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Sports

Irish set to welcome Vikings to campus

| Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Notre Dame will square off against Cleveland State today in a one-game series at Melissa Cook Stadium in the first Irish home game of the season.

The Irish (15-11, 1-5 ACC) are coming off a weekend trip to Tallahassee, Florida, where they dropped two out of three matchups against No. 10 Florida State, with the sole victory coming in the final game of the series.

Irish junior infielder Micaela Arizmendi throws the ball to home plate in an exhibition game at Melissa Cook Stadium on Sept. 28.Emily McConville | The Observer

Irish junior infielder Micaela Arizmendi throws the ball to home plate in an exhibition game at Melissa Cook Stadium on Sept. 28.

Notre Dame’s 12-0 win Sunday was highlighted by sophomore pitcher Rachel Nasland’s no-hitter, the 35th solo one in program history.

Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf said Nasland and her team’s performance in Tallahassee was a good way to finish the first half of the team’s schedule.

“It was a nice way to finish being on the road and to come home with a win under our belts before we start our homestretch,” Gumpf said.

While the Irish have yet to play at home — they have played 13 road and 13 neutral-site games so far — they will play 21 of their remaining 28 games at Melissa Cook Stadium, something Gumpf said she sees as a positive.

“[At home is] where you want to be at this point in the year,” Gumpf said. “It’s worth being on the road so much in the first half of the year because we get a heavy homestand for the rest of the season.”

Gumpf said the opportunity to practice at home this week has helped the Irish in preparation for their Wednesday contest against the Vikings (12-7, 0-0 Horizon).

“Just being able to practice on our own field and be in our own dugout makes a lot of difference,” Gumpf said. “I think [today] it’ll be an even bigger factor than [yesterday].”

Despite this being just Notre Dame’s third one-game series of the season, Gumpf said preparation for Wednesday’s game will be no different than usual.

“Every team we play, we prepare for exactly the same,” she said. “If we can get video on that team, we’ll get video; if all we have are scouting reports, we’ll just use scouting reports, but each team we treat the same.”

Gumpf said Cleveland State “can flat hit the ball,” as she said the Irish must contain their opponents’ power hitters to win the game.

“We just need to be able to control their hitters and make sure that they’re hitting the pitches we want them to hit,” Gumpf said. “We have to keep the ball in the yard.”

Notre Dame will square off against Cleveland State at Melissa Cook Stadium this afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

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