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ND to play first ACC home games against Georgia Tech

| Friday, March 20, 2015

Notre Dame will square off against Georgia Tech in a three-game series this weekend, starting with a doubleheader Saturday at Melissa Cook Stadium in the first conference home games of the season for the Irish.

The Irish (16-11, 1-5 ACC) are coming off a victory in their home opener against Cleveland State on Wednesday, with the Irish bats powering the team to an 8-4 win. Notre Dame finished the game with 11 hits, including five extra-base hits. The victory pushed the team’s record to 14-2 when the Irish outhit their opponents.

The Irish now welcome the Yellow Jackets (11-16, 4-5 ACC), who are coming off a 14-0 loss in five innings to No. 8 Georgia on Wednesday.

Notre Dame heads into the game on an offensive hot streak. The Irish have scored a combined 20 runs over their last two games. Sophomore outfielder Karley Wester leads the team with a .427 batting average, while senior third baseman Katey Haus is batting .400 and leads the team with seven home runs. Haus also has 20 RBIs, trailing only junior first baseman Micaela Arizmendi, who has 23.

The Irish have also benefited from a recent string of strong performances by sophomore pitcher Rachel Nasland. Nasland pitched five strong innings in Wednesday’s win, allowing just three runs and striking out nine just one start after her no-hitter against Florida State this past weekend. She leads the team with eight wins and a 2.69 ERA. Junior pitcher Allie Rhodes, who pitched the last two innings in Wednesday’s win, has also had a strong season and is second on the team in wins (6) and ERA (3.89).

The Yellow Jackets’ bats have struggled as of late, having scored just four runs combined over their last two games. They are led by senior outfielder Katie Johnsky and junior catcher Courtney Ziese. Johnsky leads the team with a .418 batting average and .627 slugging percentage, and she is second on the team in RBIs with 21. Ziese leads the Yellow Jackets with six home runs and 23 RBIs while also slugging .597.

On the mound, Georgia Tech senior Kylie Kleinschmidt is coming off a performance in which she gave up six runs, four earned, in just two innings of work. She leads the team with 15 games started and an ERA of 3.62, but her record currently sits at 3-10.

The Irish will return to the diamond against Georgia Tech on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Melissa Cook Stadium in Notre Dame’s conference home opener, followed by a second game at 3 p.m. The series will conclude with a game on Sunday at noon.

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