Nov. 17, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame head softball coach Liz Miller has announced the signings today of two high school seniors to national letters of intent. Pitcher Kristin Schmidt (Houston, Texas) and outfielder Nicole deFau (Southington, Conn.) will make up Notre Dame’s class of 2004.
Schmidt, one of the top pitchers in the state of Texas for the past two years, was a first team All-American in 1999 and is a two-time all-state selection. A senior at North Shore Senior High School, Schmidt had a 19-1 record with 229 strikeouts, only two walks and a 0.05 earned-run average as a junior.
“Our expectation is that Kristin will come in and be an immediate impact in our pitching rotation,” Miller said. “I think the thing that stands out the most about her is that she has great rotation on her rise ball, which is one of her dominant pitches. Plus, she’s an intense competitor with great work ethic.”
Schmidt also led her summer team, Texas Heat Gold, to a ninth-place finish at last summer’s Amateur Softball Association (ASA) gold national championships, earning second team all-tournament honors.
“We didn’t have a lot of positions to fill, but the one priority we had was to have a dominant pitcher in the class to keep the balance in the pitching staff from top to bottom. With Jen Sharron and Melanie Alkire being seniors next year, that will be a good balance for us.”
The team’s other signee, deFau, is a two time all-state honoree from Southington High School. The outfielder led Southington to the team state championship title her freshman and junior seasons, while the team was the state runners-up in 1998.
“Nicole is an outfielder who has been here to summer camp, so we’ve had a chance to see her in a lot of different situations,” Miller said. “We’re looking at her primarily for her speed, and we think she also has the potential to have power offensively.”
DeFau played on the same summer team, the Wallingford Tradition, as current Notre Dame sophomore Kas Hoag. With the Tradition, deFau won the Pony National Championships in 1998 and 1999, leading the team in batting average with a .453 mark.
“Ever since I was five years old, it has been my dream to go to Notre Dame,” deFau said. “I had the opportunity to come here, and I took it.”