May 7, 2008
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Seven of Notre Dame's nine softball starters earned all-league honors at the BIG EAST Conference's annual championships banquet held Wednesday evening at the Louisville Downtown Marriott. The Irish had more selections than any other conference team, trailed by DePaul and South Florida who both placed five on the squad.
Pitcher Brittney Bargar was one of two Notre Dame players that found a spot on the first-team after the righty was a second-team choice in 2007. Bargar, a junior, led the league in innings pitched (117.0), appearances (22) and starts (14). She held the opposition to a .192 batting average while allowing only 1.32 earned runs per contest. The three-time conference player-of-the-week had 98 strikeouts which ranked second in the league.
Senior outfielder Sarah Smith was rewarded with her breakout season by taking a seat on the first team. Smith was tied for first in the league with nine sacrifice bunts and second in hits (32) and batting average (.457). Her on-base percentage of .486 ranked sixth in league play. She took home the league's top weekly honor on April 28.
Smith shared the outfield with a pair of second-teamers in sophomore Ashley Ellis and freshman Brianna Jorgensborg. Ellis carried a .338 clip in league play with 22 hits and 10 runs scored. She added three doubles and three homers with 12 RBI. Ellis slugged at a .523 percentage and assisted on three putouts from centerfield. Jorgensborg was ninth among league players in batting average (.370) and on-base percentage (.453). She had 20 hits and six RBI with two homers in league play.
Freshman Katie Fleury, junior Linda Kohan and sophomore Christine Lux were each named to the third team. Fleury tied for league-highs with 17 runs scored and two triples. She also had a hand in six double plays at shortstop. Kohan was fifth with 15 RBI and second overall with seven doubles. The third baseman was tied for eighth with 44 assists. Lux, who finished the season tied for second on the conference's all-time list for home runs in a single season, sent eight of the park against league foes. Her slugging percentage of .661 was fifth-best while her 17 runs scored tied for first. She was on the receiving end of eight double plays at first base and her 19 putouts against Connecticut on April 29 was the highest total recorded by any conference player in any game throughout the season. Lux has homered six times in Notre Dame's last 10 outings.
Connecticut junior Micah Truax collected her second-consecutive BIG EAST softball Player of the Year honor, DePaul sophomore Becca Heteniak was named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year, while South Florida freshman Capri Catalano took Rookie of the Year. South Florida garnered BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year honors.
Quarterfinal play in the 2008 BIG EAST Championship begins Thursday (May 8) at 6:30 p.m. (ET) for the Irish. The contest pits the last two conference champions against one another, as No. 4 seed Notre Dame meets No. 5 seed Louisville. The Fighting Irish swept the Cardinals on April 19 during the regular season.
First round games will be streamed live online at www.bigeast.tv. Fans can register for a subscription plan at www.bigeast.org.
CBS College Sports will air both semifinal games on May 9 and the title game on May 10. The first semifinal game will begin at 2:30 p.m., with the nightcap to follow at 5 p.m. The title game will begin at 5 p.m.
All-BIG EAST First Team
Brittney Bargar, Notre Dame, Jr., P
Samantha Card, Pittsburgh, Jr., C
Jessica Dignon, Pittsburgh, Sr., 3B
Kit Dunbar, USF, Sr., OF
Allie Gendron, Connecticut, Sr., DP
Britta Giddens, USF, Jr., SS/2B
Becca Heteniak, DePaul, So., P
Jillian Ortega, Connecticut, Jr., IF
Amber Patton, DePaul, Jr., 3B
Sarah Smith, Notre Dame, Sr., OF
Micah Truax, Connecticut, Jr., OF*
Sandy Vojik, DePaul, Sr., Utility
* - unanimous selection
All-BIG EAST Second Team
Capri Catalano, USF, Fr., P
Ashley Ellis, Notre Dame, So., OF
Lauren Frankiewicz, DePaul, Jr., DP
Amanda Heller, Rutgers, Jr., OF
Brianna Jorgensborg, Notre Dame, Fr., OF
Amy Kelley, Syracuse, Jr., C
Jamie Kelling, Syracuse, Jr., 2B/SS
JoJo Medina, USF, So., 1B
Courtney Mosch, USF, Sr., Utility
Sarah Totten, Louisville, Sr., 1B
Kristen Wadwell, Louisville, So., P
Kealan Waldron, Seton Hall, Jr., 1B/3B
All-BIG EAST Third Team
Jenna Best, Seton Hall, Sr., OF
Jackie Dempsey, Villanova, Sr., Utility
Katie Fleury, Notre Dame, Fr., SS
Linda Kohan, Notre Dame, Jr., IF
Christine Lux, Notre Dame, So., IF
Melissa Roth, Louisville, So., C
Kassie Stanfill, Louisville, Jr., OF
Tara Voss, DePaul, Fr., 2B/SS
Colby Wherry, Louisville, Fr., IF
Kayla Zinger, Pittsburgh, So., P