From the press box: ND vs. UIC updates

The Notre Dame campus was pelted by heavy rains last night and this morning, but the Irish are still set to take on Illinois-Chicago in nonconference action. Check back later for live updates.

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Irish draft update: undrafted signings

Despite David Bruton being the only Notre Dame player drafted into the NFL this weekend (to the Denver Broncos), several others could soon find themselves receiving pro paychecks. Here’s a list of all the Irish players who weren’t picked, but signed deals with teams.

Pat Kuntz- Indianapolis Colts
David Grimes- Denver Broncos
Terrail Lambert- San Francisco 49ers
Michael Turkovich- Dallas Cowboys
Asaph Schwapp- Dallas Cowboys

Former Irish players Justin Brown and Maurice Crum, Jr. are also close to signing deals with pro teams. Crum had previously indicated that he was primarily talking with the Chicago Bears, so that could give a good indication of where he ends up. Check back for more updates as they become available.


Irish Draft Tracker

Four rounds and 114 picks into the NFL draft, a Notre Dame player has finally been selected, as safety David Bruton was picked by the Denver Broncos. Bruton should make an immeadiate impact on special teams, and certainly has the measurables to eventually compete for a starting role.

We’ll keep an eye out to see if any other seniors (most likely Terrail Lambert or Maurice Crum) are drafted late, but it would be  no surprise if Bruton is the only Irish player taken this year. With the current influx of talent, this should be the last year in a long time that ND makes so little an impact on draft day.

Samardzija rejoins Cubs’ big-league roster

Jeff Samardzija, who starred in football and baseball at Notre Dame, has been recalled by the Chicago Cubs, where he’ll rejoin another former Irish standout in the bullpen at Wrigley Field tonight.

This marks Samardzija’s second stint in the majors after he failed to win a job in the rotation or the bullpen with the Cubs out of spring training. The 24-year-old righty posted a 2.28 ERA and notched a win and a save in two months of major league action last summer.

Samardzija, along with former Irish righthander Aaron Heilman, will be used mainly in the seventh inning as a bridge to the back end of the Cubs bullpen, Chicago manager Lou Piniella told the Chicago Tribune Wednesday.

Heilman was selected as the 18th pick in the MLB amateur draft in 2001 after a successful Irish career.

Game canceled against NU

Tuesday’s game against Northwestern was canceled due to rain and will not be rescheduled.

If the rain subsides, the Irish will play a doubleheader Wednesday against North Dakota State. The first game starts at 3:30 and the second will follow immediately afterward.

Irish Place Second in Big East Tournament; Senior Maunu wins individual title

Senior Lisa Maunu finished off her conference career with a bang yesterday as she won the Big East individual championship and led the Irish to a second place finish to Lousiville.

Notre Dame shot a plus-23 round of 294 for their best team score of the tournament behind Louisville’s plus-12 mark. Overall, the Irish shot an 887 to the Cardinals’ 876.

Maunu ended the tournament minus one after going minus-two for a final round of 70 after an impressive performance on the back nine. She bogeyed on the 10th to put her at three-over, but came back to birdie on the 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 17th. Maunu’s performance was one of only two under-par rounds of the day, finishing three shots ahead of Louisville’s Sara-Maude Juneau in second place. She comes out of the tournament with a final score of 215.

Irish sophomore So-Hyun Park and junior Annie Brophy each earned All-Big East honors for finishing in the top-10. The pair tied for ninth with eight-over marks of 224. This was Park’s second consecutive All-Big East honor, and Brophy’s third.

Freshman Becca Huffer finished tied for 11th after a plus-four 76 final round for a final score of 225, and junior Kristin Wetzel finished 23rd with a third round of 79, total of 235.

All the Irish can do now is wait for the NCAA selections to be announced on Monday, April 27. NCAA Regional play will commence May 7 in Gainesville, Fla., Tempe, Ariz., and Columbus, Ohio.

Double Big East Victories

The No. 9 Irish women finished off their regular season this past Saturday with a 20-5 win at home over UConn, and senior attack and co-captain Jillian Byers set a Notre Dame and Big East record 12 game points to earn her the Big East offensive player of the week title for the second time this season.

“It took us a little while to figure out how to beat them,” Irish coach Tracy Coyne said. “But once we did we really controlled the ball in the second half.”

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Dugout notes: West Virginia

Here are some of Irish coach Dave Schrage’s thoughts about Notre Dame’s performance this weekend. The Irish took two of three from West Virginia at Eck Stadium and got two great pitching performances. After losing 19-3 Friday, the Irish won both games of a doubleheader Saturday (Sunday’s game was canceled due to inclement weather).

On Saturday’s pitching performances of Eric Maust and Brian Dupra, who both had complete games:

“I think coming off Friday’s game where they hit us all over the park, it was great performances by both guys. They both executed the game plan and they were hitting their spots. They were able to exploit some of West Virginia’s weaknesses. When a team’s hitting .367 as a team that makes the performance more remarkable by Eric.”

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Twice as nice: Irish claim Big East title

For the second consecutive year, the Notre Dame women’s tennis team will return from Tampa, Fla. with the sense of a mission accomplished.

After coasting into the finals with victories over Pittsburgh and Rutgers, the Irish had their way with DePaul winning 4-2 and staking their claim to back-to-back Big East championships.

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LIVE from Alumni Field: Notre Dame vs. St. John’s

The Irish hope to run their record to 11-0, on senior day no less. St. John’s, on the other hand, will attempt to break Notre Dame’s lengthy home winning streak. Follow all the action here.

FINAL UPDATE: Irish win 12-2 thanks to hat tricks from Grant Krebs and Ryan Hoff. The win caps a perfect home season and means that the graduating seniors have never lost a game at home. You read that correctly. Never. Check out tomorrow’s Observer for full coverage, including reactions from Hoff and Irish head coach Kevin Corrigan.

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