April 10, 2002
Notre Dame vs. Purdue, Thursday, April 11, 5 p.m.
Notre Dame vs. Connecticut (DH), Saturday, April 12, 4 p.m.
Notre Dame vs. Syracuse (DH), Sunday, April 14, 11 a.m.
Irish hope to push season-long win streak of 10 games even farther this weekend:
The University of Notre Dame softball team (18-12), in the midst of a season-best 10-game win streak, plays host to Purdue, Connecticut and Syracuse at Ivy Field this weekend.
Notre Dame moved into first place in the BIG EAST Conference with doubleheader sweeps of St. John’s and Seton Hall last weekend. Combined with their previous two victories over Pittsburgh, the Irish are 6-0 in conference competition this season.
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 98-10 (.907) against conference foes during six regular seasons. Notre Dame posted its 100th BIG EAST Conference victory on March 30, with a 9-2 victory at Pittsburgh. The Irish are 6-0 in conference play this season, giving them an all-time BIG EAST Conference regular-season mark of 104-10 (.912).
Notre Dame in BIG EAST Conference regular-season competition:
The Irish last suffered a BIG EAST Conference regular-season loss on April 15, 2000, at Boston College – giving the team a 32-game win streak in league play (not including the BIG EAST Championship).
Irish offense continues to shine during win streak:
Notre Dame has lost eight games over the last three weeks due to inclement weather, but when the Irish have been able to take the field the offense has been spectacular. Over the last 10 games, the team is hitting .361 with 104 hits, 13 doubles, 10 home runs and 72 RBI. Going back to the New Mexico loss on March 16, Notre Dame has posted double-digit team hits in nine of the last 11 games.
Among the individual standouts during the last 10 games, Jarrah Myers is hitting .538 with 14 runs scored, three home runs and 14 RBI. Lisa Mattison has posted a .500 BA with a home run and 10 RBI.
As the Irish offense steps up, the team pitching has kept pace as well:
The gawdy offensive numbers over the last 10 games might turn some heads, but the Irish pitching staff has more than held their own over that stretch. In the last 10 games, Notre Dame’s pitchers have combined for five shutouts, 74 strikeouts, just 33 hits allowed, 11 runs allowed (nine earned) and held the Irish opponents to a .147 BA.
Carrie Wisen has picked up six wins during the streak, compiling a 0.53 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 26.1 IP. Steffany Stenglein has been very strong, posting a 1.21 ERA over that same span with 43 strikeouts and just 17 hits allowed. Wisen and Stenglein combined for their first career no-hitters against Valparaiso (game one) on April 9.
Relief pitcher Jessica Sharron has made four appearances during the last 10 games, working four innings and giving up four hits and one run.
Notre Dame vs. Purdue series history and team analysis:
Notre Dame gets a chance to even up the series between the Irish and the Boilermakers on Thursday. The teams will be meeting for the 12th time, with Purdue holding a 6-5 edge in the series. Notre Dame and Purdue met twice last season in West Lafayette, Ind, and the Irish came away with 10-2 and 4-2 victories.
Purdue is 29-15 this season and 0-6 in Big Ten competition. Andrea Hillsey is leading the Boilermakers in hitting (.362), while Katie Crabtree (36) and Heidi Foster (39) have been the big RBI producers for the team.
Nicole Crouse and Leighann Burke have seen most of the pitching action for the Boilermakers. Crouse has a 1.55 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 104.0 innings, while Leighann Burke is 12-7 with a 2.08 ERA.
Notre Dame is 1-3 against Purdue at Ivy Field.
Notre Dame vs. Connecticut series history and analysis:
Notre Dame and Connecticut will be meeting for the 22nd and 23rd time on Friday afternoon at Ivy Field. The Irish lead the series 15-6 and is 10-2 against the Huskies in BIG EAST competition.
Connecticut is 6-21 this season and 0-6 in BIG EAST play. Lisa Girolamo leads the Huskie offense with a .296 batting average with one home run and six RBI.
Preseason all-BIG EAST pitcher Barb Cook is 5-11 in 2002 with a 3.04 ERA.
Notre Dame is 5-1 against Connecticut at Ivy Field.
Notre Dame vs. Syracuse series history and analysis:
Syracuse joined the BIG EAST Conference in softball just last season, when the Irish won the first two meetings between the teams by identical 6-0 scores.
