April 1, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — University of Notre Dame softball senior co-captain and two-time All-American outfielder Emilee Koerner became the latest professional draft choice in program history on Wednesday night, as she was selected 17th overall in the 2015 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) College Draft that was held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. The Irish standout was the third pick of the draft’s fourth round by the 2014 NPF champion USSSA Pride.
Koerner is the second Notre Dame player to be drafted into the NPF in as many seasons, joining the 2014 seventh overall choice to the Akron Racers and former teammate Laura Winter (’14). In the modern NPF era, Koerner and Winter are two of three Notre Dame draft choices along with Stephanie Brown (’07), who was the 11th overall pick in the 2007 NPF Draft by the Chicago Bandits.
“It’s a huge honor to be picked in the draft to play professional softball, and I am very excited about having the opportunity to continue playing after college,” Koerner said. “I look forward to being surrounded by such great players every day this summer and I can’t wait to play with some girls I’ve grown up playing with again. (Arizona’s) Hallie Wilson and (Oklahoma’s) Lauren Chamberlain (number one overall pick) got drafted to the same team I did, and getting the chance to play with them again means a lot to me and makes this even more exciting.”
Koerner, a two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America selection, has staked her claim to being one of the greatest offensive players in Notre Dame softball history. Through the first 35 Irish games in 2015, Koerner leads all Irish softball players in career doubles (68, active NCAA leader) and slugging percentage (.666), checking in ranked second in career batting average (.389) and on-base percentage (.456). She is also among the top five Notre Dame hitters all-time in total bases (404, third) and runs scored (161, tied for fourth), and has not made an error in over 200 chances in center field dating back to 2013.
The Tustin, California native is off to another solid start for Notre Dame this season, batting .330 with seven doubles, four home runs, 21 RBI, four stolen bases and 20 runs scored. She has added a .528 slugging and .388 on-base percentage for the Irish after 35 starts.
Koerner claimed NFCA All-America (third team) and all-region first team honors for the second straight year in 2014. The Irish center fielder ranked third among all Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) players with a .433 batting average and was the NCAA leader with 28 doubles in 2014, to go along with 74 total hits, three triples, 11 home runs, 51 RBI, a .825 slugging percentage, a .495 on-base percentage and 65 runs scored. Koerner, who was a 2014 ESPNW Preseason All-America first team selection, also ranked second on the Irish with 21 multiple-hit games and 15 multi-RBI games last season.
Koerner’s 28 doubles and 65 runs scored in 2014 each established Notre Dame single-season records, with the doubles mark falling just one shy of tying the all-time NCAA record of 29 doubles in an individual campaign set by Nina Lindenberg of Fresno State in 1996. Koerner became the Irish career leader in doubles during her junior campaign, and was named to last season’s all-ACC second team after batting .424 with nine doubles, five home runs, 20 RBI and 28 runs scored in 21 conference starts.
A two-time Notre Dame Monogram Club Most Valuable Player recipient, Koerner made program history by becoming the first Irish player ever to finish among the top 10 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award as an NFCA second team All-America choice during her 2013 sophomore campaign.
Koerner led all BIG EAST Conference players with a .439 batting average in 2013, batting at or above the .500 plateau for most of the regular season on her way to also earning NFCA Great Lakes all-region first team distinction. She added a conference-best 79 hits, 21 doubles, a .772 slugging percentage and 139 total bases, along with a team-high 77 putouts without an error in the Irish outfield. Koerner was also a three-time BIG EAST Player of the Week selection during the 2013 campaign.
For the latest news and updates on all things Notre Dame softball, visit www.und.com/softball, follow the Irish @NDsoftball and @NDcoachGumpf on Twitter and at Instagram.com/notredamesoftball, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.