Stephanie Brown showed the ability to do it all offensively in 2006, leading the team with 79 hits while smacking a career-best eight home runs, driving in 22 runs and stealing 20 bases.

Stephanie Brown Nabs All-America Honors From The NFCA

May 31, 2006

Post-season honors continue to roll in for junior OF Stephanie Brown. Already a second-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and unanimous first-team selection to the BIG EAST all-conference squad, Brown added Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association third-team All-America honors to her resume on Wednesday. As voted on by the All-America committee, Brown, a native of Chandler, Ariz., becomes the program’s 16th NFCA All-American.

The ultimate three-tool player at the plate, Brown led the team with a .393 batting average (the seventh-highest all-time at Notre Dame), 44 runs scored and 20 stolen bases from the leadoff spot in the lineup. She also contributed 11 doubles, eight home runs and 22 RBI while drawing 23 walks. Her 79 hits during the season placed her fourth all-time on Notre Dame’s single season list and she boasted .567 slugging and .454 on-base percentages.

Brown dominated BIG EAST hitting in `06, setting the league record for hits in a single year with 38. Her 38th BIG EAST hit was a memorable one, as she smashed her eighth home run of the season (a two-run shot) for the record-setting tally. She was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll four times in ’06 and earned a spot on the adidas/Golden Panther Invitational (Florida International) and Best Western Airport Festival (Tulsa) all-tournament teams.

She is the 46th Notre Dame student-athlete in any sport – the third in softball – to be both an All-American and Academic All-American in the same season. Brown is the second Irish competitor to pull that difficult double this athletic year, as volleyball senior Lauren Brewster earned double honors in the fall. Among the other notables in the group are football’s Joe Theismann (1970), Dave Casper (1973), and Ken MacAfee (1977) and basketball players Bob Arnzen (1967, ’68), Kelly Tripucka (’79), John Paxson (’82, ’83), Pat Garrity (’98), and Ruth Riley (’00, ’01).

From the softball program, Jarrah Myers (2001, ’02), Katie Marten (1995, ’96) and Jennifer Sharron (2001) accomplished the feat.

Brown also joins elite company nationally this season in earning both academic and athletic All-American honors. She is one of just five players to claim the feat, with the list including UCLA’s Andrea Duran, Tennessee’s Lindsay Schutzler, Virginia Tech’s Angela Tichner and Northwestern’s Garland Cooper.

Brown becomes the 10th different player in Irish softball history to earn All-America honors. Those 10 players have combined to earn 16 All-America certificates for the program. Her selection also pushes the program’s streak with at least one player earning All-America accolades to six seasons, dating back to 2000.

Here is a complete list of Notre Dame’s All-Americans in softball:

2006 – Stephanie Brown, Jr., OF (third team)
2005 – Megan Ciolli, Sr., OF (third team)
2004 – Megan Ciolli, Jr., OF (third team)
2003 – Andrea Loman, Sr, INF (third team)
2002 – Andrea Loman, Jr., INF (third team)
2002 – Jarrah Myers, Sr., C (third team)
2001 – Jarrah Myers, Jr., C (third team)
2001 – Jennifer Sharron, Sr., P (third team)
2001 – Kristin Schmidt, Fr., P (second team)
2001 – Jenny Kriech, Jr., OF (third team)
2000 – Melanie Alkire, Jr., INF (second team)
2000 – Jennifer Sharron, Jr., P (second team)
1996 – Katie Marten, Sr., OF (third team)
1995 – Katie Marten, Jr., OF (third team)
1995 – Terri Kobata, Jr., P (second team)
1994 – Terri Kobata, So., P (third team)

Here is a complete biography recap of Brown’s stellar season in 2006 –

Stephanie Brown Jr. OF 5-6 Chander, AZ Corona del Sol H.S.

