May 26, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame two-time All-American and reigning Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Year Emilee Koerner (’15) officially completed her journey into professional softball on Tuesday, signing a two-year contract with the USSSA Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Koerner was the 17th overall selection of the 2015 NPF Senior Draft that was held on April 1.
Koerner and four-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) all-region choice Laura Winter (’14) will both represent Notre Dame on NPF rosters during the 2015 season. Winter, the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NPF Draft by the Akron Racers, makes her return to competitive softball this summer after missing her first professional season recovering from injury.
Koerner became the first major award winner for Notre Dame in the ACC since the program joined the conference prior to the 2014 season with her player of the year citation as a senior. She became the 14th conference player of the year selection, and 11th different player overall to receive the distinction, in the 27-year history of the Notre Dame softball program.
Koerner joined former Irish standouts Winter (2013) and Heather Johnson (2011) as Notre Dame conference player of the year recipients in the past five seasons, with Winter and Johnson both honored by the BIG EAST Conference in their respective tenures. Koerner was the third sitting All-American in program history to win conference player of the year accolades, along with Jarrah Myers (2002) and Andrea Loman (2003), and earned the distinction of being the only multi-time Notre Dame All-American at the time of player of the year voting to receive the top conference honor.
Koerner led all ACC players with a .493 average, 35 hits and 28 runs scored in 23 league games this past season. She added the third-most total bases (60) and doubles (8), and the fourth-highest slugging percentage (.845), on-base percentage (.537) and fourth-most RBI (26) in the ACC batting second in the Notre Dame lineup.
In 85 league starts split between the ACC and BIG EAST conferences, Koerner was a career .435 batter with 113 hits, 30 doubles, 15 home runs, 70 RBI, a .738 slugging percentage, an even .500 on-base percentage and 91 runs scored in conference play at Notre Dame. Her first team all-ACC selection was the third career all-conference citation for Koerner, along with a first team all-BIG EAST nod in 2013 and all-ACC second team recognition in 2014.
The seventh multi-time NFCA All-America (2013-14) performer in Notre Dame history, Koerner is one of five Irish players to earn first team all-region citations in three consecutive seasons. An all-time .404 hitter, finishing her career as the only four-year Notre Dame player to ever bat at or above a cumulative .400 clip, Koerner posted a program-best 196 runs, 471 total bases, 79 doubles and a .694 slugging percentage in 223 games. She is the only Irish player to bat .400 or better in three straight seasons, along with the only player to have at least 70 hits, at least 18 doubles and more than 50 runs scored in three consecutive seasons.
Koerner concluded her remarkable collegiate career tied for third place all-time in the NCAA with 79 doubles, and her 28 doubles in 2014 are the second-most in Division I history for a single season. She also finished second in RBI (178) and third in hits (274) in the all-time Notre Dame record book.
Koerner logged a final .410 batting average with 73 hits, 18 doubles, 10 home runs, a career-high 57 RBI and 55 runs scored as a Notre Dame senior captain in 2015. Koerner chipped in a .693 slugging percentage and a .451 on-base percentage, helping lead the Irish to their 20th all-time NCAA Championship bid (17th consecutive) and second time as a tournament host during the NCAA South Bend Regional May 15-17 at Melissa Cook Stadium. She graduated with a degree in marketing from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business on May 18.
The USSSA Pride open the 2015 NPF season against the Dallas Charge on June 6 in McKinney, Texas.
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