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Softball: Team rides streak into break

By Laura Coletti | Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Irish carry an eight-game win streak into spring break as they prepare to travel to Arizona and California.

Notre Dame (12-5) will first head to Tempe, Ariz. for the Arizona State Diamond Devil Invitational beginning Saturday. The squad will face UC Davis, New Mexico State and No. 3 Arizona State.

The Irish will then travel to Fullerton, Calif., for the Judi Garman Classic where they will face Cal State Fullerton and No. 16 Arizona on March 13 and 14, respectively. The team will conclude the break at the UC Riverside Tournament in Riverside, Calif., on March 15 and 16 when they will take on Northern Illinois and Iona.

Senior catcher and captain Amy Buntin said Notre Dame hopes its streak will continue during the break.

“Going undefeated last weekend was huge for our momentum rolling into spring break,” she said. “We will be playing some good competition [over the break].”

Since the team has been solid lately, Buntin said the Irish have not been concentrating on anything too specific at practice but rather are aiming to maintain their consistently high level of play.

“We’re just focusing on the fundamentals and getting a little better each practice,” she said.

Timely hitting has been important for the Irish and helped garner sophomore outfielder Emilee Koerner her second-straight Big East honor of the season. After being named to the Big East Honor Roll last week, Koerner earned Big East Player of the Week for her performance at last weekend’s Diamond 9 Citrus Classic in Kissimmee, Fla.

Koerner batted .500 over the weekend, going 6-for-12 during four Irish victories. She kicked off the weekend by going 3-for-3 with a double, triple and grand slam in Notre Dame’s 14-3 win over Boston College on March 2.

“Last weekend we hit especially well,” Buntin said. “One through nine in the lineup did their job at the plate.”

Although the Irish have enjoyed recent success, Buntin said the squad has stayed level-headed and concentrated on keeping their play consistent.  

“Our mentality for this week hasn”t changed,” she said. “We are taking one game at a time this week and focusing on one opponent at a time. If we stay focused on playing Notre Dame softball, the rest will take care of itself.” 

The Irish will open their West Coast trip against UC Davis on Saturday at 9 a.m. in Tempe, Ariz

Contact Laura Coletti at lcoletti@nd.edu