March 31, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame senior pitcher Laura Winter became the seventh overall selection of the 2014 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Draft in Nashville, Tenn. on Monday night, chosen by the Akron Racers as the third pick of the draft's second round. Winter is the first Irish player to be drafted into the NPF since Stephanie Brown was the 11th overall choice in the 2007 draft by the Chicago Bandits.
"We still have some business to finish up here but I am really excited for what the future holds," Winter said. "I am so excited to continue playing the sport I love!"
Winter, the 2013 BIG EAST Conference Player of the Year, passed two-time All-American Terri Kobata ('96) for the Notre Dame strikeout record earlier this season with her 908th career strikeout at Georgia Tech on March 9. The San Diego, Calif. native is a combined 96-30 (.762) with 935 strikeouts during her Irish career, and leads Notre Dame with a 13-3 mark and 1.85 ERA thus far in 2014.
Following a scoring change after last week's 12-2 Irish victory over Eastern Michigan, Winter remains tied with Irish great Heather Booth ('06) for the most wins in Notre Dame history, logging 96 victories in her first 145 appearances in the circle.
Winter became the first primary Notre Dame pitcher to be named the BIG EAST Player of the Year last season during the team's 18th and final year as a conference member, tying a career-high with 29 wins and recording 306 strikeouts to only 33 walks. Winter's 1.72 ERA in 2013 was also a career-low. She became the first Irish player to be named Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division I (May 7) and USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week (April 23) during her historic 2013 junior campaign.
A dual threat on the diamond, Winter enjoyed a breakout 2013 season at the plate, tying the Notre Dame single-season home run record with the first 17 home runs of her collegiate career. The 6-1 right-hander is a lifetime .293 hitter with 22 doubles, 18 home runs and 70 RBI.
One of 30 candidates for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award, Winter is on track to graduate this spring with a degree in information technology management from Notre Dame's renowned Mendoza College of Business. She is also a three-time NFCA all-region and all-BIG EAST first team selection, and was named to the preseason "Watch List" for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award.