May 20, 2003
Notre Dame junior second baseman Steve Sollmann (Cincinnati, Ohio) capped the 2003 regular season by becoming the first individual ever named BIG EAST Conference baseball player of the week three times in the same season. He also joins one of the league’s other top second baseman, Virginia Tech senior Marc Tugwell, as the only players ever to receive the award three times in a career (Tugwell has done so once in each of the last three seasons).
Sollmann hit 10-for-19 last week as the Irish went 3-1, with the team tri-captain adding six runs scored, five RBI, three doubles and a triple (for a .790 slugging pct.). He also was named BIG EAST player of the week after batting 8-for-17 in opening week and then 11-for-23 in first six games of Spring Break trip.
Next up for Sollmann and the Irish is Wednesday’s BIG EAST baseball banquet, where he likely will pick up his third all-conference honor after earning first-team honors as a freshman and second-team recognition in 2002. Notre Dame then renews its BIG EAST Tournament rivalry with West Virginia on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. EDT (6:00 in South Bend) at Commerce Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, N.J.
Sollmann finished the regular season ranked second among BIG EAST players in overall stolen bases (31), total bases (97) and triples (5), plus third in runs (60), fourth in hits (80) and fifth in doubles (16). In BIG EAST games only, he ranked third in stolen bases (11), runs (26) and doubles (9) – despite playing just 23 of the maximum 26 games.
His other overall season stats include a career-best .370 batting average, four home runs and 29 RBI from his leadoff spot, plus more walks (22) than strikeouts (19) and just six errors in 53 games played. He has reached base on 52-percent of his leadoff plate appearances and is batting 33 points above his overall average (.403) with runners in scoring position.
Sollmann ranks eighth on the ND career batting average charts (.365), plus sixth in stolen bases (60) while ranking just outside the top-10 in hits (237), runs (165) and triples (11).
Currently under consideration for Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-America honors with a 3.26 cumualtive GPA as a marketing major, Sollmann also recently became a rare junior-year recipient of Notre Dame’s Francis Patrick O’Connor Award, which recognizies student-athletes who most embody ideals such as team spirit, inspiration, courage and patience.