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Softball Plays Host To Loyola (Chicago) Before Weekend In Bloomington

March 25, 2004

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Notre Dame vs. Loyola (Chicago), Thursday, March 25, 5 p.m., Ivy Field

2004 Hoosier Invitational

IU Softball Field * Bloomington, Ind. * March 27 & 28

Notre Dame vs. Saint Louis, Saturday, March 27, 9:30 a.m.

Notre Dame vs. Indiana, Saturday, March 27, 2:00 p.m.

Notre Dame vs. Western Kentucky, March 28, 9:30 a.m.

Notre Dame vs. TBA, March 28, TBA

Irish Quick Facts:

* Notre Dame carries its longest win streak of the season (five games) into a home matchup with Loyola (Chicago) before entering the Hoosier Invitational this weekend.

* During the five-game win streak, Notre Dame has shut out four opponents and allowed no more than four hits in a game.

* Notre Dame has posted 13 hits as a team in each of its last two games.

Irish starting to hit their stride:

A return to campus and familiar surroundings has helped the University of Notre Dame softball team compile its best win streak of the season entering a Thursday match up with Loyola (Chicago) before entering this weekend’s Hoosier Invitational at Indiana University. After five consecutive weekends on the road, the Irish opened the regional part of the schedule with three victories last weekend.

Last week:

After the Western Michigan doubleheader was cancelled (and moved to April 3), Notre Dame swept Eastern Michigan 2-0 and 9-1 in its first home doubleheader of the season. The Irish followed up on Tuesday, March 23, by dominating Valparaiso 9-0 in six innings. Junior Steffany Stenglein collected her second career perfect game vs. the Crusaders, striking out 14 of the 18 batters she faced.

Time change:

Notre Dame’s game vs. Loyola (Chicago) on Thursday, March 25 has been moved back one hour. The game will start at 5 p.m. EST.

Weekend opponents:

Here is a look at Notre Dame’s opponents this weekend:

Loyola (Chicago): The Ramblers are 10-13 this season and are coming off a doubleheader split with Northern Illinois on March 23. Becky Marx has been the top offensive threat this season, hitting .296 with five home runs and a team-high 23 RBI. The pitching staff is keyed by Lindsey LaChiana, who is 6-6 this season with a 2.95 ERA. Thursday’s game will be the 35th meeting between the two teams, with the Irish holding a 29-5 advantage in the series. Notre Dame has won the last six meeting dating back to 2000, including 3-0 and 7-1 victories last season at Ivy Field.

Saint Louis: The Billikens will be the first opponent the Irish face during the Hoosier Invitational in Bloomington, Ind. Saint Louis is 9-20 in 2004, led on offense by Ashleigh Williams (.337, 3 HR, 16 RBI) and in the pitching circle by Elizabeth Nielsen (7-11, 4.17 ERA). Notre Dame and Saint Louis, who were both in the MCC Conference (now the Horizon League) at one time, will be meeting for the sixth time. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 4-1.

Indiana: The Hoosiers play host to their tournament owning a 17-14 record this season. They are coming off a sweep of Indiana State, in which Indiana piled up 18 runs in two games. Indiana has three hitters over .300, led by Karly McCormack (.376) who also has a team-high 17 RBI. Mariangee Bogado has seen the most time in the pitcher’s circle, posting a 10-6 record and 1.64 ERA (110 Ks in 98.2 IP). Notre Dame and Indiana will be meeting for the 19th time and first since 1999. The Hoosiers lead the all-time series 10-8.

Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers are 19-7 this season and are coming off a doubleheader split with Tennessee Tech on March 23. Western Kentucky is hitting .281 as a team this season, led by Renita Pennington (.367), while Jesscia Richardson has the power in the lineup (six HR, 16 RBI). The pitching staff boasts a solid 1.95 staff ERA, led by Allison Silver (10-4, 1.44 ERA). Notre Dame and Western Kentucky will be meeting for the first time.

