May 10, 2006
Six University of Notre Dame softball players earned all-BIG EAST honors at the conference’s annual awards banquet, held at the downtown Marriott on Wednesday evening. The event serves as the kickoff to the 2006 BIG EAST Championship, which is being played at the Belleville Softball Complex in South Bend, Ind., beginning tomorrow, Thursday, May 11.
Of the six players honored by the conference (from a vote of the league coaches), two players were unanimously named to the all-BIG EAST first team. Junior Stephanie Brown, who set a BIG EAST record for hits in a single season with 38, and senior Meagan Ruthrauff, who smacked seven home runs in conference play, were those unanimous selections.
Brown ended up leading the league with a .528 batting average and earns her third consecutive all-BIG EAST honor (first team in ’04, second team in ’05). She also scored 22 runs, hit five home runs and drove in 11 in BIG EAST play from the top of Notre Dame’s batting order this season.
Ruthrauff earned league attention when she smacked a school-record three home runs and drove in seven in a league game at Pittsburgh. She ended up third in the league in batting average (.438) and hit seven home runs with 20 RBI in conference play.
Notre Dame’s other awardwinners were senior Heather Booth, sophomore Katie Laing and senior Mallorie Lenn, who were all named to the all-BIG EAST second team. Senior Sara Schoonaert also earned all-conference honors, landing on the third team for the second consecutive season.
The BIG EAST Championship will begin (weather permitting) at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday when No. 4 seed Syracuse meets the No. 5 seed, DePaul. The Irish are set to take the field as the No. 3 seed against No. 6 Providence at 6:30 p.m.