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ND Softball: ND to battle Hoyas at home

Molly Sammon | Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The No. 24 Irish welcome the Georgetown Hoyas for a double-header Wednesday for a mid-week conference tilt as they look to extend their win streak to seven games.

“Georgetown will be a great opponent for us this week,” Irish assistant coach Kris Ganeff said. “They are new to the conference last year, but they play like a seasoned team.”

Entering only their second season with a softball program, the Hoyas (15-20, 5-4 Big East) have struggled to eclipse the .500 mark, but their 15 total wins and five Big East conference victories over Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Syracuse necessitates that the Irish (26-6, 8-0) stay on top of their game to avoid a home upset.

“Georgetown is solid,” Irish coach Deanna Gumpf said. “They have good pitching and good hitting. They are a team that will absolutely beat you if you are not prepared for them.”

This double-header marks Notre Dame’s first conference game to be played in the middle of the school week, which Ganeff said presents a new difficulty. Winning each of Wednesday’s games is crucial to the team’s primary seasonal goal of winning the Big East Tournament in the coming weeks.

“I think the challenge is time management, not necessarily the game, but I think our team does a good job of focusing on the task at hand,” Ganeff said. “So for those six to eight hours when they are at the field, they are focused 100 percent of the time on dominating the opponent.”

In practice this week, the Irish are focusing on how to prepare for the different types of offensive strategies the Hoyas could use by seeing their strategies demonstrated in game situations.

“When we work on specific things, we try to focus on the type of line up we will be facing,” Ganeff said. “We try to incorporate a lot of short game situations if we know the opponent has a lot of left-handed slappers. We will work on outfield situations if we know they have a team that can let the ball fly.”

Both the Hoyas and the Irish are coming off of Big East wins. The Irish just finished a three-game sweep over South Florida at home, and the Hoyas recently defeated Pittsburgh. 

The games will take place at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday at Notre Dame’s Melissa Cook Stadium.