Brooks leads ACC honors, four others named in regular-season awards
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, May 9, 2019
Notre Dame senior designated player Cait Brooks was named ACC Softball Player of the Year on Tuesday. The native of Burbank, California, was selected by a poll of conference coaches after leading the Irish (35-15, 18-6 ACC) to a third-place finish in the ACC regular season.
This past season, Brooks broke the program’s previous single-season home run record of 17, hitting 20 this year, and led the conference in five different categories. Her league-leading numbers in batting average, home runs and slugging percentage make her only the fifth player to do so in all three categories. Beyond the ACC, Brooks recorded 56 RBIs to take second place in that category in the conference.
While Brooks has been named to both the ACC All-Academic Team and the ACC Championship All-Tournament Team the past two years, this is the first nod she’s gotten to regular season awards in her four years with Notre Dame. She’s joined by Irish third baseman and fellow senior Melissa Rochford as well as freshman pitcher Payton Tidd, who were both named to the All-ACC First Team. Additionally, freshman outfielder Emma Clark and junior second baseman Katie Marino earned Second Team honors. Both Tidd and Clark were also named to the All-Freshman team, an award category created only two years ago.
The players honored by the conference awards were key contributors to the team’s success this season. The Irish improved from their fourth-place finish last season, winning their last nine games in preparation to take on Duke in the first round of the ACC Tournament. The game, played in Tallahassee, Florida, is scheduled for Thursday at 7:30 p.m.