Since the inception of the varsity softball program in 1989, Notre Dame Softball has resided in three different conferences in Division I: the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (now the Horizon League), the BIG EAST Conference, and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
Over the first 27 seasons of the program’s existence, the Irish have won 19 regular-season conference championships, 11 conference tournament titles, and have added a combined 12 runner-up finishes in both regular season and tournament final standings. Notre Dame began the 2016 season with a 402-83 (.829) combined all-time record in conference play, which has included a 72-19 (.791) mark in the MCC, a 297-53 (.849) legacy in the BIG EAST and a 33-11 (.750) start in the ACC.
Under current head coach Deanna Gumpf's guidance, the Irish have made 15 consecutive trips to NCAA regionals, claiming four conference tournament titles during that span. In addition, Notre Dame staked claim to the BIG EAST Conference's regular season championship during its first four seasons on the bench (2002-05). The Irish hoisted BIG EAST regular season hardware again in 2010, 2011, and the program's final year as a conference member in 2013 before transitioning to the ACC prior to the 2014 campaign.
Gumpf has compiled a career record of 650-261-1 (.713) in her 16 seasons at Notre Dame, placing her among the elite skippers in the NCAA. Gumpf joined legendary fencing coach Michael DeCicco and Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw as the only varsity athletics mentors to win 600 or more games during their Notre Dame tenures.
In addition to its triumphs on the field, the Notre Dame Softball team has made its mark in the greater South Bend community through various philanthropic endeavors. The Irish have received the Notre Dame Trophy Award, presented to a varsity athletics team exhibiting excellence in community service, five of the last six years, thanks primarily to the success of the program's annual Strikeout Cancer initiative.
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The Rockne Heritage Fund was created in 2002 to galvanize alumni, parents, and friends of Notre Dame to fund expendable grants-in-aid for student-athletes. Members help ensure that the University continues to offer its student-athletes, regardless of their financial resources, a transforming educational experience, one that combines intellectual rigor, athletic excellence, and an emphasis on spirituality and moral values.