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ND Softball: Buntin’s bat leads steady Irish squad

Laura Coletti | Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Senior captain Amy Buntin is now a force for the Irish both with her bat and with her glove, but it hasn’t always been this way.

“From my freshman year to my senior year, my confidence has grown tremendously, both in the batter’s box and behind the plate,” the Irish catcher said. “I attribute this to game experience over the years and becoming comfortable in any situation on the field.”

In true Notre Dame form, the Brentwood, Tenn., native chose the school for its excellence in both academics and athletics.

“The tradition surrounding this campus and the Notre Dame family [is] unlike any other university,” she said.

Buntin joined the Irish roster in 2009 as a utility player, but gradually developed into a full-time catcher. After two versatile seasons playing at a number of positions for Notre Dame, Buntin burst onto the scene during her junior season and led Notre Dame with a .360 batting average, 62 hits, 60 RBIs and 45 runs scored. She started every game for the Irish and was just the 21st player in school history to be named an All-American for her efforts.

This season, Buntin is looking to continue her on-field prowess while leading the Irish to new heights.

“The goals I have for this team is to go further than Notre Dame softball has ever gone before,” she said. “This is a special team and I think we have what it takes to push the program to the next level.”

The Irish are 4-5 on the season, but have dropped some tough games to competitive opposition. Last weekend, they took No. 1 Oklahoma to extra innings before succumbing to the Sooners in a close 7-5 loss. Buntin blasted a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to bring Notre Dame to within two runs of the Sooners before the remainder of the side was retired. Buntin and junior outfielder Lauren Stuhr lead the Irish in RBIs this season with four apiece.

True to her performance so far, Buntin said as co-captain she has tried to lead the team by her example.

“I’m not the player to deliver a huge pump-up speech before the game,” she said. “I try to lead with my composure on the field and being the player that everyone wants in the batter’s box in the pressure situations.”

Buntin will continue to try to stay calm and collected as she and the rest of the Irish travel to Greenville, N.C., to play in the Pirate Invitational this weekend. Notre Dame will face Liberty to begin the Invitational on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Contact Laura Coletti at lcoletti@nd.edu