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ND Softball

ND heads to Florida for Diamond 9 Citrus Classic

| Friday, February 27, 2015

No. 23 Notre Dame will travel to Orlando, Florida, this weekend to play five games in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The Irish (9-5) are coming off a successful weekend trip to Cathedral City, California, where they won four out of five contests in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.

These victories included wins over nationally-ranked Texas (No. 25) and Georgia (No. 8).

Irish coach Deanna Gumpf said these early-season victories help the squad build momentum as it continues its difficult early-season schedule.

“It builds confidence for who we are and what we’re doing,” Gumpf said. “We beat some really good teams on the road, and that’s not easy to do.”

Notre Dame has faced five ranked opponents this season and is 3-3 in games versus ranked teams — the team faced No. 16 LSU twice.

The Irish will add one more to this list when they face No. 20 Missouri on Friday afternoon. In addition to the Tigers, Notre Dame will square off against Georgetown later Friday, Mississippi State and Lehigh on Saturday and Indiana on Sunday.

Gumpf said although her team will face strong opponents this weekend, it will not alter its preparation.

“Every team we play against plays really well against us, giving us their best, so we have to prepare for our best game, no matter who the opponent is,” Gumpf said.

This season will mark the fifth consecutive campaign the Irish have appeared in the Citrus Classic, and Notre Dame has accumulated a 17-3 record in the event, including a 9-0 record the last two years.

Even though the team has had success at the Citrus Classic in the past, Gumpf said this does not necessarily make preparation any easier and stressed consistency in how her team prepares.

“We prepare the same always, so I don’t think we really do anything that differently,” Gumpf said. “It’s nice to know where we’re playing and have the lay of the land, but the way we prepared for week one is the same way we prepared for week two and the same for this week as well.”

Gumpf said she hopes to see contributions from every position in the lineup this weekend.

“My goal for this weekend is to have a lineup that can do damage one through nine to go along with consistent pitching that keeps us in the ball game and gives us a chance to win,” Gumpf said.

Notre Dame will face off against Missouri at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando and then play four more contests over the course of the weekend. The first pitch Friday is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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