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ND Softball: Team closes out regular season

Molly Sammon | Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Coming off of a three-game sweep of conference rival Villanova, the No. 25 Irish hope to continue their success by taking on Bowling Green and Wisconsin in their final home games of the season.

“For everyone that comes to play us at Melissa Cook Stadium, we never think that any of them are going to be easy wins,” Irish assistant coach Kris Ganeff said. “They’ll throw everything that they have at us.”

Notre Dame (38-9, 14-4 Big East) welcomes Bowling Green (10-20) Wednesday for a doubleheader in which the Irish appear to have the upper hand. The Falcons have yet to win an away game this season.

“I know that [Bowling Green] always has a competitive team that comes at you with everything they have,” Ganeff said. “They usually have a few power hitters on their team.”
The Irish take on Wisconsin Thursday. The Badgers (14-27) are struggling this season with only three wins on the road, but Ganeff said they could pose a threat.

“Wisconsin is always a fight-to-the-end kind of a team,” Ganeff said.

Senior Christine Lux will look to break the program record for most career RBIs during the upcoming series. With 64, she is currently tied with a record set 11 seasons ago.

“Lux wants to show up everyday and contribute to the team. She wants to do her part, and carry the weight for the program,” Ganeff said. “I don’t think she knows she’s broken so many records. She’s just doing her job and that’s how she sees it.”

Another Irish player will be searching to break a different record this week. Junior pitcher Jody Valdivia tied the season shutout record last weekend against Villanova. A potential 16th shutout against either the Falcons or the Badgers would earn her the Irish record.

“Even if [Valdivia] has a game where she didn’t let up a single run, she comes back to practice and looks at whatever she needs to do to get a little better each time,” Ganeff said.

These final three games, followed by one final Big East series at St. John’s, mark the conclusion of the regular season and the final tweaks before the postseason.

“I think for us the most important thing form this point forward is just to win,” Ganeff said. “Everyone’s working at it, especially when it comes to the top 25 teams. We want to make sure we put ourselves in a good position for the postseason.”

The Irish will take to the field at Melissa Cook Stadium at 3 p.m. for the doubleheader against Bowling Green Wednesday, and at 4 p.m. Thursday against the Badgers.

“It just gets harder from this point forward,” Ganeff said. “Everyone we play has that sense of urgency, every games going to be a cat fight because you don’t want to lose this late in the season.”