Booth takes her game to another level:

Sophomore Heather Booth is following up her BIG EAST rookie of the year performance in 2003 with an even more impressive campaign in 2004. The staff ace for the Irish, Booth currently boasts a 1.29 ERA, 10-3 record and 111 strikeouts in 103.1 innings pitched. The Riverside, Calif., native is already threatening her 158 strikeout season-best total from last season.

Booth won 21 games in 2003 and has earned 10 wins so far in ’04. She has been at her best against top competition, posting wins over Nebraska (twice), CS Fullerton (eight-innings, 11 strikeouts), Florida State (four runs allowed over 9.2 innings) and has put up at least four strikeouts in every appearance this season. Her 12 complete games is close to the 13 she had during her rookie season and her four shutouts surpass the three from 2003.

In the month of March, Booth has posted a 5-2 record, 0.95 ERA, six complete games in seven appearances, three shutouts and 58 Ks in 51.1 IP. Booth has allowed just 28 hits in those 51.1 IP.

Beware the Ides of March?

The Shakespearean warning held true for Julius Caesar, but not for the Notre Dame softball team. Notre Dame is 10-5 this month and enter Thursday night’s game with a five-game winning streak.

Megan Ciolli (.417), Meagan Ruthrauff (.385), Stephanie Brown (.327) and Mallorie Lenn (.318) have all debunked the Soothsayer’s warning by hitting over .300 this month. Ruthrauff has contributed a team-high 15 RBI in the 15 games, while Liz Hartmann has provided 10 RBI.

The Notre Dame pitching staff ERA has posted equally impressive numbers this month, as the staff has complied a 1.36 ERA. Booth leads the way at 0.95 (5-2), followed by Carrie Wisen (1.56, 1-0) and Steffany Stenglein (1.82, 4-3).

Notre Dame offense explodes for 26 hits in two games:

The Notre Dame offense seems to be finding its stride late in March, as the Irish are coming off back-to-back 13-hit/nine-run performances in the last two games. After defeating Eastern Michigan 2-0 in the home opener, Notre Dame pasted the Eagles in game two with 13 hits and two home runs (Mallorie Lenn, Liz Hartmann). The Irish reached 13 hits again on Tuesday evening, defeating Valparaiso 9-1. Lenn, Nicole Wicks and Meagan Ruthrauff all hit home runs in the contest. The 26 hits in two game are the most since Notre Dame has 29 in a doubleheader vs. Valpo last season at Ivy Field.

Wisen lost in the boxscore?:

One of Notre Dame’s signature pitching performances was delivered during the FSU Invitational two weeks ago, but the stat line might have been lost in the game’s boxscore. Notre Dame defeated Georgia State 3-2 on March 13, getting a sacrifice fly from Liz Hartmann in the eighth inning to secure the victory. The hero of the game, however, was junior pitcher Carrie Wisen.

With starting pitcher Steffany Stenglein struggling with the strike zone (six walks in 2.1 IP), Wisen entered the game and completely shut down Georgia State’s offense. Picking up her third win of the season, Wisen threw 5.2 innings of relief, striking out nine of 18 batters she faced an not allowing a single hit. Georgia State was able to just get three balls out of the infield against Wisen that afternoon.

Notre Dame matchup with #20/22 Nebraska on April 12 to be shown nationally on CSTV:

The University of Notre Dame will travel to Lincoln, Neb., to face the Cornhuskers for the third time this season – and College Sports Television (CSTV) will televise the game live across the country. The contest on Monday, April 12, will be part of CSTV Softball, which will show eight regular-season games this season, in addition to the Big Ten and Conference USA post season tournaments.

In addition to its softball telecasts, College Sports TV will cover the sport extensively within its CSTV Primetime and CSTV Scoreboard live studio shows originating from the CSTV Fieldhouse in New York. Daily coverage of women’s softball will also be found on

CSTV, the first 24-hour college sports network, is available to more than 15 million homes nationally on cable and satellite. The network is available on Time Warner, Adelphia and Insight cable systems, among others, and is also available on DirecTV (channel 610). For information on CSTV availability in particular markets, consumers can log on to or call their cable or satellite operator.

