May 7, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame junior Laura Winter added yet another award to her ever-growing resume after being tabbed as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) announced Tuesday. Earlier this season, Winter was selected as the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week for April 15-21.
Winter (San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) logged a 4-0 record in the circle and a 1.75 ERA in four appearances during the 4-1 Notre Dame week. She is the first player in program history to win both of the major national player of the week awards in the same season.
"It is truly an honor to be named Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week," Winter said. "I could never have had a week like this without the hard work of my teammates and their continued support."
The then-reigning BIG EAST Player of the Week struck out eight Eastern Michigan batters in a complete game victory Tuesday. After entering in the fourth inning in relief Wednesday at Western Michigan, Winter threw 26 strikes in her 29 total pitches, striking out five Bronco hitters over three perfect frames.
The junior right-hander walked two batters and struck out three in a complete game win over No. 9 Louisville Saturday, and allowed one run on six hits with five strikeouts in the series clinching showdown with the Cardinals Sunday.
Winter continued her torrid pace at the plate, leading Notre Dame with a cumulative .533 batting average (8-for-15) and three home runs, six RBI, four runs scored, a 1.200 slugging percentage and a .563 on-base percentage. She began the week with a 2-for-3 day and an RBI double in a home win over Eastern Michigan Tuesday.
The offensive momentum continued the following day at Western Michigan, as Winter drilled a pair of home runs and recorded three RBI to aid her own cause in the Irish victory over the Broncos.
Winter went a combined 4-for-8 against No. 9 Louisville, including an RBI base hit in the first inning Sunday, and scored one of the deciding runs to help lead Notre Dame to a 3-1 win over the Cardinals that clinched the BIG EAST regular season championship.
"I am so proud of how Laura has led in the circle and at the plate this season," Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf said. "She has elevated her game to become a threat on both sides of the ball. I love her confidence and her fight."