NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame (22-12, 13-10 ACC) faces its final set of roads of 2021 as the Irish travel to Blacksburg to face No. 15/13 Virginia Tech. Notre Dame enters the series after a five-game winning streak, including a series sweep in Virginia last weekend.
OF Abby Sweet (.477) continues to lead the conference in batting average, as she has for the past six weeks. OF Emma Clark is tied for third in the conference in batting average, posting .423.
Entering the home stretch of the regular season, Notre Dame will try for its fourth series victory in 2021.
Click for game notes
Location: Tech Softball Park (Blacksburg, Virginia)
- Friday, April 23: 6 p.m. ET vs Virginia
- Saturday, April 24: noon ET vs Virginie
- Saturday, April 24: 2 p.m. ET vs Virginia
- Sunday, April 25: noon ET vs Virginie
Live Statistics: und.com/mediastates
1: OF Abby Sweet is one of the nation’s best at home plate, ranking among the best not only in the CCA, but in Division I. Sweet’s .477 avg. leads the CCA and ranks 12th nationally, while his 51 total hits are first in the CCA and tied for 14th nationally. She is also the hardest player to hit in the ACC, hitting just five of 107 times at bat. Soft ties for the conference in the lead in doubles (13, T-10th nationally) and in the lead of the ACC in total bases (85, 39th nationally) and in base percentage (0.545, 29th nationally ).
2: The Notre Dame pitchers have totaled two combined no-hits so far this season. In both games against Alabama State (February 14) and Valparaiso (March 24), ps Alexis Holloway, Morgan Ryan and Payton Tidd all attempted to keep both teams scoreless and scoreless.
2: The Irish own two of the top 4 individual hitters in the ACC. OF Abby Sweet (.477) is in first place, and OF Emma Clark is tied for third (.413). Sweet leads the ACC in hits (51), while Clark is tied for fourth with 45 hits.
2: For the first time in the history of the program, the Irish have two graduate students on the roster. IF Katie Marino and IF Chelsea Purcell each took advantage of the NCAA extra year awarded to student-athletes in 2020.
3: OF Abby Sweet and OF Leea Hanks have each hit three triples this season, which rank fourth in the conference.
3: Notre Dame ranked # 3 in the ACC preseason coaching poll, with IF Katie Marino on the All-ACC preseason squad. Of the top six teams in the ACC, Notre-Dame is one and had to face the other five in the regular season.
3: Deanna Gumpf has announced the selection of three captains for the 2021 season: Seniors IF Sarah Genz, P Alexis Holloway and OF Abby Sweet. Holloway and Sweet are the eighth and ninth twice team captains in program history.
3/13: ACC top hitter OF Abby Sweet has led the conference at batting average since March 13, 2021 (six straight weeks).
4: OF Abby Sweet was hit by four throws in Game 2 of the March 27 doubles match against NC State, totaling six HBPs that day (two from Game 1). All four HBPs were tied for most in a single game won by any Division I player in NCAA history, and are the simplest this season. In that game, Sweet never posted a batting as she was hit in all four home plate appearances as the game ended her 16-game streak.
4: At this point in the season, Notre Dame has faced four ranked or voted teams at the time of those games (Alabama, Duke, Liberty and Florida State). Notre Dame was the first team to suffer a loss to Duke in 2021 (February 20), and it was the only loss in the Blue Devils’ record until March 27. The Irish also face Virginia Tech, currently ranked No. 1. 15/13.
5: Notre Dame is in the ACC Top 5 in terms of batting average and team shots. The Irish are third in the conference with a batting average of 0.302, while they are fifth in the conference with a 2.38 ERA.
6: IF Katie Marino led the Irish in the Virginia sweep, batting .455 for 6 RBIs, while being an impressive force on the field with 10 strikeouts and 10 assists on the weekend. She hit two solo home runs, including one in the 3-2 final victory over the Cavaliers. In the win, as the Irish and Cavaliers were tied 2-2 with two strikeouts in the bottom of the seventh, Marino drew, the last pitch of which was wild, allowing Abby Sweet to accelerate for the win.
12: Irish pitchers are dangerous in the batter’s box, totaling 12 more hits over the season. P Payton Tidd has hit eight extra bases this season, with five doubles and three homers, racking up 10 RBIs on 11 total hits. She was named Honorable Mention for the Nation’s Best Punch Throwers by Justin’s World of Softball. P Alexis Holloway also made a significant mark at home, hitting two doubles and two homers, as well as two singles, and totaling nine RBIs this season.
14: The Irish have won 14 back-to-back home games, starting with a four-game winning streak to end the 2019 home selection as the Irish have not played a home game in 2020. The streak started with a victory of April 13, 2019 against NC State and extends to the present. Seven of those 14 wins are part of two ACC Series sweeps: against NC State (March 24-26) and against Virginia (April 16-18).
16: The Irish return 16 veterans in 2021, including every starter from the 2019-20 season. They are joined by six freshmen.
64: IF Chelsea Purcell, currently in her fifth season (graduate student), leads the team in defensive passes with 64. Seeing most of the shortstop action in her previous four seasons, she moved up to third. base in 2021 and made a significant mark in the infield.