Sept. 12, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Former University of Notre Dame pitcher Brittany O'Donnell ('13) has re-joined the Irish softball program as a volunteer assistant coach, head coach Deanna Gumpf announced Thursday.
O'Donnell was a four-year monogram winner while at Notre Dame, helping lead the program to three BIG EAST Conference regular-season championships and four straight regional appearances in the NCAA Championship. O'Donnell will assist in a variety of aspects related to team coaching, specializing in instruction with the Notre Dame pitching staff alongside Gumpf.
"We are extremely excited to have Brittany return to our program after graduating from Notre Dame last spring," Gumpf said. "This will be a great opportunity for our staff to mentor her as she enters the next phase of her softball career as a coach. With her reputation as a successful college pitcher working with all of our players, it will have a huge impact on both our pitching and hitting. Having Brittany on our coaching staff will be an invaluable asset to our team this season."
O'Donnell made 99 pitching appearances for the Irish from 2010-13, logging a cumulative 40-12 record and a 3.46 ERA in 55 starts, tossing 18 complete games. Her .769 career winning percentage ranks fourth in the school's all-time record book, placing her in elite company with Notre Dame All-Americans Kristin Schmidt, Terri Kobata (`96) and Melanie Alkire (`01). O'Donnell also ranks in the Irish career top 10 in combined shutouts (11, tied for third place) and strikeouts per seven innings (6.17, ninth place).
The right-handed hurler enjoyed her best statistical season in 2013 as a senior, posting the most single-season wins (12), lowest ERA (3.17), least walks issued (28) and most strikeouts (76) of her Notre Dame career. She added a career-high eight complete games and two solo shutouts to aid the Irish cause on a 43-15 squad that won the 13th and final BIG EAST regular-season championship in program history, and reached the NCAA Championship for the 15th consecutive season.
O'Donnell was a 2011 all-BIG EAST second team selection after posting a sparkling 10-1 record and a 3.45 ERA as a sophomore. Her 10-0 mark during the 2011 regular season was the first Notre Dame undefeated regular season campaign for a pitcher with 10 or more decisions in program history.
An avid participant in more than 20 different community service initiatives during her four years at Notre Dame, O'Donnell helped the Irish win the 2011 and 2013 Trophy Award, which recognizes Notre Dame varsity athletic teams that demonstrate excellence in service to Notre Dame and the surrounding South Bend community. She was also a team member for the first three years of Notre Dame's Strikeout Cancer initiative, which has raised more than $75,000 since 2011 to benefit South Bend's Memorial Children's Hospital and children across the state of Indiana battling cancer.
A native of Avon, N.J., O'Donnell graduated with a degree in psychology from the College of Arts and Letters in May 2013. She was a four-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star during her Notre Dame career, and was named the softball recipient of the 2013 Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award, presented each season to the graduating softball senior with the highest grade point average.
O'Donnell becomes the fourth Notre Dame graduate on the current Irish coaching staff, joining associate coaches Kris Ganeff ('99) and Lizzy Lemire ('01), and director of softball operations John Whitty ('10).
For the latest news on the Notre Dame softball program, follow the Irish on Twitter @NDsoftball and @NDcoachGumpf, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.