2012 Softball Season in Review

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Two Big Ten Teams Selected to NCAA Field
Michigan and Northwestern were selected to the NCAA Division I Softball Championship, with the Wolverines advancing to the Super Regional round. Michigan secured the Big Ten's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship after winning the Big Ten title. The Wolverines went 3-0 to win the Louisville Regional before falling to eventual national champion Alabama in the Super Regional. Northwestern made its 13th appearance in the national tournament, where it went 2-2 in the Austin Regional. RECAP

Michigan Continues the Streak
Michigan secured the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship and clinched the outright Big Ten Championship following its win over Purdue in the first game of their doubleheader on May 12. The conference title was Michigan's fifth in a row, a conference record, and 15th overall in program history. RECAP

Earning Big Ten Accolades
For the second consecutive year, Michigan's Amanda Chidester was named Big Ten Player of the Year, becoming the first player to win back-to-back honors since Northwestern's Tammy Williams achieved the feat in 2008 and 2009. Wolverine head coach Carol Hutchins garnered Coach of the Year honors also for the second straight year. Michigan's Haylie Wagner was a double winner, taking home Pitcher and Freshman of the Year honors, becoming the first player to win both awards since former Wolverine Kelly Kovach in 1992. RECAP

Among the Nation's Best
Eleven Big Ten softball players were selected as All-Region performers by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, while Northwestern's Marisa Bast was named a third-team All-American. Seven players were chosen as first- or second-team All-Great Lakes Region standouts, including first-teamers Bast, Cassidy Bell of Penn State and Whitney Massey of Wisconsin. Michigan's Amanda Chidester, Sara Driesenga and Haylie Wagner, and Michigan State's Kylene Hopkins were named second-team honorees. Ohio State's Alicia Herron headlined the Big Ten contingent on the All-Midwest Region squad, earning first-team honors. Illinois' Pepper Gay, Iowa's Megan Blank and Nebraska's Ashley Hagemann were named to the region's second team. ALL-REGION & ALL-AMERICA

One of a Select Few
Michigan's Amanda Chidester was one of 24 honorees selected to receive the Big Ten Medal of Honor. One of the most prestigious conference awards in college athletics, the Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had "attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work." RECAP

Where We Rank
Michigan and Northwestern received votes in the final 2012 USA Softball and National Fastpitch Coaches Association polls. The Wolverines appeared at No. 15 in both rankings, while Northwestern was among teams receiving votes outside the top 25. RECAP

U-S-A! U-S-A!
Michigan's Amanda Chidester, the 2012 Big Ten Player of the Year, was added to the United States National Team roster this week, joining former Wolverine teammate Jordan Taylor and current Iowa assistant coach and former Hawkeye player Stacy May-Johnson as Big Ten alums on the national team. Chidester capped her Michigan career with her fourth Big Ten Championship and a Super Regionals appearance. RECAP

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