Indiana Daily Student

Indiana softball to play No. 25 Notre Dame, Louisiana-Lafayette in midweek games

<p>Junior catcher Desiree Dufek hits the ball against Western Illinois University on March 5, 2022. Indiana is 1-5 against teams ranked in the top 25 in the country.</p>

Junior catcher Desiree Dufek hits the ball against Western Illinois University on March 5, 2022. Indiana is 1-5 against teams ranked in the top 25 in the country.

After going 1-2 in a road series against Penn State, Indiana softball will play two midweek non-conference games at Andy Mohr Field before its three-game weekend series against No. 8 Northwestern.

On Tuesday, Indiana will face off against No. 25 University of Notre Dame for a game at 5 p.m. Notre Dame is 31-9 on the season with a 10-5 record in the Atlantic Coastal Conference. Notre Dame is currently 2-0 against Big Ten teams, with a 2-0 victory against Iowa on Feb. 25 and a 4-3 victory over Rutgers in nine innings on March 6.

Similarly to Notre Dame, Indiana defeated Iowa 8-4 at the Hall of Fame Classic in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and swept Rutgers in a three-game weekend series at home.

Players to look for on the Fighting Irish roster include sophomore first baseman Karina Gaskins and graduate student center fielder Abby Sweet. Gaskins has the highest batting average on the team at .433, and has a 1.360 on-base plus slugging percentage. Sweet has the second highest batting average with .402 and has a 1.182 OPS.

Related: [Indiana softball's offense improves throughout weekend against Penn State despite 1-2 series loss]

As for Notre Dame’s pitching staff, graduate student Alexis Holloway and senior Payton Tidd have a combined 23-6 win-loss record. Holloway has 81 strikeouts, 91.2 innings pitched and a 2.81 earned run average this season. On Friday’s 4-0 victory, Holloway threw a no-hitter against No. 16 Clemson. Tidd has a 2.79 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 103.0 innings pitched this season.

Indiana currently leads the all-time series 10-9 and is looking for its first win against the Fighting Irish since it split a doubleheader at Notre Dame, Indiana, on April 14, 1999. Notre Dame is on a two-game win streak in the series after defeating Indiana 4-0 in Bloomington,, on March 27, 2004.

In a quick turnaround, Indiana will take on the University of Louisiana -Lafayette for a single game at 5 p.m. on Wednesday in Bloomington. Louisiana is 29-10 this season and 15-3 in the Sun Belt Conference. 

Ragin’ Cajuns freshman left fielder Kayla Falterman leads the team’s batting average category with .418 to her name. Falterman also has the highest on-base percentage at .458. Junior designated player and pitcher Karly Heath has a .754 slugging percentage, the highest on the team. 

As a pitcher for the Ragin’ Cajuns, Heath has a 6.52 ERA, 1-0 win-loss record and has pitched 9.2 innings. Junior pitcher Kandra Lamb is the Ragin’ Cajuns ace, with a 1.94 ERA, 104 strikeouts and an 8-4 win-loss record in 72.0 innings pitched.

Louisiana-Lafayette leads the all-time series 2-1 and won the last game 4-0 in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Feb. 21, 1998. Indiana last defeated Louisiana-Lafayette 1-0 at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Leadoff Classic on March 1, 1996.

Related: [Indiana softball falls short, loses series 1-2 at Penn State]

Indiana has a 23-12 record on the season and is ninth in the Big Ten with a 6-6 conference record. Indiana is currently on a one-game losing streak after an inconsistent showing on offense in last weekend’s series against Penn State. 

A win over No. 25 Notre Dame can serve as a momentum shifter for the program going into a Big Ten matchup with No. 8-ranked Northwestern. Indiana is currently 1-5 against teams it has played ranked in the Softball Collegiate Top 25 Rankings, with its only win against then No. 23-ranked Ohio State. 

Both midweek games will be played at Andy Mohr Field and will broadcast on BTN+. 

CORRECTION: A previous version article misstated the name of the event when Indiana defeated Louisiana-Lafayette on March 1, 1996.

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