March 30, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — A stellar three-week stretch of play from the University of Notre Dame softball team has carried the Irish up the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) standings. One of the constants for Notre Dame during its current nine-game winning streak has been phenomenal pitching, with Irish hurlers surrendering a mere seven runs over the past 55 innings (0.89 ERA).
Anchoring the talented pitching staff alongside junior Allie Rhodes and freshman Katie Beriont has been sophomore Rachel Nasland. After earning a pair of victories over No. 24 Virginia Tech last weekend, Nasland further added to her breakout season on Monday by being named the ACC Pitcher of the Week for the third straight time.
Nasland surpassed 2014 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Lacey Waldrop of Florida State to take the lead among all ACC hurlers with four separate conference pitcher of the week citations thus far in 2015. Nasland previously earned her first career league pitcher of the week honor on Feb. 24 before receiving the recognition twice more on March 16 and March 23.
Nasland ran her consecutive wins streak to six straight decisions with a 2-0 weekend and 0.50 ERA in the Notre Dame circle against No. 24 Virginia Tech at Melissa Cook Stadium. Nasland surrendered one run, on a wild pitch, over 14 full innings, scattering eight hits to Virginia Tech hitters. She walked two and struck out 14 Hokies batters in a pair of complete game efforts, including her fifth shutout of 2015.
Nasland extended her consecutive scoreless innings streak in conference play to 16 straight with a five-hit shutout of Virginia Tech to open the series on Saturday. The San Diego, California native scattered five hits on the day, walking one and striking out eight batters.
The Irish right-hander returned to throw game one of Sunday’s doubleheader and yielded her only run of the weekend on a wild pitch, stalling her league shutout string at 17.2 innings. Virginia Tech managed only three hits during the contest, with an additional runner reaching by way of a walk, while Nasland posted another six strikeouts.
Nasland is undefeated in her last five ACC decisions, allowing only two earned runs (0.42 ERA) over 33 full innings pitched against league opponents since March 15. She has walked nine foes during that span, adding 34 strikeouts to her cause. In 11 appearances (10 starts) against top 25 opponents in 2015, the Irish sophomore is 5-3 with a 1.57 ERA and one save, striking out 50 batters in 62.1 innings versus ranked foes.
Notre Dame hosts Eastern Michigan on Wednesday at 4 p.m. (ET) in a nonconference midweek tilt at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish travel to No. RV Pittsburgh for a road ACC series this Friday and Saturday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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2015 Notre Dame Softball Weekly Honorees
Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Week
Katey Haus — Feb. 9