Coming off of a four-loss weekend, the Irish look to prove their worth as they head to North Carolina to face four new opponents at the North Carolina Invite in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The Irish (1-4) have another tough weekend ahead of them in North Carolina. The weekend starts with a doubleheader Saturday against Penn State and North Carolina (2-0).
Notre Dame will face Minnesota on Sunday, followed by a rematch with North Carolina directly following. The tournament will mark the beginning of the season for both the Nittany Lions and the Golden Gophers.
Despite the amount of competition Notre Dame will face, junior pitcher Brittany O'Donnell said she is not worried about the other teams.
"The biggest competition this weekend will be ourselves," O'Donnell said. "If we can play the game within our control to the best of our ability, we will be able to beat any team."
O'Donnell said that if Notre Dame wants to be successful this weekend, it needs to start strong from the very first game against Penn State and carry that momentum through the entire weekend.
"The team goals heading to North Carolina are to go out there and play to the best of our ability, attack every game with intensity, and to get four wins."
The Irish are a fairly young team, and no clear leaders have risen in the ranks. Instead, O'Donnell said that every teammate does her best to encourage one another.
"With this team there is no one successful leader," O'Donnell said. "Each person on the team contributes in different ways making this team successful. There are different people everyday stepping up to make the team better."
O'Donnell said that her goal is to perform to her own highest ability to set a standard for her team to follow.
"My personal goals this weekend are to put the team in the best possible situation to be successful and to get some wins for the Irish," O'Donnell said.
The Irish will kick off the North Carolina Invite with a double header against Penn State and North Carolina on Saturday, before playing two games against the Tarheels and the Golden Gophers on Sunday.
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