Senior Megan Ciolli was named a third-team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association on Thursday, June 2.

Softball Looks Forward To NCAA Regional At Ivy Field

May 17, 2005

Complete Release in PDF Format, which also includes full biography updates for every Irish player.
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2005 NCAA Regional No. 9
Ivy Field • Notre Dame, Ind.
Friday, May 20
Game One: Notre Dame (44-13) vs. Louisville (42-18), 12 noon
Game Two: Northwestern (38-15) vs. Albany (35-12), 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 21
Game Three: Winner Game One vs. Winner Game Two, 12 noon
Game Four: Loser Game One vs. Loser Game Two, 2:30 p.m.
Game Five: Loser Game Three vs. Winner Game Four, 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 22
Game Six: winner Game Three vs. Winner Game Five, 12 noon
Game Seven (if necessary): Same teams as Game Six, 2:30 p.m.

Live coverage: Each game of the 2005 NCAA Softball Championship will be available to monitor via Gametracker live statistics on The NCAA Regional No. 9 page on also will have game recaps, boxscores and an updated tournament schedule should any games be delayed by weather.

Ticket information: Tickets are available at the Notre Dame Ticket Office (second floor of the Joyce Center), by calling 574-631-7356 and on-line at (click on the tickets link on the website’s front page). Ticket prices: Adults – 5$, Seniors (55 and older) and Students (21 and under) 3$, Youth (12 and under) 2$.

Notre Dame plays host to NCAA action at Ivy Field for the first time: The University of Notre Dame softball team (44-13) will play host to its first NCAA Championship event at Ivy Field this weekend when Northwestern, Louisville and Albany visit campus for the NCAA Region No. 9 double-elimination tournament.

This weekend’s tournament will be the first NCAA Championship action held at Ivy Field since the program began competition in 1989. It is a welcome change for the team, as Notre Dame’s previous nine NCAA appearances have been held at just three different venues (including six trips to Ann Arbor, Mich.).

Notre Dame quick hits: What you need to know about the Irish for this weekend’s action:

• Notre Dame is making its 10th appearance in the NCAA Championship and seventh consecutive, dating back to 1999.

• The Irish are playing host on an NCAA Regional at Ivy Field for the first time ever this weekend.

• Notre Dame has never won a regional title and has advanced to the last day of competition twice in the last five years (2001, 2002).

Quick series history vs. this weekend’s opponents:

Notre Dame vs. Louisville – Notre Dame and Louisville, future BIG EAST Conference opponents, will be meeting for just the second time … Louisville won the first-ever meeting between the two schools in softball in 2002 4-3 at the Arizona Pepsi Classic … the Cardinals will become a full-time member of the BIG EAST Conference on July 1, 2005.

Notre Dame vs. Northwestern – The Irish and Wildcats have met nine times, including a 4-3 Notre Dame victory earlier this season (April 26) … Notre Dame leads the all-time series 5-4 with a 3-4 record at Ivy Field … Northwestern is the ninth overall seed in the NCAA Championship this season.

Notre Dame vs. Albany – The Irish and Great Danes have never met on the softball field … Albany earned a berth to the NCAA Championship by virtue of its America East Conference title … friend or foe? – current Notre Dame Sports Information Assistant Sean Carroll was a member of the Albany sports information staff in 2003 and 2004.

Notre Dame NCAA Championship history: Notre Dame will be making its 10th NCAA Championship appearance this weekend … the team’s first appearance came in 1994 at the Mideast Region in Bloomington, Ind. … Notre Dame’s first NCAA victory was a 3-0 victory over Indiana on May 20, 1994 … Friday will mark 11 years to the day of Notre Dame’s first NCAA appearance … here is a look at Notre Dame’s NCAA regional history –

1994: vs. Indiana, W, 3-0, vs. UIC, L, 0-1, vs. Indiana, L, 0-8

1995: vs. UIC, W, 5-2, vs. Michigan, L, 0-2, vs. UIC, W, 8-5, vs. Michigan, L, 6-15

1996: vs. South Carolina, L, 0-3, vs. Central Michigan, L, 3-9

1999: vs. Nebraska, L, 0-2, vs. Michigan, W, 1-0, vs. Nebraska, L, 3-4

2000: vs. UIC, W, 2-0, vs. DePaul, L, 0-1, vs. Central Michigan, L, 1-2

2001: vs. Western Illinois, W, 8-0, vs. Illinois State, W, 2-1, vs. Iowa, L, 0-6, vs. DePaul, W, 8-1, vs. Iowa, L, 2-6

