SOUTH BEND, Ind.. – The Irish have seen key contributors from last year’s graduate in Chelsea Purcell and Katie Marino, but Notre Dame have some comebacks and a few newcomers who are set to step in and strengthen for the 2022 season.
11 of Notre Dame’s 23 players on the 2022 roster take reps on the infield. Returning Monogram winners include Sarah Genz, Quinn Biggio, Brooke Marquez, Joley Mitchell, Miranda Johnson, Cassidy Grimm, Bryn Boznanski, Karina Gaskins and MacVasquez. New to this season are freshmen Jane Kronenberger and Anna Holloway.
An honored second-team All-ACC and All-Freshman Team, Gaskins left an impression in her freshman season in 2021. She finished the season with a .297 batting average, leading the team with 10 home runs and driving 35. She had 48 hits with seven doubles and had a .631 hitting percentage.
Genz was captain in 2021 when she played 40 games. The grad student hit .287 with 12 RBIs and scored nine times. She’s been superb defensively, shooting .995 field percentage with just one error on 212 chances.
Biggio has made the most of his opportunities in 2021, hitting five home runs for 58 at bat. She scored 10 times, drove 13 times and had a .534 hitting percentage. She had a flair for the dramatic in 2021, sparking a seventh-inning rally to defeat Virginia to help the Irish overcome a 2-0 deficit, and delivered an insurance run late in the final game to complete the sweep of Virginia Tech.
Marquez is an energetic central fielder who played 24 games a season ago. She recorded seven hits, a home run, a double and drove in three.
Mitchell missed 2021 due to injury, but had a hugely successful prep career at Rose Bud High in Arkansas. Mitchell was the 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year after leading her team to a 35-1 record and a Class 3A state championship. She finished her senior season with a video game like .717 batting average, 55 RBIs, and scored 85 runs. She added 38 extra hits, 13 home runs and stole 34 bases. She finished her career with an average of .622, 58 homers, 281 runs scored and 197 RBI.
Johnson has played more of a reserve role in 2021, starting six games and appearing in 22. The junior averaged .281 with four RBI and four runs scored last season.
Boznanski had just one at bat in his rookie season, but was another highly successful prep athlete. She was named Trinity League Scholar Athlete of the Year at Rosary High as a senior. She finished her prep career with a .435 batting average, 101 hits, 24 doubles, 52 runs scored and 55 RBIs.
Vasquez played in four games in his rookie season, earning a pair of sticks.
Grimm, the younger sister of receiver Shelby Grimm, became a solid defensive player for the Irish in her freshman year. The second started 17 games, appearing in 31 as a rookie. She batted .212 with six RBIs and scored five times. She added a .978 field percentage playing the hot corner.
A pair of freshmen, Kronenberger and Holloway were both highly sought after recruits. Kronenberger was the No. 55 player nationally for the Cincinnati Ursuline Academy. She was a two-time All-League First-Team winner and earned an All-State Honorable Mention in 2019. That season, she averaged .636 with seven home runs, scored 29 times, drove 31 and stole 17.
Holloway is another sister on the team as she is the younger sister of Alexis Holloway. Anna was the No. 32 nationally ranked player out of Crown Point High and was a two-time All-State first-team selection. She also earned first-team All-Area and All-Conference honors.
The Irish take to the field in just three days in Charlotte, as part of the Green and Gold Classic. Notre Dame begins the season early Friday morning, playing at 10 a.m. against the Bucknell Bison, followed by a 12:30 p.m. first pitch against Boston University at Sue M. Daughtridge Stadium.