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Winter heats up the Spring, Wins National Player of Week

Apr 28, 2013, 8:52 PM EDT

The Irish softball team will be hosting a Wounded Warriors celebrity softball game at Melissa Cook Stadium.

There are 291 softball teams who compete in the NCAA at the Division 1 level, with each team fielding roughly 18 players per roster. After some calculator-assisted arithmetic, one can see that there are about 5,240 girls playing D-1 softball—an incredible number.  This week, Laura Winter of the Notre Dame Softball team received some more-than-incredible recognition. Of those 5,240 girls, Winter was named the USA Softball National Player of the Week for her outstanding play against Michigan State and Pittsburgh. Winter is the first player from Notre Dame to win the award its eleven year history. The prestige of the award does not need to be elaborated upon—being voted the top player in the nation speaks for itself.

Winter, a junior pitcher and infielder for the Irish, went 3-0 on the mound this weekend striking out 35 batters and only allowing a single run. Opposing batters only hit a .113 average against her and only tallied eight hits in twenty-one innings. These stats alone deserve recognition, but Winter did not stop there. She was just as much of a threat at plate as she was on the mound. Winter went 5-12 with a team-high average of .412. She had a multi-homerun game Saturday afternoon against Pittsburgh in the second game of their weekend double-header. Coach Deanna Gumpf commented, “She has found the offense that we always knew was in her. She’s got confidence at the plate and thinks she can hit any pitch. Right now, she’s a weapon offensively and defensively and she earned it, she had a great week.”

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