2002: vs. Iowa, W, 3-2, vs. Oregon State, L, 0-2, vs. Oregon State, W, 2-0, vs. Nebraska, L, 3-5

2003: vs. Missouri, W, 4-3, vs. DePaul, L, 1-4, vs. Oakland, W, 5-0, vs. Michigan, L, 3-5

2004: vs. DePaul, W, 8-6, vs. Michigan, L, 0-1, vs. UIC, L, 1-2

NCAA Regional Irish quick facts: All-time record – 13-18 (.419) … best regional record – 3-2 in 2001 … worst regional record – 0-2 in 1996 … most common opponents – UIC (2-3), Michigan (1-4), DePaul (3-1) … most runs scored – eight (three times vs. DePaul in `05, vs. Western Illinois in `01 and vs. DePaul in `01) … most runs given up – 15 vs. Michigan in 1995 … highest seed – No. 1 in 2001 … most games played in a regional – five in 2001 (3-2) … final day appearances – three (vs. Michigan in 1995, vs. Iowa in 2001 and vs. Nebraska in 2002 – needed to win two games against each opponent in each final day appearance) … please see page 19-20 of this notes package for a complete list of Notre Dame’s regional team and individual records.

Notre Dame claims 10th consecutive BIG EAST regular-season title: Notre Dame has earned a BIG EAST regular-season crown every year it has competed in the BIG EAST – it joined the league in 1996 … in the first three years of competition, the conference was divided into the north and south division, with the Irish claiming the south division title in 1996 (19-1), 1997 (16-4) and 1998 (13-3) … once the conference shifted to just one division, the Irish have won seven straight titles – 1999 (16-0), 2000 (14-2), 2001 (20-0), 2002 (18-2), 2003 (14-3), 2004 (18-2) and 2005 (16-2).

Stenglein posting eye-popping strikeout numbers: Two-time BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week Steffany Stenglein has been a dominating force in the pitcher’s circle this season. Throwing 14 double-digit strikeout games in 2005, Stenglein currently averages 11.3 strikeouts per seven innings.

Some other Stenglein strikeout notes:

• She has failed to strikeout at least six batters in only three of 26 game starts in which she has thrown at least four innings.

• She has hit double-digit strikeouts 15 times this season, including a personal-best and school record 19 in game one vs. Seton Hall.

• She is now second on the all-time career strikeout list and second on the single season strikeout list with 293 (22 behind Terri Kobata’s school record of 315 in 1994).

Notre Dame blows past school record for single-season strikeouts: Led by the efforts of Steffany Stenglein (293) and Heather Booth (184), Notre Dame has set the school record for strikeouts in a season this year with 490 – needing just 10 more to reach the 500 plateau. The team has broken the previous mark of 477 by the 2001 squad – which featured two All-American pitchers (Jennifer Sharron, Kristin Schmidt).

Ciolli closing in on single-season hits mark: It will take a great effort by the Irish team captain, but Megan Ciolli has the single-season mark for hits in sight for the second consecutive season. With 70 hits in 2005, Ciolli has an outside shot at the single-season mark of 84 by Meghan Murray in 1996. With 10 more hits, Ciolli will look to join Murray as the only Irish players to post 80 hits in two seasons after posting 81 base hits in 2004.

Ruthrauff loves the free pass: With one of the best eyes at the plate on the team, junior Meagan Ruthrauff has drawn 30 walks this season, becoming the first Notre Dame player to ever draw 30 or more walks in two seasons. Ruthrauff set the single-season mark for free passes with 36 last year. She is currently second on the all-time list for base on balls with 79, just eight behind the all-time leader Andrea Loman (87, 2000-03).

Laing matches single-season doubles mark, Ruthrauff not far behind: Freshman Katie Laing, who has proven to be one of the top clutch hitters on the team this season, has matched the school record for doubles in a season with 17. Laing is currently tied with Lizzy Lemire (1999) and Jenn Giampaolo (1996). Junior Meagan Ruthrauff is not far behind her teammate with 16 doubles this season.

