Abby Sweet

Sweet On Preseason All-ACC Team, Irish Picked Second

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With the 2019 campaign a mere nine days away from its beginning, the University of Notre Dame softball team was recognized by peers in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) on Tuesday during the conference’s preseason awards cycle.

Sophomore outfielder Abby Sweet was one of 15 league players voted to the inaugural Preseason All-ACC Softball Team by conference head coaches, while the Irish were tabbed to finish second in the predicted order of finish also tabulated by the 12-member ACC coaching contingent.

Notre Dame received 102 voting points to finish behind only defending ACC and NCAA champion Florida State (121 points, 11 first-place votes) in the predicted conference order of finish. It marked the third time (2015 and 2016) the Irish have been slated second in the preseason ACC poll since joining the conference in 2014, with the 102 points the most Notre Dame has garnered in the poll. In fact, the Irish have never been slotted lower than third in any of their first six ACC preseasons.

Sweet enjoyed a sensational freshman outing for Notre Dame in 2018, starting all 57 games for the Irish in center field on her way to being named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Mid-Atlantic All-Region Third Team. She ranked second on the Irish roster with a .333 batting average and 57 hits, holding the final top spots with 13 doubles, 15 stolen bases, a .420 on-base percentage and 38 runs scored. Sweet also established a single-season Notre Dame record after being hit by a pitch 22 times over the course of the year.

A native of Newhall, California, Sweet captured an All-ACC Second Team and ACC All-Freshman Team sweep following a dynamic performance during the conference slate last season. She batted .294 with a team-high six doubles and 17 runs, chipping in 14 RBI and six stolen bases in 23 ACC starts. She added a .419 on-base percentage in league play on the strength of being hit by pitch on 13 different occasions.

Notre Dame returns all but one starter in 2019 after competing in the NCAA Championship for the 20th straight season (23rd overall in program history), highlighted by the Irish winning a pair of games to eliminate Midwest rival Michigan from the NCAA Lexington Regional last May. Notre Dame finished 2018 with six ranked wins for the year, including three victories over No. 20/19/17 Michigan, a two-game sweep of No. 14 Minnesota and a 3-1 win against No. 8/6 Florida State in the regular-season finale.

Sweet, sophomore pitcher Alexis Holloway (2018 NFCA All-Region First Team, All-ACC Second Team and ACC All-Freshman Team), senior outfielder Ali Wester (2018 NFCA All-Region First Team and ACC Championship All-Tournament Team), senior infielder Melissa Rochford (2018 All-ACC Second Team) and senior pitcher Cait Brooks (2018 ACC Championship All-Tournament Team) lead the Notre Dame returners in 2019. Irish newcomers include pitcher Payton Tidd (California State High School Player of the Year, PGF Regional All-American), outfielder Emma Clark (PGF Regional All-American), catcher Shelby Grimm (NFCA High School All-American and PGF Regional All-American), infielder Anna Grace Wagner (PGF Regional All-American) and infielder Quinn Biggio (PGF Regional All-American).

Notre Dame officially kicks off the 2019 season as one of eight teams competing in the opening weekend of the fourth-annual Puerto Vallarta College Challenge Feb. 7-9 at Nancy Almaraz Stadium in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico. The tournament will feature the first official Irish softball games on international soil in program history.


1.    Florida State (121 points, 11 first-place votes)
2.    NOTRE DAME (102 points)
3.    North Carolina (95 points)
4.    Pitt (88 points)
5.    Louisville (75 points)
6.    Duke (69 points)
7.    Georgia Tech (55 points)
8.    Syracuse (51 points)
9.    Boston College (47 points)
10.    Virginia Tech (41 points, 1 first-place vote)
11.    NC State (29 points)
12.    Virginia (19 points)
Atlantic Division
1.    Florida State
3.    Louisville
4.    Syracuse
5.    Boston College
6.    NC State
Coastal Division
1.    North Carolina
2.    Pitt
3.    Duke
4.    Georgia Tech
5.    Virginia Tech
6.    Virginia


Raine Wilson, Duke
Carsyn Gordon, Florida State
Sydney Sherrill, Florida State
Sidney Melton, Louisville
Olivia Gray, Pitt

Zoe Casas, Florida State
Kiani Ramsey, North Carolina
Bryce Holmgren, Syracuse
Abby Sweet, Notre Dame

Meghan King, Florida State
Brittany Pickett, North Carolina
Alexa Romero, Syracuse
Carrie Eberle, Virginia Tech

Anna Shelnutt, Florida State

Designated Player | Utility
Megan Hensley, Louisville