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ND Softball: Weather provides prep time

Jack Yusko | Friday, March 25, 2011

After inclement weather led to the cancellation of Wednesday’s doubleheader against Eastern Michigan, the Irish used the extra time to prepare to face Northern Illinois in their home opener today.

Junior outfielder Alexa Maldonado said the team worked on improving their overall game by paying attention to the details.

“We don’t have a specific plan other than what our goal has been all season,” Maldonado said. “We have been all about showing up and playing Notre Dame softball no matter who the team is. In order to prepare, our team has really been focusing on the little things. The difference between a good team and a great team are getting the small, important things done.”

Maldonado has been out of commission due to an injury since the team’s participation in the Judi Garman Classic in California over spring break, during which the Irish (16-6) went 4-4 against tough competition. The time off has left Maldonado more than ready to return to the field.

“I’ve been going easy for the past week due to a minor back injury, but I hope that this good amount of rest should have me ready to go for the game tomorrow,” Maldonado said.

Named Big East Player of the Week in late February, the junior from Short Hills, N.J., is one of the best hitters and a key member of the Irish offense.

The downtime due to the cancellation of Wednesday’s games has allowed the Irish to practice their fundamentals and think about the upcoming game against the Huskies (10-11).

When asked about their success so far and their hopes for the remainder of the season, Maldonado was optimistic about the direction the team is headed. She recognized their potential as well as the work it will take to fulfill it.

“So far our season has been good,” Maldonado said. “We have found things we need to work on in order to play consistently at the next level. We definitely have the potential to make it past regionals — we just have to put everything together.”

Notre Dame faces Northern Illinois in its first home game at Melissa Cook Stadium today at 5 p.m.