April 15, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame freshman Casey Africano has been named to the BIG EAST Conference Softball Weekly Honor Roll, the conference office announced Monday. Africano is the fifth Irish player to be recognized with one of the league’s weekly awards this season, joining Emilee Koerner, Laura Winter, Jenna Simon and Katey Haus.
Africano (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) was a key contributor in all three of Notre Dame’s wins in its weekend series sweep of Rutgers at Melissa Cook Stadium, batting an even .500 (3-for-6) with two game-winning home runs, six RBI, three runs scored, and a team-best 10 total bases and 1.667 slugging percentage.
In a fifth-inning pinch-hit appearance Saturday, the Irish freshman blasted her first career long ball, a three-run shot to straight away center field to give Notre Dame an 11-2 walk-off win. The at-bat was her first since March 23 at Seton Hall, and just her 18th of the season at the time. Africano’s timely hit earned her a spot in the starting lineup as the designated player for both games of the Sunday doubleheader against the Scarlet Knights.
Africano delivered in her first plate appearance of game one, drilling a two-run home run to left field to provide the winning runs in a 5-1 Notre Dame win. She later added an RBI double to finish with three of the five Irish RBI in the game. Africano drew a full count walk in the seventh inning of Sunday’s game two, ultimately scoring the second of seven Notre Dame runs in the final frame to cap a five-run rally and 8-6 Irish win.
The Irish travel to Michigan State for a midweek contest Tuesday at 5 p.m. before returning home to hosted Valparaiso Thursday at 5 p.m.
2013 Notre Dame Softball BIG EAST Weekly Honorees
BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week
Laura Winter: March 11