Looking back at the perfecto:

Steffany Stenglein’s second career perfect game (and first since 2002) requires some further analysis. The junior from Irvine, Calif., completely shut down Valparaiso, striking out 14 of the 18 batters she faced. No ball left the infield during the game, as ground outs to the shortstop, third base and first base, along with a pop up to second base, where the other for outs in the contest.

Stenglein struck out the first four batters she faced, then the next five after the pop up to second base. After two ground outs, she sat down the five of the last six batters in the game.

The 14 strikeouts are a career-best for Stenglein, eclipsing the 11 she threw just one game prior vs. Eastern Michigan. She has 25 strikeouts in her last two games.

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.

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 four weeks ago, Notre Dame 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 nine ranked teams ( Softball ranking first, followed by USA Today/NFCA):

* #2/3 California (L, 1-2) – now ranked #3/3

* #6/6 Georgia, (L, 1-7) – now ranked #6/5

* #11/12 Michigan (L, 0-3) – now ranked #10/11

* #8/8 Nebraska (W, 6-4), now ranked #20/22

* #14/14 Nebraska (W, 1-0), now ranked #20/22

* #8/8 Stanford (L, 2-4), now ranked #12/13

*#24/24 CS Fullerton (W, 5-4), now unranked

* #4/6 Florida State (L, 3-4 – 10 innings), now ranked #4/4

* NR Pacific (L, 1-12), now ranked #18/18

* NR Georgia Tech (W, 2-1), now ranked #22/24

The Irish also will take on DePaul and #ORV/25 Northwestern later this season, as both teams have earned votes in the top 25 this season. In addition, Texas A&M, Florida Atlantic and Hawaii have all 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 win in its last 30 games entering the NCAA regional.

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 102-43 (.703) entering this weekend’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.

Megan Ciolli named to USA Softball Player of the Year watch list:

The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and USA Softball have announced their initial watch list for the third-annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award and Notre Dame junior Megan Ciolli (Terre Haute, Ind.) was one of the 40 players to make the list.

Ciolli will embrace a new role as team leader for the Irish this season, which begins next weekend (Feb. 13) at the UNLV Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. The Irish have radically shifted from a senior laden team to one of the youngest squads in the Midwest.

A starter since she arrived on campus three years ago, Ciolli boasts a .350 career average – hitting either first or second in the Irish line up. A three-tool player able to bunt, slap and hit for power, the junior boasts 131 hits in her career, eight home runs and 48 RBI. She also has stolen 23 bases in her career and her .350 career average puts her in the top five all-time at Notre Dame.

So far in 2004, Ciolli has paced the Irish offense with a team-high 38 hits (.418 average), 13 stolen bases (in 14 attempts) and has contributed three outfield assists.

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 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. The conference title will be on the line during play beginning Thursday, May 13 and continues until Saturday, May 15, with a raindate on Sunday, May 16.

2004 Notre Dame Softball Bio Updates –

#1 Steffany Stenglein * 5-10 * Junior * P *R/R *Huntington Beach, CA (Marina)

2004 – 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 – 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)

2004 – 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 caeer – 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)

2004 – 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 – 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 taht 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 miuddle … 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)

2004 – Transfer from the University of Washington … has stepped in as the starting rightfield position due to the loss of Kellie Middleton (injured) …. 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 Watch List (40 players)

2004 – Has moved to third in the Irish lineup to take advantage of her RBI potential (batted first for Notre Dame in 2002 and 2003) … 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 (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 – 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 – 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 evenutally 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 – 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 (03-01-04)

* Florida State Invitational All-Tournament Team

2004 – 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 (03-01-04)

* Florida State Invitational All-Tournament Team

2004 – 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-winnning 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.