May 6, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For the second season in a row the Notre Dame softball team placed seven players on respective all-BIG EAST Conference squads, announced by the league Wednesday evening at the Marriott Louisville Downtown. Three players earned the honor for the first time and four were repeat winners, as Notre Dame’s roster now includes 10 all-BIG EAST performers.
Beth Northway, Christine Lux and Dani Miller were each named to the first team. Both Irish pitchers – Brittney Bargar and Jody Valdivia – along with Linda Kohan were on the second team as Erin Marrone was voted to the third team.
Northway batted .314 in league contests with 18 runs and nine RBI. The senior had 22 hits in 21 contests, four home runs and five multi-hit games. Northway was a third-team selection as sophomore after recovering from shoulder surgery for the majority of her junior year. The lead-off designated player had a .543 on-base pct.
During her junior campaign, Lux batted .397 in league play with 22 RBI and 27 hits. She scored 20 times while reaching base on a .512 clip. Lux’s .853 slugging pct. was among the best in the conference as her eight home runs put her in second place behind Player of the Year Melissa Roth of Louisville.
Miller was the lone freshman on the first team while the Rookie of the Year award went to third-teamer Jenna Caira, a pitcher from Syracuse. Miller blitzed the league by recording a hit in 20 of 23 league games – including a 15-game hit streak – with five home runs and seven doubles. In fact, her school-record 21-game hit streak overall was the best of any league player this season. Miller batted .347 and scored 11 runs. She had four RBI against Seton Hall with a grand slam at Providence while also adding a career-high six RBI in game one with the Friars.
The third all-BIG EAST citation of Bargar’s career came after the righty went 9-4 with a 2.37 ERA against league foes. She tossed 82.2 innings and struck out 64 batters, including nine in a win over Seton Hall. Bargar made four appearances without allowing an earned run.
Sharing the circle with Bargar, Valdivia was a perfect 10-0 against BIG EAST teams with a stellar 1.60 ERA. She struck out 81 batters in 74.1 innings with five scoreless appearances. On three occasions she struck out at least 10 batters, highlighted by a 14-strikeout performance against Pittsburgh. The sophomore also posted two wins against ranked opponents (No. 22 DePaul and No. 18 Louisville).
Kohan, a senior, improved upon her third-team honor in 2008. She sported a .324 batting average while slugging at a .689 rate. Kohan had 24 hits in 23 games, 13 of which were for extra bases (six doubles and seven home runs). Two of her home runs came during a doubleheader with DePaul, and five games were marked by multiple RBI. Kohan added six sacrifices and struck out just five times in 74 at-bats.
Bursting onto the conference scene as a sophomore, Marrone made her presence known with a grand slam against Seton Hall, one of her two home runs on the year. The second was a solo shot against Louisville. Marrone batted .444 with 20 hits in 45 plate appearances with four doubles as an outfielder for the Irish. Her on-base pct. stood at .528 by season’s end.
Second-seeded Notre Dame will face seventh-seeded St. John’s Thursday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. (ET) in the opening round of the BIG EAST Championship at Louisville’s Ulmer Stadium. Live stats and video will be available at UND.com.
All-BIG EAST First TeamChelsea Bemis, Louisville, So., INFBritta Giddens, USF, Sr., INFBecca Heteniak, DePaul, Jr., P/UTChristine Lux, Notre Dame, Jr., INFDani Miller, Notre Dame, Fr., OFBeth Northway, Notre Dame, Sr., DPAmber Patton, DePaul, Sr., INFJanine Richardson, USF, Fr., OFMelissa Roth, Louisville, Jr., CMary Rose Sheehy, Providence, Sr., OFRoxy Struble, St. John's, Sr., UTKristen Wadwell, Louisville, Jr., P
All-BIG EAST Second TeamKristin Austin, Louisville, Fr., OFBrittney Bargar, Notre Dame, Sr., PMandy Craig, Rutgers, So., INFKristi Cunningham, Louisville, Sr., OFStacia Dopudja, St. John's, Jr., DPJenna Garcia, Providence, Jr., INFVanessa James, Louisville, Jr., UTAmy Kelley, Syracuse, Sr., CLinda Kohan, Notre Dame, Sr., INFJulianne Towers, Connecticut, So., INFMicah Truax, Connecticut, Sr., OFJody Valdivia, Notre Dame, So., PColby Wherry, Louisville, So., INF
All-BIG EAST Third TeamNalin Bennett, Seton Hall, So., OFJenna Caira, Syracuse, Fr., PMackensey Carter, Georgetown, Fr., DPRachael Crossin, Connecticut, Sr., PKristen Kaelin, Seton Hall, Fr., DPErin Marrone, Notre Dame, So., OFNicole Miller, Syracuse, Sr., INFCat Olnick, USF, Jr., CJackie Tarulli-Fisher, DePaul, Sr., CTara Voss, DePaul, So., INFKealan Waldron, Seton Hall, Sr., INFLindsay Wasek, Syracuse, Sr., OF