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#21/22 Irish Close Homestand Against Toledo Wednesday

April 16, 2014
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Returning to the field for the first time since recording one of the biggest wins in program history last weekend, the University of Notre Dame softball team caps a brief three-game homestand on Wednesday when it welcomes Toledo to Melissa Cook Stadium. First pitch of the non-conference showdown between the Irish and Rockets is scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET).

Live video coverage will be available at UND.com on WatchND, and through the WatchND app.

No. 21/22 Notre Dame (25-9) was triumphant on Sunday in the first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) game in the history of Melissa Cook Stadium, defeating No. 7/8 Florida State by a final score of 8-5. It was the highest ranked opponent ever conquered by the Irish on their home field, and the highest ranked win for any Notre Dame team since a 3-2 victory over No. 4 Nebraska on April 23, 2002. The Irish enter the week as the ACC leader in batting average (.338), doubles (69, 2.03 doubles per game leads the NCAA) and slugging percentage (.515).

Notre Dame has won all 16 of its prior meetings with Toledo (14-27), including 13 all-time victories on the Notre Dame campus. The Irish and Rockets will play for the seventh time at Melissa Cook Stadium since the 2009 season.

Fans can follow live stats for Wednesday’s game via CBS GameTracker by visiting UND.com.

For the latest news and updates on all things Notre Dame softball, visit UND.com/softball, follow the Irish @NDsoftball and @NDcoachGumpf on Twitter, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.

SLAP HITS

•  Notre Dame capped the historic first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) game at Melissa Cook Stadium with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, defeating No. 7/8 Florida State 8-5 on Sunday. The Seminoles scored a dramatic comeback of their own, 9-7 in nine innings, in the nightcap to split the series.

•  Notre Dame's victory in game one was the program's 22nd all-time win against a top 10 opponent, and the team's highest ranked opponent defeated since a 3-2 win over No. 4 Nebraska on April 23, 2002.

•  Head Coach Deanna Gumpf tied former baseball coach Paul Mainieri for second all-time in baseball/softball wins at Notre Dame with career victory number 533 in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader against Florida State. Gumpf’s squads have averaged exactly 41 wins per season during her 13-year tenure.

•  The Irish outscored Florida State 15-14 during the twin bill, and the team’s 15 total runs were the most allowed to a single opponent by the Seminoles this season. Notre Dame scored eight of its runs off Florida State ace Lacey Waldrop, who has only surrendered a total of 40 runs (0.87 ERA) in 176.2 innings pitched this season.

•  Freshman outfielder Karley Wester led all Notre Dame hitters with a combined 7-for-9 (.778) day at the plate on Sunday against Florida State, adding two stolen bases and two runs. During her current 10-game hitting streak, Wester is batting a blistering .595 (22-for-37) with a double, five RBI, a .634 on-base percentage, 10 stolen bases and 10 runs scored.

•  Junior infielder Katey Haus hit the second Notre Dame grand slam of the ACC season in game two against Florida State on Sunday, launching a 2-1 pitch over the scoreboard in left field at Melissa Cook Stadium to put the Irish in front 7-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sophomore infielder Micaela Arizmendi connected on the first ever Notre Dame ACC grand slam in the second inning of the series finale at Georgia Tech on March 9 in Atlanta, Ga.    

•  Notre Dame enters its ninth consecutive week ranked in the national Top 25 after being tabbed No. 21 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball and No. 22 in the USA TODAY/NFCA Coaches polls on Tuesday.


On This Date...
Notre Dame is a combined 13-3 (.650) all-time in games played on April 16 of a given season, winning its last 10 games played on the date since the 1994 season (8-1 victory over Butler).

Head coach Deanna Gumpf improved to 5-0 on April 16 at the helm of the Irish with a 2-0 shutout victory at Michigan State last season. Gumpf’s squads hold a cumulative 27-14 run advantage in those five wins.

Irish Win ACC Home Debut
Notre Dame opened the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) era at Melissa Cook Stadium in grand style, breaking a 5-5 tie with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat No. 7/8 Florida State 8-5 on Sunday.

Florida State became the highest ranked league foe that Notre Dame has ever defeated, as well as the highest ranked visiting team to fall on the Notre Dame campus. The Irish have now won their conference home opening game in four straight seasons.

With the series split with the Seminoles, the Irish are now 4-4 all-time against ranked league opponents at Melissa Cook Stadium.

