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ND SOFTBALL: Bragging rights on the line

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Irish (24-8) are heading to West Lafayette to take on the Purdue Boilermakers (24-13) in a doubleheader.

The team has extended their win streak to 13 games. During this streak they have outscored their opponents 70-10.

Just over a month ago, the team was just under .500 with 6-7 record and hitting an unimpressive .232. The turnaround has been impressive, however. Since March 7, the team has won 18 of its 19 last games and raised its win percentage to .750.

The Irish pitchers have also pitched very well over the streak. They have yielded a minimal 0.40 ERA in 87 innings and have kept opponents hitting a .114 batting average.

This will be the 17th and 18th meetings between the two schools in softball. Notre Dame leads the series 9-7 but lost the last meeting against Purdue 4-3 in a doubleheader last spring.

Purdue comes into the game with a three-game winning streak. The Boiler-makers won their last game in extra innings in 8-7 in the second half of a double header against the University of Illinois in Champaign.

“They are good team and they are playing really good ball right now like we are,” said coach Deanna Gumpf. “They have two really good pitchers that they rely on and are really hitting the ball.”

Steffany Stenglein (10-4) is slated to pitch the first game and Heather Booth (13-4) is likely to start the second game.

Stengleim has been striking out opponents at a clip of 10.5 strikeouts per seven-inning game. Booth has given up only 31 runs and has a 1.10 ERA.

While not on the level of rivalry as archrival Michigan and DePaul, there are some Indiana bragging rights involved.

“They always like to beat us and we would love to beat them. There is definitely some state pride at stake,” said Gumpf.

The first of the double header will begin today at 2 p.m.