The Orangemen are 4-0 in BIG EAST play this season and 14-10 overall. Syracuse has seven hitters over .300 this season, led by Kristen Collins with a .484 average.
In the pitching circle, Heather Brown and Tara DiMaggio have split most of the starts. Brown is 4-5 with a 2.14 ERA while DiMaggio is 6-5 with a 2.38 ERA.
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 last week, 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. This is the first conference weekly award Mattison has earned, though she was a first-team all-BIG EAST selection in 2001 as a designated player.
Protecting the home field: Notre Dame is starting to put together an impressive home-field winning streak. The 2001 team became the first Irish squad to post a perfect record at home (18-0) and, combined with two home victories at the end of the 2000 season and three home victories this year, Notre Dame has won 23 straight at Ivy Field. That run is the longest in Ivy Field’s 13-year history.
Irish among the top teams in the NCAA east region:
The NCAA Division I Women’s Softball Committee released its Division I women’s softball biweekly regional poll on March 28. The first ranking is alphabetical only, while the next poll (April 11) will include the teams’ rankings from 1-10.
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.
Myers invited to USA Softball World Championship selection camp:
Senior Jarrah Myers, a 2002 All-American and member of the U.S. National Team during the summer of ’02, has been invited to the participate in a team camp from May 30 – June 3, in Chula Vista, Calif.
The 20 players on the list that includes Myers will combine with the 22 players selected in January to compete for spots on the teams that will represent the U.S. in international competition this summer. An additional 10-18 players will be added to the camp during the first week of May.
Two teams will be selected following the camp in May/June. One will represent the USA at the U.S. Cup in Honolulu, Hawaii, (July 4-7), the Canada Cup in Surrey, B.C., Canada (July 16-21) and the ISF Women’s World Championship in Saskatoon, Canada (July 25-August 4).
The second team will be called the USA Softball Elite Team and it will help prepare the World Championship team for international events by competing in scrimmages and exhibition games prior to these events. The Elite Team also will compete in the Canada Cup.
Deanna Gumpf continues her first season as head softball coach at the University of Notre Dame:
One of the top young coaches in the nation, Deanna Gumpf has taken over the Notre Dame softball program this season after four years as the top aide to Liz Miller – who retired at the end of the 2001 season.
In the four seasons Gumpf served as the Irish pitching and assistant coach, the team lowered its ERA and raised the team batting average each season, while also setting team records for strikeouts and home runs.
Gumpf’s staff includes new assistant coaches Charmelle Green (formerly at Syracuse) and Kris McCleary (former Irish catcher – Class of ’99 – who served as an assistant at UNLV), along with volunteer assistant coach Bill Roggeman.
Gumpf earned her first career victory with a 3-2, 10-inning victory over Auburn in the Pepsi Arizona Classic.
Having an all-star caliber season:
Irish third basemen Andrea Loman has developed into Notre Dame’s top offensive and defensive player this season. Loman is hitting .349 this season and has cracked four home runs, including a titanic blast to put the Irish ahead 2-0 over Long Beach State.
Loman’s 14 career home runs put her fifth 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 88 defensive chances this season, Loman has made just five errors.
Loman will be playing over the next few weeks with a broken index finger on her right hand, suffered when she was hit by a pitch in a Seton Hall game. She played the rest of the doubleheader (actually hitting a home run in one of her at bats), but was affected on defense (committing two of her five errors on the season).
Held out of the Valparaiso doubleheader, Loman will return to the lineup for the Purdue game on Thursday.
New career home run leader?:
Jarrah Myers continues her climb up the career home run leader chart. Her three-run blast off the scoreboard at St. John’s (the first opponent home run hit at the Red Storm’s new field) was her fifth of the season and 28th of her career.
Her 28 round trippers place Myers second on the career list at Notre Dame, just behind Melanie Alkire’s 30 home runs from 1998-2001.
Can the Irish challenge the home run record?
A burst of home runs in the doubleheader against Pittsburgh indicates that the 2002 edition of the Notre Dame softball team could set a new school record for team home runs in a season. The team total stands at 21 as of April 10.
With at least 24 games remaining this season, the Irish could challenge the school record for team home runs (36 hit in 2000). Nine different players have hit home runs for the team this season, including first career round trippers from Megan Ciolli, Annie Dell’Aria, Nicole deFau and Lisa Mattison.