Team has posted 91 doubles in 2005: With freshman Katie Laing and junior Meagan Ruthrauff threatening the single-season mark for doubles, it should come as no surprise that the Irish are threatening the school record for doubles in a single season. Entering the regional this weekend, the Irish have hit 91 `two-baggers,’ second all-time behind the 98 doubles the 2001 team recorded.

Irish looking for one more steal to reach and even 100: One of Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf’s goals this season was to steal 100 bases – and the Irish are very close to reaching that goal. Led by single-season and career record holder Megan Ciolli, the Irish have swiped 99 bases in 2005. They are just two off the record of attempted steals (132 in 1996) and 13 off the single-season mark of 112 stolen bases in `96.

Notre Dame continues its defensive prowess under Gumpf in 2005: The Irish defense has continued to be a dependable force for the team, as Notre Dame will enter the regional with a .969 fielding percentage. While not threatening the school mark of .974 by the 2003 team, the `05 squad has kept alive the tradition of solid defense since Deanna Gumpf took over the program in 2002. The 2003 (.974), 2002 (.971) and 2004 (.968) teams currently rank one-two-three on the single-season list at Notre Dame.

Stenglein leaving her mark on the statistical charts: In addition to her strikeout totals this season, senior righthander Steffany Stenglein has already established the school marks for pitching appearances (151) and starts (130) and is second in innings pitched with 734.0, fifth in shutouts (19) and second in wins (79).

Stenglein sets school record for strikeouts in a single game: Senior Steffany Stenglein nabbed another record on Monday, April 25, against Seton Hall. The righthander pitched all nine innings, giving up three hits in a tough-luck loss – but set the school record for strikeouts in a single game. Stenglein set down 19 Pirate batters in the game, besting Terri Kobata’s record of 17 vs. Butler in 1995 and Indiana State in 1994. Kobata will still own the seven-inning record. Stenglein’s seven-inning best this season is 15 at Providence.

Stenglein reaches 250 strikeouts: Senior righthander Steffany Stenglein became just the second Irish pitcher to post 250 strikeouts in a single season this year. She enters this weekend with 293 Ks. Only Terri Kobata (315 in `94, 250 in `95) has reached the 250-strikeout plateau in a season prior to Stenglein’s performance this season. With seven more strikeouts, Stenglein will join Kobata as the only Irish hurlers to sit down 300 batters in a season.

Stenglein first 20-20-20 pitcher in school history: With 21 wins in 2005, senior Steffany Stenglein has become the first Notre Dame pitcher to win 20 games in three different seasons. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native won a school-record tying 27 games in 2002, 21 in 2004 and 21 this season.

She is tied for second on the all-time wins list, nine off of Jennifer Sharron’s school record.

Irish have dominated the month of April under Gumpf: Since Deanna Gumpf took over the Irish softball program in 2002 – the team has been close to unbeatable in the month of April. Finishing with a 20-3 April mark this year, the Irish are 84-11 (.884) in April over the last four years.

Here is a breakdown of Notre Dame’s record during April since 2002.

2002: 24-1
2003: 21-2
2004: 19-5
2005: 20-3

Notre Dame in BIG EAST regular-season play: Notre Dame finished with a 16-2 record in BIG EAST Conference play this season, continuing its tradition of excellence during the league’s regular-season play. The Irish have lost four games in conference play only once since it joined the league in 1996 and boasts an overall record of 164-19 (.896). Notre Dame’s BIG EAST regular-season records: 1996 – 19-1, 1997 – 16-4, 1998 – 13-3, 1999 – 16-0, 2000 – 14-2, 2001 – 20-0, 2002 – 18-2, 2003 – 14-3, 2004 – 18-2, 2005 – 16-2.

The Irish have won 10 consecutive BIG EAST regular-season crowns since 1996.

Irish win streak this season matches 2002 run for longest of Gumpf era: Notre Dame’s 20-game win streak in April matched the 2002 team’s run for the longest of the Deanna Gumpf era at Notre Dame … it also ranks as tied for the second-best all-time behind the 33-game run in 2001 … here is a look at Notre Dame’s winning streak history (minimum streak of 19):

• 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.

• 20 – 4-1-03 to 4-27-03, began with 7-3 win at Purdue, ended with 2-1 loss at Connecticut … loss before streak to #22 Northwestern, 3-2.

