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ND Softball: Squad rides streak into home game

Megan Finneran | Wednesday, March 27, 2013

 

The Irish are riding a seven-game winning streak as they approach their home opener against Green Bay on Thursday.

Notre Dame (22-7) was originally set to travel to Kalamazoo, Mich., today to face Western Michigan, but the game was postponed due to weather. That leaves the Irish with only one game this week against the Phoenix (5-12).

“There is always excitement when we play at home,” sophomore catcher Cassidy Whidden said. “It’s so much fun, especially the home opener.”

The Phoenix spent last week in Orlando, Fla., at the Rebel Spring Games, where they went 5-7. Over the 12 games, they scored 50 runs, with 45 runs against.

The Irish, on the other hand, come off their most recent three-game sweep of Seton Hall in South Orange, N.J. They compiled 30 runs, holding Seton Hall to five runs throughout the weekend in only five innings each game.

“The sweep is part of our ’20 wins in 30 days’ campaign and it just confirms that the team is in a really good place,” Whidden said.

The week before, the Irish went 4-0 at the Highlander Classic, winning two games against both Northern Illinois and Iona in Riverside, Calif. They excelled on both sides of the ball, rounding up 29 runs and limiting their opponents to only six over the four games.

Offensively, sophomore center fielder Emilee Koerner continues leading the Irish. She was named Big East Conference Softball Player of the Week on Monday for the second time this season. She earned the award after the most productive weekend of her Notre Dame career at Seton Hall. There she batted .900, going 9-for-10. Her three home runs, five RBI, two doubles and two stolen bases helped propel the Irish to the three-game sweep. Her seven runs over the weekend surpassed the entire Seton Hall squad.

On the defensive side, junior pitcher Laura Winter has played a crucial role in cutting down the number of runs scored. She earned the Big East Weekly Honor Roll recognition for the second consecutive week. She allowed six hits and no walks in the two games she pitched at Seton Hall, gathering 16 strikeouts in her eight full innings.

“We are going to get better in offensive situations such as moving runners and making things happen,” Whidden said. “Right now, that’s our goal. Our defense and pitching are phenomenal.”

The time for the Green Bay contest has been moved up from its original 6 p.m. to avoid bad weather. The first pitch will now be thrown Thursday night at 5 p.m. at Melissa Cook Stadium.

Contact Megan Finneran at mfinnera@nd.edu