GRAYSON PRATHER | STAFF REPORTER | GPRATHER@BUTLER.EDU
The Butler University softball team squares off with the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish this afternoon at 4:00 in South Bend.
Notre Dame (28-11) is a perfect 9-0 at home.
The Fighting Irish beat Western Michigan University 10-2 yesterday to push their win streak to 14 games.
Butler, on the other hand, is 6-7 on the road this year, losing four out of its last six.
The Bulldogs and Fighting Irish were conference enemies from 1989-1994 in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, which is now the Horizon League.
Butler is 2-28 all-time against the Fighting Irish, having lost the last 20 meetings.
Butler freshman Alyssa Lach is confident despite the past matches against the Fighting Irish.
“It should be a good game for us,” Lach said. “We played them in the fall, and I think it was only like a one-run or a two-run game. We lost, but it was still a good game. And I think their pitcher throws pretty good.”
“We need to attack her early and get up and stay up,” Lach said.
Butler head coach Scott Hall said the Bulldogs need to work extra hard in practice to prepare for tough opponents such as Notre Dame.
“[We have to be] pushing ourselves in practice every day to get better,” Hall said. “They have some issues that they’re having in their swings so they’ve got to work hard to improve those.
At this level, if they’re not self-motivated, we’ve got some problems.”
Along with this, Hall encourages the Bulldogs to have a specific mindset when they go into games.
“Compete,” Hall said. “[It is] the same mentality we take into every game. We’ve just got to compete.”
After snapping an eight-game losing streak Saturday at Providence College, the Bulldogs look to carry over their momentum of the 7-2 win into their game against the Fighting Irish.
Alyssa Lach, who is on a three-game hitting streak, said she sees their last win as a starting point for the Bulldogs’ ability to play well as a team going forward.
“[We’re] trying to build off of Saturday’s win,” Lach said. “We’re trying to use that momentum to go into this week to try to stay focused on the game and bring a lot of energy.”
Lach said seeing others play well rubs off on the whole team, which could lead to more success.
“Just having my teammates around me playing well – it’s just contagious for all of us if we’re playing well,” she said.
Hall sees what the Bulldogs need to work on in practice leading up to their games this week.
“[We are] just really working on tweaking some of our swings and having better at-bats,” Hall said.
After the Bulldogs’ game at Notre Dame tonight, they return home to play a three-game series against Big East foe Villanova University. There is a doubleheader Saturday at noon and 2 p.m. The third and final game of the series is Sunday at 11 a.m.
Butler sits one game behind Villanova (13-18 overall, 4-5 Big East) for fourth place in the conference, the final qualifying spot for the Big East Tournament, which will be hosted by DePaul at the Ballpark at Rosemont May 8-9.