• 20 – 3-19-05 to 4-19-05, began with 8-0 win vs. Oakland in the Buckeye Invitational, ended with a 7-4 loss at DePaul … loss before the streak 7-4 to Marshall in the Buckeye Invitational.

• 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.

Ciolli looks to continue her climb up the career charts: Along with classmate Liz Hartmann, 2004 third-team All-American and BIG EAST Player of the Year Megan Ciolli has been a four-year starter since stepping on campus in 2001-02. Batting at the top of the lineup for a majority of her career (second freshman season, first sophomore season, third junior season), Ciolli has established herself as one of the top offensive players to ever don an Irish uniform.

Her current career rankings include second in batting average (.372 entering post season play), second in runs scored, first in hits, ninth in home runs and seventh in triples. She also has broken into the top 10 in games played and doubles this season and already broke the single season and career mark for steals this year. A complete list of current Notre Dame players threatening career records appear on page eight of this notes package.

Ciolli’s countdown for all-time records –

Runs: 158 (six to the record)

Single Season Hits: 70 (14 to the record)

Ciolli already set the single season record for stolen bases this year when she swiped her 22nd. She currently has 32 in 2005.

Ciolli becomes first Notre Dame NPF draft selection: National Pro Fastpitch announced its 2005 Senior College Player Selections last week and current Irish senior Megan Ciolli was selected by the Chicago Bandits with the first selection of the second round (seventh overall).

Due to NCAA regulations, an active college player may not sign with her respective franchise until their 2005 college season is finished. Senior selections expire on July 15, 2005.

The NPF officially announced that it will enter the 2005 season with six teams – the Akron Racers, Arizona Heat, Chicago Bandits, New England Riptide, NY/NJ Juggernaut and the Texas Thunder. The California Sunbirds will remain part of the league but will suspend play in 2005 to restructure the franchise.

The Bandits will be competing in their first season in the NPF and have already signed Olympic Team standout Jennie Finch. The season will run through June 2 through August 28 and will consist of a 48-game regular season schedule for each team, an all-star game, playoffs and a Championship Series. NPF continues to be the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball and has recently developed a new alliance with ASA/USA Softball and the International Softball Federation (ISF). This alliance will help promote international play by inviting teams from China, China Taipei, Japan, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia and Venezuela to play against NPF teams. A finalized schedule will be released in March.

Ruthrauff reaches 100 career RBI in just two-plus seasons: After senior Liz Hartmann cleared the 100-RBI barrier at Hawaii’s Spring Fling two weeks ago, junior Meagan Ruthrauff has joined her teammate in the 100-RBI club at Notre Dame.

Hartmann became the eighth player to post 100 RBI in a career – and Ruthrauff became the ninth during this season’s BIG EAST action. Ruthrauff drove in 54 last season, becoming just the second Irish player to post over 50 RBI in a season. The Irish first base currently has 116 career RBI.

Senior Megan Ciolli is looking to join her teammates in this category as well. She enters this weekend’s regional with 98 career RBI.

16 hits at Loyola Chicago most in two years for ND: Notre Dame’s 16 team hits in a 10-0 victory at Loyola Chicago on Thursday, March 31, are the most for the team since the 2003 season. On April 23 vs. Valparaiso, the Irish pounded out 17 hits in a 15-1 victory. The school record for hits in a single game is 21 against Rhode Island in 1992.

Notre Dame earns second tournament title of 2005 at Hawaii Spring Fling: Notre Dame’s 4-0 run through an abbreviated Spring Fling tournament at the University of Hawaii earned the team its second tournament title of the year. Combined with the GRU Classic (Feb. 10-13 – see note that follows) Notre Dame joins the `01 team as the only Irish team to claim two early-season tournament titles (the `01 squad won the Holiday Inn Invitational at South Florida and the Frost Tournament in Chattanooga, Tenn.).

Notre Dame claims first initial weekend tournament title since 2001: Notre Dame’s three consecutive victories in the GRU Classic (Feb. 10-13) in Gainesville, Fla., pushed the Irish through to the tournament title. The first weekend tournament victory marks the first for Notre Dame since the 2001 season, when the Irish swept through the Holiday Inn Invitational at South Florida with a 5-0 record.

