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ND Softball

Notre Dame softball heads into ’prove-it’ series against Duke

| Thursday, March 2, 2023

Notre Dame softball has had a strong season to date, posting a 10-4 record. The Irish are currently on a blazing win streak of five games. They defeated UT Martin 8-7, FIU 4-0, Siena 2-0, FIU again 4-3 and Dartmouth 7-4 while in Madeira Beach, Florida, for The Spring Games.

The Irish have struggled against higher-profile opponents, however. After thrashing Ohio State 7-2 in their first game of the B1G/ACC Challenge in Clemson, the Irish would go on to lose twice against No. 13 Northwestern, 2-0 and 10-3. They would also fall to Ohio State 6-5 in a tense, nine-inning rematch. Their additional loss came against San Diego State on the road by a 3-0 score.

As ACC play opens up, the Irish have an opportunity to prove that they can compete at the highest level. They begin their conference slate this weekend against No. 12 Duke in Durham, where they will play a three-game series against Duke. 

The Blue Devils currently sit at 15-3. Their sole losses have come in close games with No. 14 Washington, No. 15 Alabama and No. 1 Oklahoma. They have already earned four wins against ranked opponents in No. 17 Stanford, No. 4 Arkansas, No. 25 Michigan and No. 20 UCF in extra innings. Duke comes into the series red-hot as they seek to add to their current 12-game winning streak.

Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf and the Irish believe they can match up with the top squads in the ACC, a group that includes No. 4 Clemson, No. 5 Florida State, No. 10 Virginia Tech and yes, Duke. If they want to make a statement this weekend, and climb up the conference standings and into the top 25 nationally, they must win this series against the Blue Devils.

Friday’s game is set to begin at 6 p.m., Saturday’s at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s at noon. All games will be streamed on ACC Network Extra and played at Duke Softball Stadium.

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