Dec. 5, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame head softball coach Deanna Gumpf recently announced the signing of five student-athletes set to join the Irish next fall. The group consists of prep players from five states who have selected Notre Dame as their destination to continue their academic and athletic careers.
"This class as a whole epitomizes what Notre Dame softball is all about," Gumpf said. "The moment I met each one of them, I knew they belonged at Notre Dame. I had no doubt as to what they were going to bring to the program, not just on the field but the intangibles they possess that help build great team chemistry. All five of these players do the little things right that you don't see when you're just watching a player on the field, which separates the good players from the great players. They are just the type of people we want wearing an Irish uniform."
Glendale Heights, Ill. Glenbard West
The Lux File: Led Glenbard West (Ill.) to a pair of softball and basketball conference and regional titles ... softball team MVP as a junior ... three-time all-conference and all-city selection ... prep team's 2008 softball offensive player of the year ... led team in batting average and RBI as a junior ... hit over .400 as a sophomore and junior ... Daily Herald All-Area First Team honoree at shortstop ... has played summer ball for over 12 years, eight of which have been with ASA travel squads ... member of the nationally recognized Beverly Bandits ... team MVP for basketball squad as a junior while claiming a pair of all-conference and all-city honors on the hardwood ... led team in scoring and was second in rebounds as a junior ... 2008 Walter Peyton Suburban Player of the Year finalist in 2008 ... slated to earn nine varsity letters in three sports (softball, basketball and volleyball) ... daughter of Anna and Thomas Lux ... the sixth member of her family to attend Notre Dame, joining sister Christine ('10), father Tom ('78), grandfather John ('53), aunt Karen ('89) and uncle Joe ('88) ... Christine is currently a junior on the Notre Dame softball team ... father was a member of the Notre Dame ski team from 1974-78 ... attended same high school as Irish baseball player Billy Boockford and former football player Marty Detmer ('80) ... member of high school's senior mentor program, peer mediator program, district leadership council and captain's council.
Gumpf on Lux ...
"It is going to be great to have another member of the Lux family on the squad. Kathryn plays a lot of middle infield and first base, and we've loved tracking her progress throughout her career. She is a strong, physical player that has a great frame, which will help her contribute to our program in many ways. She is ready to play the collegiate game."
Lux on attending Notre Dame ...
"I am extremely excited to become part of the Notre Dame family, receive a great education and play softball for such a prestigious program. I can't wait to put on the Notre Dame uniform and join my teammates and sister in Melissa Cook Stadium."
Sugar Land, Texas Elkins
The Thornton File: Earned a quartet of letters at Elkins (Texas) as a prep under head coach James McClanahan ... led her squad to three conference titles ... area champions as a sophomore ... two-time all-conference selection ... team was nationally ranked three times throughout her prep career ... Texas Sports Writers Association Honorable Mention All-State as a junior ... hit .470 as a junior with a .500 on-base percentage while her squad finished the season with a 30-5 overall record ... first team all-district choice in 2008 after taking second-team honors in 2007 ... paced her club team to a pair of Texas regional titles ... daughter of Jan and John Thornton ... both parents graduated from Notre Dame in 1977 ... has two older siblings ... sister, Erin, gradated from Notre Dame in 2007 and is currently on campus pursuing a master's degree ... sister, Shay, will graduate from Notre Dame in 2010 ... attended same high school as current Irish swimmer John D'Oliver ... member of National Honor Society, English Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society ... active within Habitat for Humanity and Young Life ... won school's Wendy's Heisman award ... production assistant for Scattered Voices, a play written by Notre Dame students that premiered in Houston ... the performance was written and directed by sister, Shay ... has a dog named Rudy ... ventured with the Houston Power and Sudden Impact Gold club teams to China in 2007 to play softball against local and national programs.
Gumpf on Thornton ...
"Kelsey will add a lot of speed to our program as a left-handed slapper. She is a triple-threat in the box with versatility on defense. Kelsey is an extremely hard working athlete who continually makes things happen."
Thornton on attending Notre Dame ...
"It's has always been my dream to attend Notre Dame and play softball for the Irish. I look forward to the great education on the field and in the classroom."
Howell, N.J. Red Bank Catholic
The O'Donnell File: New Jersey's 2008 Gatorade Player of the Year ... ESPN/Under Armour All-American ... first-team EA Sports All-American ... NFCA/Louisville Slugger All-Eastern Region first team choice ... Star-Ledger New Jersey Player of the Year and first-team honoree ... APP Shore Conference Player of the Year in 2008 ... Digital Sports 2008 Player of the Year ... led Red Bank Catholic (N.J.) to the non-public state championship, the Monmouth County title and swept the competition at the sectional tournament in 2008 while garnering a national ranking ... had 11 no-hitters and 23 shutouts as a junior with a 0.12 ERA and 353 strikeouts ... finished the season 25-2 from the circle while surrendering just three earned runs in 179.0 innings ... also hit .469 that season with 17 RBI with a .631 slugging percentage and a .538 on-base clip ... three time all-conference, all-city and all-state selection ... once pitched 98.0 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run during her junior campaign ... tossed two no-hitters via 32 strikeouts in one day ... played summer ball for Jersey Intensity Gold and Team New Jersey ... daughter of Suzanne and Kevin O'Donnell ... father played baseball for Canisius ... first member of her family to attend Notre Dame ... member of National Honor Society, Life Club, Irish Club, Latin Club, Latin Club and Spirit Club.
