singles and a two-run homer in the fourth inning … two for three with a run scored vs. Saint Louis … three for four with a run scored and RBI in game two vs. Eastern Michigan … keyed Notre Dame’s five-inning victory over Florida A&M with a two for three, two runs scored performance at the top of the lineup … two for four with two runs scored vs. Maryland (6-2 Irish victory) … three for four with a home run and scored all three runs in Notre Dame’s 3-1 victory vs. Troy State … the three hits vs. Troy State represents her first career three-hit game … two for five with an RBI and run scored at #4/5 Florida State … earned a spot on the NFCA Leadoff Classic all-tournament team … hit .368 in the tournament with two home runs, two RBI and five runs scored … two for three vs. #14/14 Nebraska at the NFCA Leadoff Classic … two for four with two runs and an RBI vs. #24/24 CS Fullerton … hit third home run of the season with a solo shot vs. the Titans … broke up a perfect game and no hitter vs. #6/6 Georgia, hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning (7-1 Irish loss) … hit her first career home run vs. #8/9 Nebraska in the UNLV Classic, tying the game up in the top of the seventh with a two-run shot down the leftfield line (Notre Dame eventually won the game 6-4) … carded first career hit and RBI in her first game with the Irish vs. Hawaii.
#27 Carissa Jaquish *5-6 *Freshman * C *R/R * Highland, CA (Redlands East Valley)
2004 – First career home run turned out to be a grand slam, driving in four runs in the top of the seventh at UIC … ended up with three hits in the game with the Flames, including a double and home run … the three-hit effort at UIC was her third of the season … contributed her first career triple in Notre Dame’s comeback attempt during game two vs. Purdue, driving in Sara Schoonaert for the third Irish run of the game (4-3 Irish loss) … two for three with an RBI and two runs scored in game two vs. Boston College (7-1 Irish victory) … one for three with an RBI single vs. Connecticut (9-1 Irish victory) … ended up two for four with two singles in game two vs. Eastern Michigan … two for two with two singles and two runs scored vs. Florida A&M (8-0 Irish victory) … was perfect at the plate and posted her first career three-hit performance (3-3) vs. Troy State … had a double and two singles in the game … platoons at catcher with starter Mallorie Lenn … one for three in Notre Dame’s 2-1 victory over Georgia Tech in the NFCA Leadoff Classic Silver Bracket Championship game … logged first career hit in a one for two performance vs. #8/9 Nebraska at the UNLV Classic.
#32 Heather Booth * 5-10 * Sophomore *P * R/R * Riverside, CA (Martin Luther King)
* BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week (03-01)
* Florida State Invitational All-Tournament Team
Career notes – Has already established career-highs for shutouts in a season with six (had three as a rookie in 2003) … also has 18 complete games this season, five better than her 13 from ’03 … will surpass her rookie strikeout total as well (158), as she has a team-high 144 strikeouts in 143.1 innings pitched this season.
2004 – Moved to 2-0 in conference play with a great effort vs. Boston College, throwing a complete-game shutout, allowing just two hits and striking out five … picked up her first BIG EAST Conference victory of the season against Connecticut, throwing a complete game five-hitter, striking out six and allowing one run … scattered six hits to pick up the victory vs. Western Kentucky, striking out 10 for her four 10-strikeout performance of the season … contributed a complete-game two-hitter at Indiana, retiring the 22 batters she faced on 11 fly outs, eight ground outs and one strike out … won her third game in the Florida State Invitational tournament over Penn State, collecting her third shutout of the season with a complete-game, two-hit performance (six strikeouts) … scattered three hits and struck out six vs. Maryland to pick up her eighth win of the season … matched her career-best with 12 strikeouts while allowing three hits vs. Troy State … turned in another great outing against top competition, holding #4/5 Florida State to four runs in 9.2 innings, matching her career-best for strikeouts with 12 (a 4-3 Irish loss) … just missed her first career perfect game vs. Florida Atlantic, going the distance against the Owls – allowing just one hit and striking out seven for her second shutout in the last three appearances … named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week on March 1 for her performance over the course of the NFCA Leadoff Classic … for the tournament, she pitched 22.0 innings, scattering 17 hits with 23 strikeouts and allowed just two earned runs for a 0.64 ERA … completely shut down #14/14 Nebraska at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, earning a complete-game shut out with four hits, two walks and five strikeouts (1-0 Irish victory) … posted one of her most impressive career outings vs. #24/24 CS Fullerton, pitching all eight innings in Notre Dame’s 5-4 victory … allowed seven hits, four runs (one earned) and struck out a career-best 11 vs. the Titans … scattered six hits, struck out seven and did not allow a run after the first inning in ND’s 2-1 victory over NW State … pitched a complete-game five-hitter vs. Portland State in the UNLV Classic, striking out nine.
