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ND Softball: Irish face ‘good team’ in Eagles

Molly Sammon | Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Irish will play host to the struggling Ball State Eagles Tuesday evening at Melissa Cook Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

“We will approach this game against Ball State like every other game. They are a good team,” head coach Deanna Gumpf said. “We need to step up and play good ball to beat them.”

With an overall record of 9-12, the Eagles are not having one of their better seasons. But most of their wins have been relatively low scoring games, which can be attributed to the team’s strong and experienced pitching rotation.

The Eagles boast wins over Boston University, Indiana University and Hofstra so far this season.

“Ball State is a good team with pitching that keeps them in the ball game,” Gumpf said. “They also are also a very fast team with aggressive hitters and base runners.”

The Irish are coming off a split in last Sunday’s double header against the Wildcats of St. John’s, pushing their season record to 11-11.

“Our advantage was that we were the home team with good hitters up to bat,” Gumpf said.

Sophomore middle infielders Sadie Pitzenberger and Katie Fleury, senior designated hitter Linda Kohan and junior first baseman Christine Lux have provided much of the offense this season for the Irish.

“At anytime any one or many of our starters can step up and be the one to play great,” Gumpf said.

On the mound, sophomore Jody Valdivia and senior Brittney Bargar have posted a number of strong outings this season.

“I’m expecting good things from the mound,” Gumpf said.

Notre Dame’s best win of the season came against No. 12 Oklahoma, who the Irish narrowly defeated 4-3.

The Irish took a day off of practice to make sure they are prepared for Tuesday’s matchup with the Eagles.