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Irish gear up for Big East tourney in NYC

Deirdre Krasula | Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Big East tournament is still in sight for Notre Dame, but it’s unclear where the team will stand when it begins. The Irish could end up seeded anywhere from fifth to eighth in the conference tournament – or they could end up on the outside looking in.The Irish, currently No. 7 in the league, enter their final conference series of the year this weekend against Connecticut (No. 9 in the Big East). Just one victory over the Huskies will likely secure a playoff berth for the Irish – but a sweep by Connecticut would knock out Notre Dame completely.”They’re a scrappy team,” Irish coach Dave Schrage said of the Huskies. “They get timely hits and they have some good arms.”The Irish struggled last weekend, falling in three straight games to Louisville – 3-1, 4-3 and 7-3. Notre Dame has struggled to stay above the .500 mark in conference play all season, falling to 10-13 after the losses to the Cardinals. “We’ve got to drive in runners when we get them in scoring position,” Schrage said. “That was something we were doing better prior to the Louisville series.”St. John’s and Rutgers top the Big East with 18-6 conference records. The Irish won their series 2-1 against Rutgers in April and have yet to face off with St. John’s. Louisville, the only team to sweep the Irish this season, is No. 3 with a 17-7 Big East record. The Irish come out on the right side of .500 with an overall record of 27-24 after having to replace most of the starting lineup from the 2006 squad. Notre Dame also boasts a 16-7 record at home, including a five-game streak in April. That streak started with an 11-2 win over Georgetown April 15 and ended with a 17-6 win over West Virginia April 21. Notre Dame fell to West Virginia 16-7 the next day. As the Irish enter their final series before the Big East tournament, the team will likely turn to its seniors, especially captains Mike Dury and Danny Dressman.Dury, the starting first baseman, saw limited action in the first three years of his career but has stepped into a leading role at both first base and from the pitching mound this season. Dressman, a veteran in the Irish outfield, has helped his younger teammates step into important roles. The three-game Connecticut series continues this weekend at Frank Eck Stadium. The Big East tournament begins May 22 at KeySpan Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Big East tournament is still in sight for Notre Dame, but it’s unclear where the team will stand when it begins. The Irish could end up seeded anywhere from fifth to eighth in the conference tournament – or they could end up on the outside looking in.The Irish enter their final conference series of the year, this weekend against Connecticut (No. 9 in the Big East), ranked No. 7 in the conference. Just one victory over the Huskies will likely secure a playoff berth for the Irish – but a sweep by Connecticut would knock out Notre Dame completely.The Irish struggled last weekend, falling in three straight games to Louisville, 3-1, 4-3 and 7-3. Notre Dame has struggled to stay atop the .500-mark in conference play all season, falling to 10-13 after the losses to the Cardinals. St. John’s and Rutgers top the Big East with 18-6 conference records. The Irish won their series 2-1 against Rutgers in April and have yet to face off with St. John’s. Louisville, the only team to sweep the Irish this season, is No. 3 with a 17-7 Big East record. The Irish come out on the right side of .500 with an overall record of 27-24 after having to replace most of the starting lineup from the 2006 squad. Big victories, like a 4-1 win over Texas Christian in February and a 16-6 routing of Nebraska in March, have been highlights in the Irish season. The Irish also boast a 16-7 record at home, including a five-game streak in April. That streak started with an 11-2 win over Georgetown April 15 and ended with a 17-6 win over West Virginia April 21. Notre Dame fell to West Virginia 16-7 the next day. As the Irish enter their final series before the Big East tournament, the team will likely turn to its seniors, especially captains Mike Dury and Danny Dressman.Dury, the starting first baseman, saw minor action in the first three years of his career but has stepped into a leading role at both first base and from the pitching mound this season. Dressman, a veteran in the Irish outfield, has helped his younger teammates step into important roles. Notre Dame was supposed to play a mid-week game against Michigan at 5th/3rd Ballpark in Comstock Park, Mich., Tuesday, but the game was rained out. The Observer could not reach coach Dave Schrage Tuesday or Wednesday.The three-game Connecticut series continues this weekend at Frank Eck Stadium. The Big East tournament begins May 22 at KeySpan Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Big East Tournament is still in sight for Notre Dame, but it is uncertain as to where the team will stand when the enter it. The Irish could end up seeded anywhere from fifth to eighth in the conference tournament – and could end up out on the outside looking in.The Irish enter their final conference series of the year, this weekend against Connecticut (No. 9 in the Big East), ranked No. 7 in the conference. Just one victory over the Huskies will likely secure a playoff berth for the Irish – but a sweep by Connecticut would knock Notre Dame completely out.The Irish struggled last weekend, falling in three straight games to Louisville, 3-1, 4-3, and 7-3. Notre Dame has struggled to stay atop the .500-mark in conference play all season, falling to 10-13 after the losses to the Cardinals. St. John’s and Rutgers top the Big East with 18-6 conference records apiece. The Irish won their series 2-1 against Rutgers in April and have yet to face off with St. John’s. Louisville, the only team to sweep the Irish this season, is No. 3 with a 17-7 Big East Record. Overall, the Irish come out on the right side of .500 with an overall record of 27-24 after having to replace most of the starting lineup from the 2006 squad. Big victories like a 4-1 win over Texas Christian in February and a 16-6 routing of Nebraska in March have been highlights in the Irish season. The Irish also boast a 16-7 record at home, including a five game streak in April. The streak started with an 11-2 win over Georgetown April 15 and ended with a 17-6 win over West Virginia April 21 before Notre Dame fell to West Virginia 16-7 the following day. As the Irish enter into their final series before the Big East Tournament, the team will likely turn to its seniors, especially captains Mike Dury and Danny Dressman. Dury, the starting first baseman, saw minor action in the first three years of his career but has stepped into a leading role at both first base and from the pitching mound this season. Dressman, a veteran in the Irish outfield, has helped his younger teammates step into important roles. Notre Dame was supposed to play a mid-week game against Michigan at 5th/3rd Ballpark in Comstock Park, Mich. Tuesday, but the game was rained out. Coach Dave Schrage was unavailable for comment afterwards.The three-game Connecticut series continues this weekend at Frank Eck Stadium. The Big East tournament begins May 22 at KeySpan Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.