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Notre Dame gears up for season finale versus Florida State

| Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Irish will conclude their regular season this weekend with a conference series against No. 8 Florida State at Melissa Cook Stadium.

A 4-0 shutout victory against Bowling Green snapped a two-game losing skid for the Irish (30-18, 12-8 ACC), who currently sit in third place in the ACC’s Atlantic division. The Seminoles (39-9,16-2) currently ranked first in the Atlantic division, will head into the matchup with some momentum in ACC play coming off a series sweep of Louisville a week ago. Despite an underdog match up against one of the top teams in the country, Irish head coach Deanna Gumpf insists that the team’s primary focus this week is on themselves.

Michelle Mehelas | The Observer
Irish senior pitcher Katie Beriont winds up a pitch during Notre Dame’s 8-3 loss to Northwestern on April 18 at Melissa Cook Stadium.

“They’re good. They’re one of the top-five teams in the country right now,” Gumpf said. “They can do it all really well. What we have to do is focus on is us. … We’re just focused on a hit at a time, an inning at a time, a bat at a time, a pitch at a time.”

Ahead of the matchup, Florida State has a trio of players that have found success at the plate this season. Redshirt sophomore outfielder Deja Bush (.500), freshman utility hitter Sydney Sherrill (.389), and senior infielder Jessie Warren (.378) are ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in batting average with Bush leading the way overall. Warren also leads the ACC in slugging percentage (.820) and runs batted in at 45, while Sherrill leads the ACC with 58 hits on the season. Headlining for the Seminoles on the mound, are redshirt senior Kylee Hanson (0.90 ERA) and redshirt junior Meghan King (1.26 ERA), who are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 the ACC.

Despite the offensive power the Seminoles possess, heading into the matchup the Irish boast team batting average (.294) two points higher than the Seminoles (.292). Junior outfielder Ali Wester leads the way for the team and is directly above FSU’s Sherrill in the ACC batting average rankings, hitting .391 on the season. The Irish also welcomed back senior shortstop Morgan Reed, who missed eight games this season.

The weekend series against the Seminoles will also be Senior Night as the team honors Reed, outfielder Bailey Bigler, infielder Sara White, and pitcher Katie Beriont. While celebrating the seniors this weekend, Gumpf is hoping for a collective team effort against the Seminoles.

“If everyone does their part then we’re in business. It’s that simple,” Gumpf said.

The two teams are slated to play Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the first pitch of the first game of the series scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday.

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