#44 Kellie Middleton * 5-6 * Sophomore *OF *R/R * Norcross, GA (Marist)
2004 – Starting rightfielder is sidelined indefinitely with an injury … hitting .391 with three doubles and four RBI in eight games before suffering the injury … posted two hits with two stolen bases and an RBI vs. UNLV … capped a five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh of the season opener vs. Hawaii, crushing a two-run home run for her first round-tripper of the season and push the Irish to an 8-7 come-from-behind victory.
#77 Meagan Ruthrauff * 5-10 * Sophomore * 1B *R/R *La Mirada, CA (La Serna)
* BIG EAST Player of the Week (03-29-04)
* BIG EAST Player of the Week (03-01-04)
* Florida State Invitational All-Tournament Team
2004 – Smashed her ninth home run of the season in game two against Syracuse, a three-run shot in the third inning … two for three with and RBI in game one vs. Purdue (4-2 Irish victory) … two for three with a three-run home run in game two vs. Connecticut … the three-run homer broke a temporary slump (0-12) … named BIG EAST Player of the Week on March 29 for the second time in 2004, honored for her performance vs. Valparaiso and during the Hoosier Invitational … hit seven for 12 during the week with three home runs and 10 RBI … one for three with the game-winning double in the top of the sixth inning vs. Western Kentucky in the Hoosier Invitational … one for three with a solo home run in Notre Dame’s 4-0 victory at Indiana … two for three with a three-run home run vs. Saint Louis in the Hoosier Invitational (4-3 Irish victory) … contributed the game-winning hits in three off Notre Dame’s four victories during the week of March 22-29 … exploded for five RBI (including at least one in each of three plate appearances) at Valparaiso … ended up three for four vs. the Crusaders with a home run, double and single … scored the lone run of the game vs. Penn State (1-0 Irish victory) on a double steal play in the bottom of the fourth … drew two walks in three plate appearances vs. the Nittany Lions … launched a three-run homer to key a one for two afternoon vs. Maryland …drew two walks vs. the Terrapins … ended up two for three with and RBI and run scored vs. Georgia State … two for three with two RBI singles vs. Troy State (3-1 Irish victory) … named BIG EAST Player of the Week on March 1 in honor of her performance at the NFCA Leadoff Classic … finished the NFCA Leadoff Classic with seven hits (.368 average), three home runs (two game winners), nine RBI and three runs scored … blasted the game-winning home run in the NFCA Leadoff Classic Silver Bracket Championship game vs. Georgia Tech … was two for three vs. the Yellow Jackets … two for three with five RBI vs. Princeton … smashed a three-run home run vs. the Tigers … posted an RBI single to put Notre Dame in front 4-3 during an eventual 5-4 eight-inning victory over #24/24 CS Fullerton … ended up two for four vs. the Titans … crushed first home run of the season in the first inning vs. NW State, providing the winning margin in ND’s 2-1 victory … two for three with a walk vs. #8/8 Stanford (4-2 Irish loss) … two for three with two RBI vs. Portland State.