Notre Dame Athletics | May 17, 2019
The University of Notre Dame softball team begins its 21st-consecutive NCAA tournament on Friday night when the Fighting Irish take on Wisconsin at 7 p.m. ET in Norman, Oklahoma. The Irish (36-16) enter as the regional's second seed, while the Badgers (40-12) are seeded third. The top national seed, Oklahoma (49-2), will take on the regional No. 4 seed, UMBC, at 9:30 p.m. ET on Friday night to finish day one of the double-elimination regional.
Friday's Irish-Badgers showdown can be seen on ESPN, while game two between the Sooners and Retrievers will air on ESPN2. Both games, along with the entire NCAA Division I Softball Championship are available via the ESPN app and the ESPN family of networks. In addition, Bases Loaded will provide whiparound coverage of the entire championship.
Notre Dame returns to the NCAA Championship for the 24th time in program history after a regular season which saw head coach Deanna Gumpf's squad place second in the ACC's Atlantic Division, one game behind defending national champion Florida State. The Irish dropped a 2-0 decision to the Seminoles in an ACC semifinal in Tallahassee their last time out.
ACC Player of the Year Cait Brooks leads the way for the Irish offensively. The senior has a program-record 20 home runs this season while her .884 slugging percentage of on pace to shatter the program record. Brooks is also two home run shy of the career record of 50. In the circle, freshman Payton Tidd has quickly evolved into the Irish ace. The Vista, California, native is 25-8 with a 2.45 ERA on the year. She is one of just three rookie pitchers in Division I to have reached 25 victories on the season. Brooks and Tidd were joined on the All-ACC first team by senior third baseman Melissa Rochford, while Emma Clark and Katie Marino were second team all-league choices. Tidd and Clark also were named to the conference all-freshman squad.
Tickets for the Norman Regional are sold out, but a limited number of single-session tickets could be available on gameday at the OU Softball Complex. Call 800-456-GoOU for more information.
Read more here.