Irish own four wins over ranked teams in 2005: Notre Dame is 44-13 this season and four of those 44 victories have come against ranked teams. The Irish defeated #21 South Florida and #19 Florida on their first weekend out (Feb. 12-13), then knocked off #5/6 Tennessee last weekend in Palm Springs. Notre Dame also defeated #15 Northwestern with a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh on Tuesday, April 26.

Under head coach Deanna Gumpf, the Irish have knocked off at least three ranked teams in three of four seasons (#25 South Florida, #4 Nebraska, #15 Oregon State in `02; #8 Nebraska, #14 Nebraska, #18 Nebraska in `04). The most ranked wins for the Irish came in 2001, when the team defeated eight teams ranked in the national top 25.

First back-to-back ranked wins since 2001: Notre Dame’s victories over #21 South Florida (5-1) on Saturday, Feb. 12, and #19 Florida on Sunday, Feb. 13, marked the first time since the 2001 season the Irish have posted two consecutive wins over a ranked opponents.

During the 2001 season, the Irish swept a doubleheader from #10 DePaul on April 19. To find the last time the Irish defeated two consecutive different ranked teams, you will fall back to 2000, when Notre Dame defeated #16 La.-Lafayette and #6 Oklahoma on March 18 at the Kia Klassic.

California girls: While three trips to the west coast gives the Irish an opportunity to face several of the top teams in the country this season, Notre Dame’s appearances in San Diego (Feb. 18-20), Palm Springs (Feb. 25-27) and the Los Angeles area (March 6-7) also will provide the seven California natives on the team will a chance to play in their home state.

Heather Booth (Riverside), Liz Hartmann (Novato), Carissa Jaquish (Highland), Mallorie Lenn (Garden Grove), Meagan Ruthrauff (La Mirada), Steffany Stenglein (Huntington Beach) and Carrie Wisen (Fullerton) are the seven California natives on the `05 Irish roster.

Incoming freshman class of 2006: University of Notre Dame head softball coach Deanna Gumpf has announced the signing of seven student-athletes to national letters of intent last week, landing one of the top recruiting classes in the nation.

Brittney Bargar (Corona, Calif.), Christine Farrell (La Habra, Calif.), Erin Glasco (Johnston City, Ill.), Linda Kohan (Westminster, Calif.), Alexandra Kotcheff (Beverly Hills, Calif.), Stephanie Mola (Naples, Fla.) and Beth Northway (Kentwood, Mich.) will make up the class of 2009.

“This is one of the best recruiting classes I have seen in my career and I feel it is the best in the country,” Gumpf says of the group.

“The quality and diversity of this class is second to none. The entire staff is excited to have this group of players join the Notre Dame family.”

The class hails from across the country with four California natives, plus players from Michigan, Illinois and Florida. The group also is made up of two pitchers (Bargar, Farrell), a catcher (Glasco), an infielder (Kohan), two outfielders (Kotcheff, Mola) and an infielder/outfielder (Northway) – giving the class excellent balance at all positions.

BIG EAST loses one team before gaining three in 2006: With the shift of Virginia Tech to the ACC for the `05 season, the BIG EAST drops down to 10 teams this season before expanding to 13 teams next year when DePaul, South Florida and Louisville (Notre Dame’s opponent on Friday) join the league (Marquette and Cincinnati to do not compete in softball).

With the addition of three traditional powers, the BIG EAST Conference will quickly become one of the best softball conferences east of the Mississippi.

Notre Dame will have faced all three new teams entering the league in 2006 this season. The Irish split two games with South Florida at the GRU Classic in Gainesville, Fla., and will traveled to DePaul for a doubleheader split on April 19. Notre Dame will face Louisville this Friday at 12 noon.

High school teammates: Sophomore Stephanie Brown and freshman Katie Laing are just the third combination of high school teammates to play for the Irish since the program began. Both Brown and Laing played for Corona del Sol in the Chandler, Ariz., area during their prep careers. Debbie Boulac and Stephanie Pinter, both from South Bend, Ind., and St. Joseph High School, played together from 1990-93. Jennifer Sharron and Jessica Sharron, the first second set of sisters to play for the Irish, were on the Notre Dame roster together in 2000 and 2001.

Sisters Debbie and Diane Boulac both played for the Irish, but were not on the same team together.