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    Maldonado Named BIG EAST Player Of The Week

    FIGHTING IRISH Alexa Maldonado had more than a superb weekend for Notre Dame to open the 2011 season.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Alexa Maldonado had more than a superb weekend for Notre Dame to open the 2011 season.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Feb. 21, 2011

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame junior outfielder Alexa Maldonado was named the BIG EAST Conference Softball Player of the Week, as announced by the league Monday afternoon. Maldonado played a key role in leading Notre Dame to a 5-0 record at last week's UCF Invitational, as the program is off to its best start to open a season since 2001.

    The Millburn, N.J., native went 7-for-14 from the dish with three hits for extra bases (double, triple, home run) for a slugging pct. of .929 during the invitational. She also scored six times while driving in six more runs.

    An all-BIG EAST selection in 2010, Maldonado had two multi-hit contests, three multi-RBI contests and scored in four of six games on the week. Furthermore, her five flawless putouts extended her streak of games without an error to 106 (last error came during the third week of her 2009 freshman campaign).

    Also earning recognition from the league was freshman pitcher Laura Winter, who was a part of the conference's weekly honor roll.

    On the first day of her collegiate career, Winter earned a win and a save without surrendering an earned run in just 3.1 innings of work in outings against Miami (Ohio) and UCF. She gave up five hits - only one for extra bases - and one run in 8.1 frames of work over three appearances for a 0.84 ERA and a 2-0 record. Winter had two games with more than five strikeouts, one of which came in 2.1 innings in the season-opener with Miami (Ohio).

    Next up for Notre Dame is a trip to the College of Charleston Invite (Feb. 26-27).

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