Irish enter matchup with Mastodons on hot streak
Benjamin Padanilam | Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Notre Dame will carry its five-game winning streak into its non-conference matchup with Purdue-Fort Wayne (IPFW) today at Melissa Cook Stadium at 5 p.m.
The Irish (19-11, 4-5 ACC) enter their game with the Mastodons (0-23, 0-3 Summit) having won five straight games, including four straight conference victories, to rebound from their 0-5 start in the ACC.
Despite the fact that the Mastodons are winless on the year, senior third baseman Katey Haus says that the team will treat this game as they would any other.
“I don’t think there’s any concern about overlooking IPFW,” Haus said. “We’re looking to take this season one game at a time and play our A-game regardless of the opponent.”
The Irish will likely send either sophomore Rachel Nasland or junior Allie Rhodes to the mound against the Mastodons. Nasland currently leads the team with 10 wins and a 2.42 ERA in 18 starts. In the series sweep of Georgia Tech this past weekend, she pitched two complete games and allowed just one run, including a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts in the series finale this past Sunday. This performance led to her being named ACC Pitcher of the Week for the second straight week and third time in total this season. Rhodes, on the other hand, pitched three shutout innings in the team’s 13-0 win on Saturday. She has started 10 games for the Irish, and she currently holds a 3.68 ERA and a 7-4 record on the year.
The Irish bats have recently woken up as well, outscoring their opponents 44-5 during their five game winning streak. As a result, the team is now ranked in the top five in the conference in batting average, hits, stolen bases, slugging percentage and runs per game. They have been led on offense by the trio of Haus, junior first base Micaela Arizmendi and sophomore left fielder Karley Wester. Haus leads the team with eight home runs and is second in RBIs with 24 and batting average at .404. Wester leads the team with a .438 batting average and 15 steals, while Arizmendi has a team high 25 RBIs and trails only Haus with six home runs.
The Mastodons’ poor record is in large part due to their struggles both on the mound and at the plate. As a team, they hit just .186 and have 25 RBIs total through 23 games. Their pitching staff, consisting of junior Sarah Lazarowich, sophomore Kaitlyn Biere, and freshman Kaitlin Kowalski, have a combined ERA of 10.27 and an opponents have hit for a .389 average against them as a staff.
Over the next few weeks, Notre Dame’s schedule consists of one or two non-conference games in the middle of the week followed by a weekend series versus an ACC opponent. Haus believes that the formatting of the schedule in this way is beneficial for the team.
“These midweek non-conference games give us more opportunities to work in game situations to better prepare us for the weekend,” Haus said. “We’re focused on making sure we’re playing the way we can for a full seven innings every game. If we do that everything else will fall into place.”
Notre Dame will take the field later today against IPFW at Melissa Cook Stadium at 5 p.m.