Notre Dame senior Laura Winter was named as one of 30 candidates for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award on Thursday
Feb. 21, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame senior softball player Laura Winter has been selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award®, as was announced on Thursday.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
A native of San Diego, Calif., Winter is one of four seniors on the No. 24 Notre Dame softball team, currently off to an 8-1 start in 2014. The 6-1 right-handed pitcher is currently the program's leader with an 8.49 career strikeout-to-walk ratio, ranks second in walks issued per seven innings (0.94), and third in strikeouts per seven innings (7.94) in her fourth season on the Irish pitching staff.
Entering play on Feb. 21, Winter is one victory from tying two-time All-American Jennifer Sharron ('01) for third place on the Notre Dame career wins list with 88, and is only five strikeouts (841) from passing Heather Booth ('06, 845) for second place in career strikeouts in program history. She also ranks in the Irish top five in complete games (74, tied for fourth) and innings pitched (741.1) in her decorated career.
A three-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) all-region selection, Winter was tabbed as the 2013 BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year, finishing the season with a 29-12 record, a career-low 1.72 ERA, and 306 strikeouts in 268.1 innings pitched. She also added a career year at the plate, batting .338 with a single-season program record tying 17 home runs, to go along with 52 RBI and a .755 slugging percentage. Winter also made program history in 2013 by being selected as both the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National and USA Softball National Player of the Week on separate occasions, becoming the first Notre Dame player to earn either award.
A 2013 BIG EAST Academic All-Star, Winter is pursuing a degree in information technology management from Notre Dame's renowned Mendoza College of Business. She is also in her second year as a member of the University's cutting edge Rosenthal Leadership Academy, which strives to impart skills, insights and strategies necessary to create and sustain effective leadership.
Since arriving at Notre Dame in the fall of 2010, Winter has participated in a variety of community service initiatives, including Fighting Irish Fight For Life, the Irish Experience, the athletic department's annual Pediatric Christmas Party, Bike for Hospice and Smash MS.
Two projects unique to the Irish softball team were a charity game in the fall of 2013 against the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, and Notre Dame's signature Strikeout Cancer initiative. Benefitting children across the state of Indiana battling pediatric cancer, the Notre Dame softball team has raised nearly $80,000 during the first three seasons of the annual Strikeout Cancer festivities, including more than $40,000 in one weekend in April 2013.
The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Women's College World Series® in Oklahoma City May 29 through June 4.