Softball

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Ali Wester Among Final 10 Vying For NFCA Freshman Of The Year

Ali Wester became the second Notre Dame player, and member of her own family, to be named a top 10 finalist for Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year in the award's three-year history on Thursday

May 12, 2016

by Tony Jones

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – An eventful week preceding the official opening of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship for the University of Notre Dame softball team continued on Thursday afternoon. Freshman outfielder/infielder Ali Wester (Huntington Beach, California/Edison) was further recognized for her stellar rookie season by being named one of 10 finalists for the 2016 Schutt Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division I National Freshman of the Year award.

In its third season of existence, the NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award was created to recognize the outstanding athletic accomplishments of freshmen softball student-athletes from Division I institutions.

Just one day after her sister, Notre Dame junior co-captain Karley Wester, was announced as one of 10 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, Ali Wester joined an exclusive list of players from eight different Division I institutions vying for the title of the nation’s top freshman. The Westers are the only siblings in NCAA Division I softball to both be included in top 10 contention for national player and freshman of the year accolades in 2016.

The top three finalists for national freshman of the year will be selected and released on May 25. The Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony on May 31 prior to the opening of the annual Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Wester is the second Notre Dame player to be a finalist for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award since its inception in 2014, joining sister Karley. The elder Wester was a top three finalist for the inaugural national freshman of the year award in 2014.

Wester finished the regular season ranked second on the Notre Dame roster and in the ACC with a .419 batting average as a primary slap hitter, adding the second-most hits (67), the seventh most runs scored (46) and eighth most stolen bases (20) in the conference. Wester also remains among the NCAA leaders with 21 sacrifice bunts thus far in 2016.

The Huntington Beach, California native was equally successful in her first 20 ACC conference games, batting .365 with seven stolen bases and 16 runs scored to claim all-ACC second team honors. Wester’s 20 overall multiple-hit games rank second among all Notre Dame hitters, and her eight multi-RBI games are the fourth most by an Irish player this season.

A total of 63 of Wester’s hits as of May 11 were credited as singles, with 35 of those singles officially recorded as infield hits. Wester has also chipped in 75 putouts and 58 assists splitting time between second base and left field.

Wester has enjoyed some of her best offensive performances during her freshman campaign against fellow NFCA top 25 foes. The versatile Notre Dame rookie is batting .407 with six RBI, five stolen bases and eight runs scored in seven games against nationally ranked opponents this season.

For the latest news and updates on all things Notre Dame softball, visit www.und.com/softball, follow the Irish @NDsoftball and @NDcoachGumpf on Twitter and at Instagram.com/notredamesoftball, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.


2016 Schutt Sports/NFCA DI National Freshman of the Year Top 10 Finalists
Kelly Barnhill (Florida) | Pitcher
Taty Forbes (Coastal Carolina) | Outfield
Kelsey Horton (New Mexico State) | First Base
Brianna Jones (Southern Illinois) | Pitcher
Shay Knighten (Oklahoma) | Infield
Amanda Lorenz (Florida) | Outfield
Hailey Lunderman (Ole Miss) | Shortstop
Keeli Milligan (Texas A&M) | IF/OF
Claire Oberdorf (Marist) | 2B/C
Ali Wester (Notre Dame) | OF/IF


--ND--


Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men's soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and with the National Football League's Buffalo Bills.


 

 

Event Calendar

Delta

February 10
12:00 PM
Weber State
Long Beach, Calif. (LBSU Softball Complex)
February 10
2:30 PM
Long Beach State
Long Beach, Calif. (LBSU Softball Complex)
February 11
12:00 PM
South Dakota
Long Beach, Calif. (LBSU Softball Complex)
February 11
2:30 PM
San Diego State
Long Beach, Calif. (LBSU Softball Complex)
February 12
12:00 PM
UCLA
Los Angeles, Calif. (Easton Stadium)
February 17
1:30 PM
Minnesota
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
February 18
10:00 AM
Michigan
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
February 18
12:30 PM
Minnesota
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
February 19
10:00 AM
Michigan
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
February 23
6:30 PM
Texas
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
February 23
9:00 PM
Missouri
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
February 24
3:30 PM
Arizona State
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
February 24
6:00 PM
Georgia
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
February 25
1:00 PM
Oklahoma
Cathedral City, Calif. (Big League Dreams Sports Complex)
March 4
12:30 PM
Purdue
Kissimmee, Fla. (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex)
March 4
5:00 PM
FIU
Kissimmee, Fla. (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex)
March 5
10:00 AM
Chattanooga
Kissimmee, Fla. (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex)
March 5
12:15 PM
Charlotte
Kissimmee, Fla. (ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex)
March 11
1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (Mewborn Field)
March 11
3:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (Mewborn Field)
March 12
12:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (Mewborn Field)
March 14
5:00 PM
Georgia State
Atlanta, Ga. (Heck Softball Complex)
March 15
6:00 PM
Mercer
Macon, Ga. (Sikes Field)
March 17
6:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (JoAnne Graf Field)
March 18
1:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (JoAnne Graf Field)
March 19
12:00 PM
Florida State
Tallahassee, Fla. (JoAnne Graf Field)
March 22
5:00 PM
Michigan State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
March 24
6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
March 25
3:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
March 26
12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
March 29
5:00 PM
Eastern Michigan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 1
12:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)
April 2
2:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)
April 3
7:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (Ulmer Stadium)
April 5
5:00 PM
Fort Wayne
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 7
6:00 PM
North Carolina
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 8
3:00 PM
North Carolina
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 9
12:00 PM
North Carolina
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 11
5:30 PM
Detroit Mercy
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 12
6:00 PM
IUPUI
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 14
4:00 PM
NC State
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
April 14
6:00 PM
NC State
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
April 15
1:00 PM
NC State
Raleigh, N.C. (Dail Stadium)
April 19
6:00 PM
Western Michigan
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 22
1:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 22
3:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 23
12:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 25
5:00 PM
Northwestern
Evanston, Ill. (Drysdale Field)
April 29
1:00 PM
Arkansas
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 29
3:00 PM
Arkansas
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
April 30
12:00 PM
Arkansas
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
May 3
6:00 PM
Butler
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
May 5
6:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
May 6
3:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
May 7
12:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Melissa Cook Stadium)
May 11
TBA
ACC Championship
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Anderson Stadium)
May 12
TBA
ACC Championship
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Anderson Stadium)
May 13
TBA
ACC Championship
Chapel Hill, N.C. (Anderson Stadium)
May 19
TBA
NCAA Regionals
Campus sites
May 20
TBA
NCAA Regionals
Campus sites
May 21
TBA
NCAA Regionals
Campus sites
May 25
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
Campus sites
May 26
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
Campus sites
May 27
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
Campus sites
May 28
TBA
NCAA Super Regionals
Campus sites
June 1
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 2
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 3
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 4
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 5
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 6
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)
June 7
TBA
Womens College World Series
Oklahoma City, Okla. (ASA Hall of Fame Stadium)

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