NOTRE DAME, Indiana — Notre Dame Softball enters 2021 as the No. 3 team in the ACC, as ranked by conference coaches in the preseason coaches poll. Additionally, graduate student infielder Katie Marino was named to the preseason All-ACC team, marking her second-consecutive season earning the distinction. The team itself has only been named for three seasons.
In 2020, Marino was a team captain, a recipient of the ACC Postgraduate Scholarship and a Senior CLASS Award Finalist. She started every game for the Irish in 2020 at second base, and is recognized as one of the top players at that position in the nation. In 2020, Marino ranked fifth in the ACC in Walks per Game (0.68). Her .313 batting avg. ranked second on the team, and her 15 walks led all Irish players in 2020.
In 2019, her most recent full season, Marino earned All-ACC Second Team and NFCA All-Mid-Atlantic Region First Team honors, being named ACC co-Player of the Week (March 5) that year.
The Irish take on 2021 after a shortened 2020 season, which was suspended in March due to COVID-19. Up to that point, Notre Dame was 13-9 and had just begun conference play.
Head coach Deanna Gumpf enters her 20th season at the helm of the Irish program, joined by associate coaches Kris Ganeff (20th season) and Lizzy Ristano (16th season), as well as director of operations Jamie Spitale (seventh season).
Due to the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility granted to spring student-athletes, the Irish boast two graduate students on the roster for the first time in program history – Marino and fellow infielder Chelsea Purcell – who join a group of 17 total returners. Six student-athletes make up the freshman class, including Karina Gaskins, New Jersey Softball Gatorade Player of the Year.
The ACC has announced general dates for the 2021 softball season, and Notre Dame’s full slate will be announced at a later date.
2021 Preseason All-ACC Softball Team
- Hannah Goodwin, Clemson, Fr., INF
- DJ Davis, Duke, Sr., INF
- Sydney Sherrill, Florida State, Jr., INF
- Katie Marino, Notre Dame, Gr., INF
- Kelsey Bennett, Virginia Tech, So., INF
- Marissa Guimbarda, Clemson, Jr., OF
- Dani Morgan, Florida State, Sr., OF
- Taty Forbes, NC State, Sr., OF
- Jayme Bailey, Virginia Tech, So., OF
- Caylan Arnold, Florida State, Sr., P
- Brittany Pickett, North Carolina, Sr., P
- Keely Rochard, Virginia Tech, Jr., P
- Anna Shelnutt, Florida State, Sr., C
- Valerie Cagle, Clemson, Fr., UT
2021 ACC Softball Preseason Coaches Poll
- Florida State (141 points, nine first-place votes)
- Virginia Tech (136 points, four first-place votes)
- Notre Dame (114 points)
- Duke (99 points)
- North Carolina (96 points)
- Clemson (88 points)
- Louisville (81 points)
- NC State (78 points)
- Georgia Tech (61 points)
- Syracuse (39 points)
- Pitt (31 points)
- Virginia (28 points)
- Boston College (22 points)