Power up and down the Irish lineup:
The 2002 University of Notre Dame softball team has already set a new record. With Carrie Wisen’s home run against Seton Hall on April 7, nine 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 and Liz Hartmann have not launched a home run.
Kriech threatening more career records:
Senior centerfielder and 2001 All-American Jenny Kriech already has possession of the school record for career triples (19), but the Irish leadoff hitter is threatening various other marks as well.
Her five walks this season give her 56 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 51. 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 an 18-12 record and eight of those losses have come to teams ranked higher than Notre Dame in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25.
As of April 10, the Irish schedule reflects 12 ranked opponents (eight already played, plus future double headers against #4 Nebraska and #16 DePaul). Notre Dame has been close to knocking off its top-ranked foes as well. The Irish dropped hard-fought 3-2 decisions to #8 Arizona State, #4 Oklahoma and #10 Fresno State in the first month of the season.
The record for ranked opponents faced is 13 from the 1998 and 2001 seasons. Post-season play at the end of the 2002 campaign could push the Irish schedule this season into the record books.
Notre Dame softball standout Jarrah Myers named the 2001-02 BIG EAST/A?ropostale Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
She will receive a $4,000 stipend which will be applied to graduate studies. The winner is determined by the league’s Academic Awards Committee.
A?ropostale Stores is the official apparel of BIG EAST Championships and is the sponsor of the Conference’s Post Graduate Student-Athlete Scholarship Program. This year A?ropostale will award 31 scholarships to Conference student-athletes to assist in their pursuit of graduate or professional studies. The Men’s and Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athletes will be announced in conjunction with the BIG EAST Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships on March 1 and 5. A?ropostale is a popular clothing and accessories retailer that has over 275 stores in 37 states throughout the United States. Named after the Companie Generale A?ropostale, the pioneer French airmail company, the merchandise continues to embody the spirit and adventure of its name. The company also operates a web site at www.aeropostale.com.
Myers, a senior catcher from Carbondale, Kan., is the fourth Notre Dame female to win the award. She was chosen for the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award from a pool of 15 candidates which may encompass athletes from any of the 12 BIG EAST women’s sports.
Myers, an environmental science major in the Notre Dame honors program, earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA)/Louisville Slugger All-America Third Team honors as a junior in 2001 and was a member of the U.S. National Team last year. Prior to the 2002 season, she was named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team. Myers was named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team as a junior in 2001 and the first team in 2000. Last season she led the Irish in batting (.380), RBI (41) and home runs (7). Myers ranks among the top five on the ND career lists for triples, home runs and RBI.
As a Dean’s List student, Myers earned Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team honors as a junior and third team accolades as a sophomore. She will graduate as a four-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star and plans to pursue a master’s degree in forensic science. Myers does extra research in the organic chemistry department and volunteers on a bimonthly basis at an elderly assistance home.
The conference also announced the ’01-02 BIG EAST/A?ropostale Female Scholar-Athlete Award winners, who will each receive $2,000 toward graduate studies.
Notre Dame and Villanova picked as co-favorites in the BIG EAST:
Notre Dame and Villanova ended up tied in the 2002 BIG EAST Softball Preseason Poll, as both teams earned 94 points.
Notre Dame is coming off a 20-0 regular season record in conference competition last season, while Villanova wrapped up league play with a 15-5 record. The Irish received six first-place votes, while the Wildcats earned four. Seton Hall (third), Virginia Tech (fourth) and Connecticut (fifth) rounded out the top five in the preseason poll.
Notre Dame will continue conference competition this weekend at St. John’s (Saturday) and Seton Hall (Sunday).
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.
Keep up with the Irish via the sports hotline: The Notre Dame sports information hotline has modified its menu offerings for the 2002 winter and spring sports seasons.
Here’s how the hotline now is aligned (as of Dec. 28, 2001):
* Dial (219) 631-3000
* Select any of the following subgroups:
1) Upcoming schedule and recent results of ALL varsity sports currently in action (select cells 3-9 for the most updated results for specific sports).
(2) Upcoming football schedules for the 2002-05 seasons.
(3) Baseball information.
(4) Softball information.
(5) Men’s lacrosse information (press 1) and women’s lacrosse information (press 2).
(6) Men’s and women’s outdoor track and field information
(7) Women’s rowing information.
(8) Tennis information (then press 1 for men’s tennis and 2 for women’s tennis).
(9) Information for men’s and women’s fencing (press 1), men’s golf (press 2) and women’s golf (press 3).