TUSCALOOSA, Ala. A pair of future Crimson Tide softball players, Kelsi Dunne from Port Orange, Fla., and Whitney Larson of Vestavia Hills, Ala., have earned national recognition for their performances in the final year of their respective senior seasons.
“We are very excited for both Kelsi and Whitney,” UA head coach Patrick Murphy said. “Both were also named players of the year in their respective states earlier this summer. Along with Cat Dozier (Birmingham) and Amanda Locke (Mesquite, TX), we have a great group coming in this fall. My staff and I are ready to get going with the 2008 team.”
Dunne was named National Player of the Year by EA Sports and StudentSportsSoftball.com. A 6-1 pitcher who also served as Spruce Creek High School’s cleanup hitter, Dunne led her team to the Florida Class 6A state finals as a junior and helped the Hawks to a perfect record during the regular season in 2007. Despite throwing a no-hitter, Dunne lost a 1-0 decision in the state finals.
An academic honors student in the classroom, Dunne was 26-1 as a senior. She recorded 20 shutouts, 11 no-hitters and five perfect games while striking out 446 of the 580 batters faced. Dunne earned 71 career wins with 58 shutouts and 22 no-hitter, finishing her career with 1,248 strikeouts (14.8 per game). A career .405 hitter, she had 81 RBI and 31 career game-winning hits as a prep.
Larsen, an outfielder from Vestavia Hills, was named second team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. A two-time Defensive MVP at her high school, Larsen was also an outstanding basketball player, helping her team to state semifinals appearances twice in her career.
The Crimson Tide recorded its third consecutive 50-win season and earned its ninth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007.