June 5, 1997

Notre Dame Places Four on Softball Academic All-America List

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- For the second consecutive year, Notre Dame's softball team has placed four players on the GTE/CoSIDA Softball Academic All-America team. Seniors Meghan Murray and Katie Marten were first team selections while senior Kara McMahon earned second team honors and Joy Battersby third team.

Notre Dame dominated the ballot with the four players earning honors, the most of any school and only one of just two schools to have more than one player named to the teams. DePaul had two players earn second and third team selections. Murray and Marten are the first Notre Dame softball players to earn first-teams honors. Since 1993, Notre Dame's softball team now has had 11 selections to the Academic All-America lists with two first-team selections, five second team and four third team.

Battersby was a four-year pitcher at Notre Dame, finishing her career with a 45-34 record, and has been selected as an Academic All-American for the third time in her career. The Morris, Ill., native was a second team selection in 1996 and a third team selection in 1995. Battersby graduated from the College of Science with a 3.691 grade-point average as a science pre-professional studies and psychology major.

Marten is another three-time Academic All-American and is also a two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American. The Lisle, Ill., native was a second team Academic All-America selection in 1996 and a third team selection in 1995. She closed her career at Notre Dame as the all-time leader in stolen bases (58), triples (13) and runs scored (137) and is second in batting (.368). Marten graduated from the College of Arts and Letters with a 3.438 GPA in pre-professional studies.

As three-time Academic All-Americans, Battersby and Marten have now joined a select group in Notre Dame history. Prior to this year, Irish football player Joe Heap and basketball player Bob Arnzen were Notre Dame's only three-time Academic All-Americans, the most a person can be honored as freshman are not eligible for the award. Heap won from 1952-54 and Arnzen from 1967-69.

Murray earned first-team Academic All-America honors after being a second team selection in 1996. She was voted the BIG EAST player of the year in both 1996 and 1997. The shortstop is the only player in Notre Dame softball history to hit over .400 in a season as she accomplished this both as a junior (.404) and as a senior (.422). The Minnetonka, Minn., native leaves Notre Dame with the highest career batting average at .380. Murray graduated from the College of Business with a 3.358 GPA as a finance major. She is currently playing in the new Women's Professional Fastpitch league for the Tampa Bay Firestix.

McMahon won Academic All-America honors for the first time in her career. The Pasadena, Texas, native batted .313 this season and compiled a .926 fielding percent at third base. McMahon was a two-time first team All-BIG EAST selection and has the fourth-most assists in school history. She graduated from the College of Science with a 3.790 GPA with a degree in pre-professional studies.

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