May 9, 2005
The University of Notre Dame softball team (41-11), preparing for postseason play this weekend in the BIG EAST Championship, will head to West Lafayette, Ind., to face Purdue (34-22-1) for one game at 3 p.m. This contest is a make-up date, after a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 12, was rained out.
The Irish played just two games last week while taking time off for finals, but the two victories were huge for the team’s postseason plans. Notre Dame defeated Rutgers twice in a doubleheader, moving the team’s record to 16-2 and earning the squad the BIG EAST regular-season title.
Series history vs. Purdue and team analysis: Notre Dame and Purdue will be meeting for the 17th time on Tuesday … the Irish lead the all-time series 9-7 … Purdue broke a seven-game win streak for Notre Dame in the series with a 4-3, eight-inning victory at Ivy Field in game two of a doubleheader last season … Purdue won the first five meetings in the series from 1997-99 … the Boilermakers are 34-22-1 this season and 10-10 in Big Ten competition … they have won their last three games (vs. Ohio State, vs. Indiana twice) … Andrea Hillsey leads the Purdue offense with a .370 batting average, eight home runs and 31 RBI … DaQueta Johnson also provides some power numbers with eight home runs and a team-high 44 RBI … Diana LaRiva (2.16 ERA, 12-6) or Brooke Baker (2.51 ERA, 15-14) will get the starting pitching call for Purdue vs. Notre Dame … Notre Dame is 6-3 at the Purdue Varsity Softball Complex.
Ruthrauff named BIG EAST Player of the Week: After pounding out four hits, three doubles and six RBI during Saturday’s doubleheader sweep at Rutgers, junior Meagan Ruthrauff has been named the Co-BIG EAST Player of the Week by the conference office. She shared the award with Villanova’s Kari Koller.
Ruthrauff finished game one of the doubleheader at Rutgers one for two at the plate with a three-run double and sacrifice fly. She followed up in game two with a three for four performance, hitting two more doubles and a single while driving in two more runs. For the week she finished four of six at the plate with three doubles and six RBI.
The conference weekly award is the first of the year for Ruthrauff and fourth of her career.
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).
BIG EAST Championship field set: The 2005 BIG EAST Championship will begin this Thursday, May 12, at the Belleville Complex in South Bend, Ind. … the tournament is being hosted in cooperation between the City of South Bend, the BIG EAST Conference and Notre Dame, with the top four teams from the conference’s regular-season play making up the tournament field and vying for the automatic bid to the 2005 NCAA Championship in a double-elimination tournament … recaps, boxscores and Gametracker live statistical links will be available on www.und.com … for tickets, contact the Notre Dame ticket office at 574-631-7356.
BIG EAST Championship schedule:
Please note that all times are EST, not EDT time (times listed are one hour behind the east coast).
Thursday, May 12
Game One: #2 Seton Hall vs. #3 Syracuse, 5 p.m.
Game Two: #1 Notre Dame vs. #4 Villanova, 7 p.m.
Friday, May 13
Game Three: Winner Game One vs. Winner Game Two, 3 p.m.
Game Four: Loser Game One vs. Loser Game Two, 5 p.m.
Game Five: Loser Game Three vs. Winner Game Four, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 14
Game Six: Winner Game Three vs. Winner Game Five, 1 p.m.
Game Seven: Same two teams as Game Six if necessary, 3 p.m.
Sunday, May 15
Directions to the BIG EAST Championship:
The Belleville Complex is located on the far west side of South Bend, Ind., on Mayflower Road.
From the east/west: Take I80/90 Toll Road to the South Bend West/Plymouth 31 South Exit. Go south on US 31 to the Mayflower Road (north) exit. The complex is on the right after the exit.
From the south: Take US 31 north from Indianapolis, follow the US 31 By Pass west once you reach the South Bend city limits. Take the Mayflower Road exit (north) off the US 31 bypass. The complex is on the right after the exit.
From downtown South Bend: Take State Road 933 (Main Street) through downtown South Bend to Sample Street. Take a right on Sample Street and travel 3.5 miles on Sample to Mayflower Road. Take a left on Mayflower Road, the complex will be on your left.
From the University of Notre Dame: Take Eddy (Juniper) Street south through town – it will take a turn to the west and become Sample Street. Follow Sample Street across Main Street and continue on Sample for 3.5 miles to Mayflower Road. Take a left on Mayflower Road, the complex will be on your left.
BIG EAST Championship ticket Information: Tickets to the championship are available on www.und.com , by calling the Notre Dame ticket office at 574-631-7356 or at the site of the games. Ticket prices are $4 for adults, $2 for seniors (55 and older) and children (12 and under). Students from BIG EAST Conference institutions will be admitted free of charge with a valid school ID.