June 27, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Three members of the University of Notre Dame softball team became the first student-athletes in program history to earn all-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Academic Softball Team honors, as announced by the ACC on Friday. Juniors Cassidy Whidden, Katey Haus and Jenna Simon each received all-ACC academic recognition following Notre Dame's first season competing in the conference in 2013-14.
To be eligible for consideration for the all-ACC Softball Academic Team, a student-athlete must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester, while maintaining a cumulative 3.00 average during her academic career. The ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, which was also presented on Friday to Boston College senior Tory Speer, was established in the fall of 2007 and is annually awarded to the top junior or senior student-athlete in a respective sport who has maintained a cumulative 3.00 or higher grade point average throughout their career.
As a team, Notre Dame tied Boston College, North Carolina and North Carolina State with the third-most all-ACC academic team representatives with three players recognized. Virginia Tech led all conference members with six players tabbed to the academic team, while College World Series participant Florida State had four honorees.
Whidden received all-region accolades for the first time in 2014, earning National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Mid-Atlantic first team honors after setting career-highs in batting average (.336), hits (49), doubles (8), home runs (11), RBI (35) and runs scored (32). The Irish catcher batted .377 with eight home runs, the second-most among all ACC hitters, and 16 RBI in 20 conference starts on her way to being named to the all-ACC third team. Returning from major knee surgery rehabilitation that lasted throughout the summer of 2013, Whidden started 45 of Notre Dame's 54 games behind the plate and logged a .994 fielding percentage in 322 chances. She was previously named to the all-BIG EAST Conference academic team as a sophomore in 2013.
Haus was named to the 2014 NFCA Mid-Atlantic all-region second team after establishing career-highs with a .333 batting average, 55 hits, 14 doubles, 52 RBI and 28 runs scored this past season. Haus' 52 total RBI were the third-most of any hitter in the ACC, and her 0.96 RBI per game ranked in the top 50 of all players in the NCAA. She has started 165 consecutive games for the Irish at third base dating back to the 2012 season, and was named to the all-BIG EAST academic team following her freshman season in 2012.
Simon joined Haus as a second team NFCA Mid-Atlantic all-region selection after logging a .359 batting average, 52 hits, 20 stolen bases and 39 runs scored in 54 games at second base for Notre Dame. A total of 42 of her 52 hits were officially credited as infield singles, the second-most infield hits of any player on the Notre Dame roster (Karley Wester, 45), and the Irish slapper added a .393 average (22-for-56) with runners in scoring position. Simon was previously named to the all-BIG EAST academic team as a freshman in 2012.
2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Tory Speer Sr. Boston College Communications
2014 All-ACC Academic Softball Team
Megan Cooley (2), So., Boston College Economics & Political Science
Nicole D'Argento, Gr., Boston College Administrative Studies
Tory Speer (4), Sr., Boston College Communications
Kelly Hensley (2), Sr., Florida State Exercise Science
Jessica Nori (4), Sr., Florida State Business-Entrepreneurship, Professional Sales & Marketing
Bailey Schinella (3), Jr., Florida State Business-Accounting
Lacey Waldrop, Jr., Florida State Editing, Writing & Media
Hayley Downs (3), Sr., Georgia Tech Business Administration
Alysha Rudnik (4), Sr., Georgia Tech Business Administration
Shannon Bustillos (3), Jr., Maryland Criminiology & Criminal Justice
Kristen Brown, So., North Carolina Exercise Sport Science
Jenna Kelly (2), So., North Carolina Biology
Lori Spingola (2), Sr., North Carolina Journalism - Public Relations
Kirsten Grant (3), Sr., NC State Biological Sciences
Lana Van Dyken, Jr., NC State Biology
Emily Weiman (3), Jr., NC State Sport Management
Katey Haus, Jr., Notre Dame Management Consulting
Jenna Simon, Jr., Notre Dame IT Management
Cassidy Whidden, Jr., Notre Dame Film, Television and Theatre/History
Carly Thea, Jr., Pittsburgh Communications & Sociology
Shirley Daniels, Sr., Syracuse Supply Chain Management
Julie Wambold, Jr., Syracuse Child & Family Studies
Marcy Bowdren (3), Sr., Virginia Elementary Education
Stephanie Harris, Sr., Virginia Nursing
Dani Anderson (3), Sr., Virginia Tech Human Nutrition, Foods & Exercise
Vanessa Gonzalez, Fr., Virginia Tech Human Development
Kelly Heinz, So., Virginia Tech Management
Kylie McGoldrick (2), Jr., Virginia Tech Marketing
Katey Smith, So., Virginia Tech Mechanical Engineering
Maggie Tyler, So., Virginia Tech Communications
**Numbers in parentheses indicate times selected during career**
-- Tony Jones, Media Relations Assistant