Head coach Deanna Gumpf and Laura Winter

Softball's Spring Break Swing Starts Saturday

March 9, 2012

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame will spend this year’s Spring Break in the same spot as the previous handful – in sunny Southern California. The Irish kickoff the week at the Long Beach State Invite (March 10-11) which will be played at both Mayfair Park and the 49er Softball Complex.

Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf is quite familiar with the Long Beach program, having cut her teeth as an assistant coach with the 49ers to begin her career. Gumpf was a pitching coach at Long Beach during the 1996-97 seasons, leading the 49ers to a pair of Big West Conference titles and two trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Live stats for each contest will be available at UND.com. Fans are encouraged to keep up with Irish softball action on Twitter throughout the season by following @NDsoftball, @NDcoachGumpf and @UND_com.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(7-6 overall, 0-0 BIG EAST)
[und.com – bigeast.org]

Oregon State Beavers
(20-5 overall, 0-0 Pacific-12)
[osubeavers.com – pac-12.org]
Saturday, March 10 – 2:00 p.m. (PT)
Mayfair Park – Lakewood, Calif.
Series history: Oregon State leads, 6-1
Series streak: Oregon State, W3
First meeting: March 7, 1998 – Oregon State, 7-1
Last meeting: Feb. 18, 2012 – Oregon State, 3-2

Charleston Southern Bucs
(10-7 overall, 0-0 Big South)
[csusports.com – bigsouthsports.com]
Sunday, March 11 – 10:30 a.m. (PT)
49ers Softball Complex – Long Beach, Calif.
Series history: Notre Dame leads, 2-0
Series streak: Notre Dame, W2
First meeting: March 14, 2008 – 16-2 (5)
Last meeting: March 15, 2008 – 10-2 (5)

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
(9-10 overall, 0-0 Mountain West)
[unlvrebels.com – themwc.com]
Sunday, March 11 – 1:00 p.m. (PT)
49ers Softball Complex – Long Beach, Calif.
Series history: Notre Dame leads, 4-2
Series streak: Notre Dame, W1
First meeting: March 10, 2002 – UNLV, 2-1
Last meeting: March 13, 2010 – Notre Dame, 4-2

One-Hitters …

– Notre Dame went 3-1 against a formidable field while taking part in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Buena Vista, Fla. … Brittany O’Donnell allowed two hits in 10.0 frames of work with a 2-0 mark from the circle … each of the two hits allowed were singles … O’Donnell’s efforts earned her a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll.

– Senior All-American Dani Miller was selected as the BIG EAST Conference Softball Player of the Week on Feb. 27 … Miller batted .500 (7-for-14) and recorded two home runs – including a grand slam against No. 24 North Carolina – along with eight RBI and scored and three runs at the Carolina Classic … defensively, she did not commit a single error and extended her streak of games without a fault to 70 (243 chances dating back to 2010) … Miller also was named to the Carolina Classic all-tournament team along with classmate Alexa Maldonado.

Laura Winter notched two wins and a save through three appearances at the Carolina Classic … Winter allowed 11 hits and five earned runs in 15.0 innings for a 2.33 ERA … the righty struck out a career-high 13 batters in a Feb. 25 victory over Penn State and tossed a complete-game, three-hitter with eight strikeouts against No. 24 North Carolina

– Notre Dame was able to hang its hat on a nine-game winning streak to open the 2011 season, the best in program history … after dropping its first three games of 2012, the Irish have plenty of reason to remain cool and collective even after finishing the opening weekend with a 1-4 record, … if the opening weekend of the past few seasons can be used as an indicator, the Irish are in store for many more wins in the coming months … Notre Dame started 2-3 in 2007 (finished 32-24), 2-2 in 2008 (finished 38-22-1), 1-3 in 2009 (finished 43-17) and 1-4 in 2010 (finished 47-12).

– The only player in program history to hit 10+ home runs in each of her first three seasons with the program, All-American Dani Miller went yard in back-to-back games to open the 2012 campaign and hit two more during the season’s second week … now with 36 career home runs, Miller is tied for second on the all-time list with Jarrah Myers (36) … the pair trails only Christine Lux (50).

– Three freshmen started for Notre Dame in the 2011 season opener and two – Katey Haus and Emilee Koerner – cracked the lineup to begin the 2012 slate … first-year infielder Jenna Simon also saw action in the opening game and classmate Cassidy Whidden waited until game two of the campaign to record a hit in her first collegiate at-bat.

Alexa Maldonado crushed a solo home run for Notre Dame’s lone score against Boise State at the Campbell/Cartier Classic, giving her 10 career home runs to match 10 career triples … only two other players in program history have notched 10 home runs and 10 triples in a career: Sarah Hayes (1992-95) – 26 HR / 11 3B, Meghan Murray (1994-97) – 15 HR, 12 3B.

– Miller was named to the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year watch list, giving her a chance to win the award designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country … the preseason list includes 23 seniors, 20 juniors and seven sophomores, with freshmen ineligible for consideration (freshmen can be considered for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award once they have competed at the collegiate level) … the top 25 finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 11 … USA Softball named Miller to its watch list just days after releasing its preseason top 25 poll … Notre Dame was ranked 25th in the poll, the highest of any BIG EAST Conference team … Notre Dame received 12 votes in the USA Today / NFCA preseason rankings, four spots outside of its top 25 … the Irish are currently unranked and not receiving votes in either poll.