NOTRE DAME, Indiana — Notre Dame Softball head coach Deanna Gumpf announced the selection of three captains, seniors Sarah Genz, Alexis Holloway and Abby Sweet, for the 2021 season Thursday.
Holloway and Sweet are two-time captains, becoming the eighth and ninth student-athletes in program history to serve as captain twice.
“In the team vote, it was hands-down all three of them, completely a takeaway. They were it,” Gumpf shared. “It was very obvious who was leading this team.”
“Being such a weird year last year, they managed things really well, and I think the team appreciates that.” Gumpf attested. “They are calm, they keep it together and they’re very good communicators. They’re really not afraid to say what needs to be said, and that’s not an easy thing to do.”
The Irish will open the season February 13 at Alabama State’s Stinger Classic.
Genz is a senior infielder who is an ACC Academic Honor Roll honoree. In 2020, she played in nine games with a .294 batting average (five hits on 17 at-bats), and owned a perfect fielding percentage (36 putouts).
In 2020, she was responsible for the game-winning RBI in the 1-0 Feb. 29 win over Duke, adding another RBI on the weekend. She also scored the deciding run in the 2-0 win over UC Santa Barbara, in what proved to be the final game of the 2020 season for the Irish.
Genz is a Lakeville, Minnesota, native, and is pursuing a double major in Arabic and Psychology.
“I feel so humbled and grateful to be a captain for the 2020-2021 season, and it’s a responsibility that I take very seriously,” Genz noted. “My teammates mean the world to me, and Abby, Alexis and I will do everything we can to cultivate a positive atmosphere on and off the field.
“After the devastating end to last year’s season, everyone is incredibly driven and committed to the same standards of determination and excellence,” she continued. “We’re talented, gritty and ready to represent Notre Dame Softball in the Women’s College World Series. I feel so lucky to be a part of this amazing group of people, and I can’t wait to watch them all flourish this season.”
Holloway was a 2020 team captain, and led the ACC in fewest hit batters (three), sac. bunts per game (0.18) and saves (2) that season. She led the Irish in 2020 with a 1.09 ERA and 83.2 IP, throwing five complete games and recording two saves.
She was named to the 2020 NFCA Leadoff Classic All-Tournament Team and selected as one of the NFCA’s overall top performances that week in D1 Softball after pitching 18 innings with a 0.78 ERA and 10 strikeouts, also posting a .500 slugging percentage and .429 on-base percentage on the weekend.
In the 2020 ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Holloway pitched 17.1 innings with a 0.00 ERA and 15 strikeouts for a 3-0 record, adding three hits, three RBI and a home run of her own as a batter. At the 2020 Mary Nutter Classic, she pitched 23.1 innings in five appearances without allowing an earned run (0.00 ERA) while striking out 28 batters.
Holloway hails from Crown Point, Indiana, and is majoring in aerospace engineering.
“We have been working extremely hard in this extended offseason to make sure our team is ready the second we get to step back on the field,” Holloway said. “We are all looking forward to getting back to the game we love and making a run in the ACC this upcoming season.”
In 2020, Sweet was a team captain and a member of the ACC Honor Roll. She was the toughest player to strike out in the ACC, and the 14th-toughest player to strike out in all of Division I Softball, in 2020, noting just one strikeout in 68 at-bats.
Sweet ranked second in the ACC in doubles per game (0.36) and hit by pitch per game (0.32), and seventh in the ACC in RBI per game (0.95) in 2020. She was named ACC Player of the Week for her performance at the 2020 Mary Nutter Classic, during which she logged a .500/.524/.850 slash line with ten hits, eight RBIs, six runs scored, four doubles, a home run and four stolen bases.
The senior is pursuing a degree in management consulting, and is from Newhall, California.
“I am extremely honored and grateful to be named one of the three captains for our team this year,” Sweet expressed. “There really is nothing I love more than Notre Dame Softball, this university and my teammates. We will be unshakable this year, while constantly attacking the game. I have never seen a more fearless and willing team than this one.”