Career: Terrific all-around player who set the BIG EAST record for hits in a single season with 38 this year … her 38th BIG EAST hit was a two-run home run in Notre Dame’s 4-0 game two victory at St. John’s … set the hits record even while missing a doubleheader against Rutgers with an illness … finished the 2006 BIG EAST season with a .528 batting average, good for fifth on the all-time league list … also smacked six home runs in BIG EAST play this year, tied for seventh on the league list … threatened the Notre Dame record for hits in single season (84) and finished the season with 39 … also was in the running to become just the fifth Notre Dame player to hit over .400 in a season (ended at .393) and the first since Andrea Loman in 2003 … ranks eighth on Notre Dame’s all-time home run list with 18 … tied the freshman home run record (held with former teammate Liz Hartmann) with eight in 2004 … surpassed that number to hit a career-best eight home runs in 2006 … current career batting average of .342 would rank sixth all-time in Notre Dame history … broke into Notre Dame’s top-10 all-time in hits with a full year of action left … unanimous selection to the 2006 all-BIG EAST first team … 2004 BIG EAST All-Conference first team selection … named to the BIG EAST second team in 2005 … has logged three four-hit games in 2006 … earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors (second team), boasting a 3.42 GPA with a marketing major in the Mendoza College of Business … also a member of Notre Dame’s Academic Honors program.

2006: Returned to the top of the lineup as Notre Dame’s leadoff hitter for the third consecutive season … a three tool player capable of slapping, bunting and hitting for power … shifted to centerfield after starting the first 23 games of the season in rightfield … earned a spot on the adidas Golden Panther Invitational all-tournament team after posting three hits (including a home run against FIU) and scoring five runs during the two-day tournament … two for four with an RBI double and run scored vs. #17 Nebraska … ended up one for one with two RBI (on sacrifice flies) vs. Northern Iowa … reached in all four at bats against Tulsa, going two for three (reached on an error and error on a sacrifice as well) … provided the game-winning hit with a two-run single in the top of the seventh in game one at Cal Poly SLO, bringing the Irish back from a 1-0 deficit and eventually leading to the 3-1 victory … provided Notre Dame’s biggest hit of the season, crushing a two-run opposite field home run in the bottom of the seventh vs. #10 Arizona State for a walk-off hit in the 3-2 victory … that walk-off home run highlighted a three for four performance against the Sun Devils … one for three against both Florida State and Texas and also posted a stolen base against both teams … piled up three hits in game one at Western Michigan, going three for four with two singles, an RBI double and a stolen base … finished two for four with a double vs. Bowling Green … piled up three hits in the doubleheader vs. Connecticut, hitting a solo home run in game two and scoring two runs … finished four for six with four runs scored in the doubleheader vs. Providence … named to the BIG EAST Conference weekly honor roll on Monday, April 5, going nine for 17 over the week (.529) with two runs, two doubles and two home runs … two for five with two stolen bases and one run scored in game two at Syracuse (7-5 Irish win) … posted a career-best four hits and scored three runs in game two at Pittsburgh … shook off the effects of a shoulder injury to pile up six hits during the doubleheader sweep vs. DePaul … was struck in the shoulder by a line drive foul ball while in the Irish dugout against Ball State … missed the rest of the BSU contest, but returned in game one against DePaul to go four for four with two runs scored (matching her career-best for hits in a single game) … ended up two for three in game two vs. DePaul … named to the BIG EAST weekly honor roll on Monday, April 17, after hitting six for seven in the DH against DePaul … led off the doubleheader with Villanova with a solo home run to leftfield … finished three for four in game one vs. Villanova … ended up two for three with two runs scored in game two against the Wildcats with a leadoff double … missed the Rutgers doubleheader due to an illness … returned to the lineup in game one against Purdue and went two for four with a run scored … hit her first career grand slam, an opposite field shot in the top of the second inning, to drive Notre Dame to a 7-4 game-one victory over South Florida … came back in game two with another four for four performance against USF, logging four singles and scoring a run … it was the second four-hit game of the year for Brown … hit a solo home run in game two at #21 Louisville to highlight a two for three performance … named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for the third time this season after her performances at USF and Louisville … two for three with a run scored (the game-winning run in the top of the sixth) in game one at Seton Hall … two for four with a double and run scored (the game-winner) in game one at St. John’s … one for three with a two-run home run in game two at St. John’s … the home run in game two against SJU gave her 38 hits for the BIG EAST season – a new conference record … named to the BIG EAST weekly honor roll for the fourth time and second consecutive week for her performance against SHU and SJU .. quiet during the BIG EAST Championship, but delivered when needed … led off the championship game against #18 Louisville with a double and eventually scored on Mallorie Lenn’s bunt single to give the Irish a 1-0 lead that the team would not relinquish.