Gumpf on O'Donnell ...
"Brittany is a competitor and she's the type of player you want to have on the mound when the game is tight. Winning matters tremendously to her and she will do whatever it takes to win a ball game. To sum up Brittany in just a few words: she gets it done and thrives under pressure."
O'Donnell on attending Notre Dame ...
"I have been truly blessed to have the unbelievable opportunity to become part of the Notre Dame family. With the support of my family, friends and coaches I have been able to make a dream come true. I am anxiously awaiting the day to take the mound for the Irish and to play for (Notre Dame head coach) Deanna Gumpf and her staff."
Galesburg, Mich. Galesburg-Augusta
The Bowe File: Prepped at Galesburg-Augusta (Mich.) for head coach and father, Ed Bowe, and has earned three letters with the softball team ... led team to three conference and two regional titles (the first two in school history) with a state championship in 2008 ... squad was nationally ranked in 2008 and had previously not won a conference title since 1982 ... three-time all-conference, all-city and all-state pitcher ... Kalamazoo Gazette's 2008 Pitcher of the Year ... two-time team captain and MVP ... struck out a Michigan-record 125 batters in the 2008 state tournament through just seven games, including 29 in the 14-inning semifinal affair and 18 in the championship contest ... as a freshman, batted .508 with 26 extra-base hits ... set school record with 0.47 ERA and 238 strikeouts ... hit .575 as a sophomore with 27 extra-base hits while sporting a 0.38 ERA and 298 strikeouts ... went .569 from the dish during her junior campaign with 38 extra-base hits ... sported a 0.21 ERA in 2008 with 533 strikeouts in 237.0 innings ... career totals through three prep seasons: .552 batting average, 177 runs, 121 RBI, 47 doubles, 29 triples, 15 home runs, 0.33 ERA, 1,069 strikeouts ... her name appears 19 times in Michigan's high school record books (nine offensive and 10 pitching categories) ... state record holder for hits through three seasons played ... opened the 2008 season with 20 strikeouts during her perfect game from the circle ... added a 21-strikeout effort without a walk later in the year ... daughter of Cynthia Stoltz and Ed Bowe ... has two younger siblings, Jillian and Steven ... grandfather was a construction worker who worked at Notre Dame in the 1960's ... president of National Honor Society.
Gumpf on Bowe ...
"Jackie will be very successful at the collegiate level because she will do whatever it takes to win. She's got great movement with her pitches and understands the strategies behind her game-calling. Jackie not only is a great pitcher, but she is a hitter with tremendous power. She's a workhorse that will do whatever you ask of her."
Bowe on attending Notre Dame ...
"It is a privilege to join the nation's most prestigious university as a student-athlete. Their coaching staff are tremendously gifted people, and I hope to end up with them in Oklahoma City in the Women's College World Series."
5-8 Catcher / Utility
Franklin, Tenn. Brentwood
The Buntin File: Prepped for Brentwood (Tenn.) and as a sophomore led her team to a No. 12 ranking in USA Today ... three-time all-conference and all-district performer while claiming a trio of league titles with Brentwood ... three-time regional champion ... team captain in 2009 ... district MVP in 2008 ... tagged as a first team all-state player in 2008 by the Middle Tennessee State Coaches Association ... played club ball for New Jersey Intensity Gold ... had the opportunity to work behind the plate for 2008 USA National Softball Player of the Year Angela Tincher ... attended the same high school as former Irish volleyball All-American Lauren Brewster ... active within high school's National Honor Society and Science National Honor Society ... daughter of Karen and Scott Buntin ... first member of her family to attend Notre Dame ... enjoys waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, and snow skiing ... has two siblings, Amanda and John ... Amanda plays softball at Belmont.
Gumpf on Buntin ...
"Amy can do so many things very well on the field. She is fast with a ton of athletic ability. Amy can play behind the plate and in the outfield - she can really do anything, which made her very attractive to us as a ball player. She's a very hard worker and she will truly do anything to help this team win."
Buntin on attending Notre Dame ...
"I am very excited and honored to sign with Notre Dame and become a part of the Irish family. I could ask for nothing more than to compete at the national level while attending a university of such high academic standards."