One Win Away From 100...
Senior Laura Winter inched closer to becoming the first pitcher in program history to reach the 100 career win plateau, logging victory number 99 on Sunday against Florida State.

Winter earned the win in game one of the doubleheader, surrendering five runs in a complete game effort against a Florida State offense that averages nearly seven runs per game. She added an inning in relief in game two against the Seminoles, striking out two Florida State hitters.

The Offensive Juggernaut Rolls On
In the most recent installment of the NCAA national statistical rankings for the 2014 season that was released on Monday, Notre Dame remained the top team in the nation in doubles per game for the sixth straight week. Through 34 contests, the Irish have averaged 2.03 two-baggers per game to pace all of Division I softball, and remain the only program in the country averaging at least two doubles per contest. Junior All-American outfielder Emilee Koerner checks in as the Notre Dame leader with 14 doubles in 2014, tied with Florida State’s Maddie O’Brien for the top total in the ACC.

With a .338 team clip, the Irish are among the national top 10 in batting average, checking in with eighth-best average in the country. Notre Dame led the NCAA with a .343 final average in 2010.

Notre Dame also assumed the ACC lead in slugging percentage this week with a .515 clip, which ranks 18th among all teams in the NCAA.

Scoring In Bunches Against FSU
A major key to Notre Dame’s success during Sunday’s doubleheader with Florida State was the team’s ability to score multiple runs in an inning. Entering the matchup, such a scenario would have seemed a bit farfetched, as the Seminoles opened last week leading the entire ACC with a 1.20 team ERA.

The Irish posted four innings where they scored two or more runs against Florida State pitching, including a five-run bottom of the sixth frame in game two. In their 45 games this season, Florida State has only allowed two or more runs for an entire game on 11 occasions.

Wester Does It All At Top Of The Order
During Notre Dame’s 3-1 ACC slate last week, there was no hotter hitter in the Irish batting order than freshman outfielder Karley Wester. Wester, now firmly entrenched in the Notre Dame leadoff spot, batted a spellbinding .750 (12-for-16) at the plate, and had three or more hits in three of her four starts.

In fact, of Wester’s 12 hits against North Carolina and Florida State, seven were officially ruled infield singles. The speedster from Huntington Beach, Calif. did damage once she reached the base paths as well, stealing four bases and scoring five runs for the Irish offense.

Wester, Notre Dame’s team leader with a .442 batting average, 50 hits and 20 stolen bases overall in 2014, is batting .643 (18-for-28) in her last seven games since moving to the top of the Irish lineup.

All Regulars Over .300
Notre Dame’s team endurance in the batter’s box has been on full display throughout the season. A total of 16 double-digit hit games, seven double-digit run games and 104 extra base hits are among the highlights of the first 34 games from the Irish offense, and it has all been on the strength of a balanced lineup.

All nine regular Notre Dame starters, who have each started at least 23 games in 2014, are currently batting .300 or above, making the Irish the only team in the ACC with its entire regular starting lineup over the benchmark. Six Notre Dame starters are batting .320 or greater through 34 games.

Coach Gumpf Headed Toward The Top
Sunday’s Notre Dame game one win over No. 7/8 Florida State marked the 533rd career victory for head coach Deanna Gumpf. The 13th-year Irish skipper is just the third coach in school history to win at least 530 games on the baseball and softball diamonds.

Gumpf, the Irish softball career wins leader, tied former baseball coach Paul Mainieri (1995-2006) for second place all-time at 533 wins. Legendary Notre Dame baseball manager Jake Kline (1934-75) won 558 career games in his 42 seasons at the helm of the Irish.

Irish In The ACC
Notre Dame officially opened its tenure in the ACC at Georgia Tech on March 8 after compiling a 297-53 record (.849) in the BIG EAST Conference, winning 13 regular-season and four tournament championship titles in 18 years. The Irish won the most BIG EAST games of any league team during that span.

Following Sunday’s win against Florida State, the team’s first ever ACC conference victory at Melissa Cook Stadium, the Irish are now a combined 111-26 (.810) all-time against the current league membership.

Irish Against The Opposition
Notre Dame enters Wednesday’s game 16-0 all-time against Toledo, in a series that dates back to the 1998 season. The Irish have outscored the Rockets 128-12 in series history.

The teams will meet for the seventh time at Melissa Cook Stadium since Notre Dame moved into its new home during the middle of the 2008 season. The Irish most recently claimed a 9-1 decision in five innings and an 8-0 win in six frames over Toledo during a non-conference doubleheader on March 28, 2012.


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