June 29, 2017
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Five members of the 2017 University of Notre Dame softball team have been recognized for outstanding academic and athletic achievement on Thursday, with each named to the all-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Academic Team. Graduated seniors Rachel Nasland, Kimmy Sullivan and Karley Wester, along with rising senior Katie Beriont and rising sophomore Katie Marino, were Notre Dame representatives on the annual conference all-academic squad.
The ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, presented on Thursday to Florida State's Alex Powers, was established in September 2007 to be awarded annually to the top junior or senior student-athlete in their respective sports.
Minimum academic requirements for selection to the all-ACC Academic Team are a 3.0 GPA for the previous semester and a 3.0 cumulative average during one's academic career for undergraduate students. Athletic achievements during the most recent season are also considered in selecting the all-ACC Academic Team. The five selections from Notre Dame in 2017 ranked second in the conference, trailing only the seven representatives of league champion Florida State.
Notre Dame players have garnered a total of 17 all-ACC Academic Team honors since the Irish joined the conference prior to the 2014 season. Nasland and Sullivan are the program's first three-time recipients of the award (2015-17), while Wester claimed the honor for the second consecutive campaign. Beriont and Marino were first time award winners this past season.
Nasland appeared in a career-high 45 games (28 starts) as a senior in 2017, throwing 187 innings. She fashioned a 17-12 mark with two saves in the circle, and added 117 strikeouts. Nasland, a 2015 all-ACC second team and 2016 ACC Championship all-tournament team selection, graduated ranked among the top 10 pitchers in career wins (56) and strikeouts (431) in Irish program history.
Sullivan played in all 56 games (55 starts) primarily in right field during her senior season, and batted .276 with 11 doubles, five home runs, 24 RBI, a .468 slugging percentage and 27 runs scored. In 154 career games, Sullivan registered 28 extra-base hits, 52 RBI, a .455 slugging percentage and scored 59 runs split between corner infield and outfield slots and the designated player position.
Wester capped her career as one of the most decorated student-athletes in Notre Dame history, earning All-America and USA National Player of the Year finalist distinction twice, all-region and all-conference awards in all four seasons, and was the ACC Softball Freshman of the Year and a Top 3 finalist for national freshman of the year in 2014. The Notre Dame softball career leader in batting average (.418), hits (323, most ever for any ACC softball player), and runs scored (227), Wester's 129 stolen bases were the most recorded by any softball/baseball player who has ever worn an Irish uniform.
Beriont doubled her innings count on the mound as a junior, throwing 128.2 frames while compiling a 12-6 record in 39 appearances (21 starts) in 2017. Along with throwing her first career collegiate no-hitter against North Carolina on April 8, Beriont struck out 66 batters during the season. Her career .710 winning percentage is among the best in program history for pitchers with a minimum of 15 decisions.
Marino enjoyed a breakout freshman season at second base for the Irish, batting .264 with eight doubles, four home runs, 21 RBI and 17 runs scored in 50 games (46 starts). Defensively, she registered 113 putouts and 87 assists from her middle infield post to log a .948 fielding percentage. Marino's solo home run in the top of the seventh inning lifted Notre Dame past eventual NCAA champion Oklahoma 5-4 on Feb. 25 in Cathedral City, California.
2017 ACC Softball Scholar Athlete of the Year
Alex Powers, R-Sr., Florida State
2017 All-ACC Academic Softball Team
Taylor Coroneos, Sr., Boston College
Sydney Broderick, Sr., Florida State
Ellie Cooper, Sr., Florida State
Meghan King, R-So., Florida State
Morgan Klaevemann, Jr., Florida State
Dani Morgan, Fr., Florida State
Alex Powers, R-Sr., Florida State
Anna Shelnutt, Fr., Florida State
Emily Anderson, Jr., Georgia Tech
Jessica Kowalewicz, Sr., Georgia Tech
Caitlin Ferguson, Fr., Louisville
Jordan McNary, Sr., Louisville
Morgan Meyer, Sr., Louisville
Jade Caraway, Fr., NC State
Molly Martin, Sr., NC State
Kendra Lynch, Sr., North Carolina
Brittany Pickett, Fr., North Carolina
Katie Beriont, Jr., Notre Dame
Katie Marino, Fr., Notre Dame
Rachel Nasland, Sr., Notre Dame
Kimmy Sullivan, Sr., Notre Dame
Karley Wester, Sr., Notre Dame
Olivia Gray, So., Pitt
Kaitlin Manuel, Sr., Pitt
Sammy Fernandez, Jr., Syracuse
Allison Davis, Jr., Virginia
Erika Osherow, So., Virginia
Breanna Davenport, Jr., Virginia Tech
Carrie Eberle, Fr., Virginia Tech
Vanessa Gonzalez, Sr., Virginia Tech
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.
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 Monroe and with the National Football League's Buffalo Bills.