Notre Dame hosts Florida State
Christina Kochanski | Friday, April 11, 2014
The No. 23/25 Irish host No. 7/8 Florida State in a three-game series this weekend at Melissa Cook Stadium.
The two ACC rivals face off Sunday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. and again Monday at 7 p.m.
The Irish (24-8, 5-3 ACC) are coming off of a two-game series sweep of another ACC rival, the North Carolina Tar Heels. This triumph marks the first time the Irish have swept an ACC team this season.
When Florida State (38-5, 15-2 ACC) faced the Tar Heels (21-18, 12-7 ACC) in late March, the Seminoles claimed victory in all three games of the series.
Florida State is coming off of a loss to No. 8/6 Florida. The defeat marked the end of a 17-game winning streak that dated back to mid-March. The Seminoles have not lost two consecutive games this season.
This weekend’s games present an opportunity for Irish coach Deanna Gumpf to add her name to Notre Dame’s record books. With a victory in any of the three games against the Seminoles, Gumpf will tie former baseball coach Paul Mainieri for second-most all-time wins in Irish baseball and softball.
In order to beat the Seminoles, the Irish have to best Florida State’s junior pitcher Lacey Waldrop (25-3). Waldrop is the Seminoles’ leading pitcher with 30 appearances, Waldrop boasts a 0.83 ERA. Waldrop was also named ACC Softball Pitcher of the Week on Monday.
Senior pitcher Laura Winter leads the Irish from the circle with a 2.11 ERA in 21 appearances. Winter has the opportunity to meet and pass the 100-win benchmark this weekend. She currently sits at 98 career victories, and two wins will make her the first pitcher in Irish softball history to hit the century mark in this category.
Winter will pitch against a squad of Seminole batters who have outscored their opponents 290-70 in 43 games. Redshirt junior shortstop Maddie O’Brien leads Florida State with 57 hits, 16 home runs, and 64 RBIs. O’Brien was also named ACC Softball Player of the Week on Monday. Redshirt senior second baseman Tiffani Brown has scored the most runs for the Seminoles, with 49 on the season.
For the Irish, junior outfielder Emilee Koerner leads in runs and home runs with 32 and eight, respectively. Sophomore infielder Micaela Arizmendi has earned 29 RBIs to lead Notre Dame in that category.
Looking ahead, the Irish have less than a month left in regular-season play. The majority of the remaining 17 games — including this weekend’s series — will be played at home.
The Irish have the opportunity to add three more tallies to the win column Sunday and Monday. ACC tensions will heat up at Melissa Cook Stadium when the Irish take on the Seminoles on Sunday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. and again Monday at 7 p.m.