Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2022

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 41 of 47

42 JUNE/JULY 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY TODD D. BURLAGE S ometimes season and career sta- tistics — especially in softball and baseball — don't necessarily tell the complete story of a player's value. But for Notre Dame sophomore Kar- ina Gaskins, her numbers tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, all the way back to an abbreviated but terrific high school career at Edison (N.J.) Donovan Catholic. Despite having her senior season can- celed in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and most of her freshman year in 2017 wiped out by injury, Gaskins still finished her prep career with 37 home runs, 108 runs scored and 129 RBI. As a junior in 2019, Gaskins batted .682 with 17 homers, 48 RBI and a .720 on- base percentage. It's hard to imagine what the two-time New Jersey Softball Player of the Year would've done as a senior. "Sometimes you don't realize how important something is until it gets taken away," Gaskins said. She trained in the backyard with fam- ily members during the pandemic — not ideal conditions — but she still didn't miss a beat as a freshman at Notre Dame last year batting .297 and leading the team with 10 home runs. "She had a crazy great freshman year," Irish head coach Deanna Gump said. And while freshman phenoms often endure sophomore slumps, Gaskins instead upped her game dramatically this season and earned ACC Player of the Year honors after leading the league with a .433 batting average and 57 RBI. Gaskins also paced the Irish during the regular season with 13 home runs, a .822 slugging percentage and a .564 on-base percentage, and she made only four errors in 281 fielding attempts (a .986 fielding percentage) at first base. "You never know how the sopho- more year is going to go," Gumpf added, "because when you have a really great freshman year, everybody is gunning for you; everybody is out to get you." Never satisfied, Gaskins explained how her sophomore surge was rooted in some tweaks to her swing, lots of workout time with teammate Abby Sweet (a three-time All-ACC outfielder), and the confidence and familiarity gained as a freshman. "I went into this season knowing what was expected of me," Gaskins said, "and having a year under my belt really helped me out." Firmly grounded and well rounded, Gaskins explained how Notre Dame is her perfect fit and became an easy college choice after she took the advice of a travel team coach and visited campus in 2016. "I fell in love the minute I stepped on campus," said Gaskins, who committed to Notre Dame as an eighth-grader. "I absolutely love it. I wouldn't go any- where else." ✦ Softball's Karina Gaskins Experiences Sophomore Surge Gaskins earned ACC Player of the Year honors after leading the league with a .433 batting aver- age and 57 RBI during the regular season. PHOTO BY JEFF PALICKI ND SPORTS Irish Roundup Through May 22 BASEBALL (33-13 OVERALL, 16-11 ACC) Notre Dame closed the regular season with seven wins in its last 10 games and finished in second- place of the ACC's Atlantic Division … Notre Dame was the No. 4 seed — and in Pool D along with No. 5 Virginia and No. 9 Florida State — in the ACC Championship May 24-29 in Charlotte, N.C. … The 64-team field for the NCAA Championship will be revealed May 30, and NCAA Regional play is set for June 3-5. MEN'S GOLF The Irish placed ninth in the NCAA Palm Gardens Regional May 16-18 in Palm Gardens, Fla. MEN'S LACROSSE (8-4 OVERALL, 5-1 ACC) Notre Dame notched an 18-11 win at Syracuse May 1 and edged Duke 16-14 at home May 7, but inexplicably was left out of the 18-team NCAA Championship field despite being No. 4 in the Inside Lacrosse national poll and boasting a top-10 NCAA RPI ranking. WOMEN'S LACROSSE (9-10 OVERALL, 3-5 ACC) The Irish defeated Duke 19-11 in the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship April 29 but fell 14-13 to North Carolina in the semifinals May 1 … Notre Dame earned a bid to the NCAA Championship, but lost 17-11 to Michigan in the first round May 13. ROWING Notre Dame finished seventh at the ACC Championship May 14 in Lake Hartwell, S.C. SOFTBALL (40-12 OVERALL, 16-5 ACC) The Irish swept three games from Louisville May 6-8 to clinch fourth-place in the league, but lost 7-3 to Clemson in the first round of the ACC Tournament May 12 in Pittsburgh … Notre Dame received a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Evanston Regional, but ended up being eliminated in three games … The Irish lost 11-1 to No. 3 seed McNeese State in their opener May 20, and then the next day routed No. 4 seed Oakland 16-1 before being knocked out by a 3-1 defeat at the hands of McNeese State. MEN'S TENNIS (16-12 OVERALL, 5-7 ACC) Notre Dame lost its first-round NCAA Championship match to Columbia 4-2 in May 6 in Columbus, Ohio. TRACK & FIELD The Irish men and women finished eighth and 10th, respectively, at the ACC Championships May 12-14 in Durham, N.C. … Notre Dame qualified 29 athletes (17 men and 12 women) for the NCAA Regional May 25-28 at Bloomington, Ind. … The NCAA Championship takes place June 6-11 in Eugene, Ore. — Steve Downey

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - June-July 2022