2013 Big Ten Softball Year in Review

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Two to the WCWS: Michigan and Nebraska each earned berths in the 2013 Women's College World Series, marking the first time since 2001 a pair of Big Ten teams advanced to the even in the same season. The No. 8 seed Wolverines defeated Louisiana-Lafayette in the Ann Arbor Super Regional to earn their 10th appearance all-time in the event. The No. 14 seed Cornhuskers went on the road to knock off third-seeded Oregon to win the Eugene Super Regional, advancing to their seventh Women's College World Series in program history. For complete round-by-round coverage of the Big Ten in the NCAA Tournament, click HERE.

All-Tournament Taylor: Nebraska's Taylor Edwards was named one of 13 players named to the 2013 Women's College World Series All-Tournament Team on Tuesday night. She is the 11th Husker to earn the honor in program history. Edwards was 4-for-9 at the Women's College World Series with three runs scored, two RBIs and one home run. She hit a clutch game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning against No. 2 Florida in a memorable game Nebraska went on to lose by one in 15 innings.

Where We Rank: The Michigan and Nebraska softball teams finished among the top eight nationally in the final polls released by the NFCA and USA Softball, after the two programs advanced to the Women's College Series this season. Michigan finished the year ranked sixth in both polls and Nebraska appeared at No. 8, climbing as many as nine spots since the previous set of rankings were released prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament. Wisconsin, the 2013 Big Ten Tournament champion, was among the teams also receiving votes in both polls.

Four in NCAA Tournament: Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin represented the Big Ten in this year's NCAA Tournament field, marking the most teams in the field since 2009. Michigan and Nebraska each received national seeds heading into the field, with the Wolverines at No. 8 and the Huskers at No. 14, and hosted opening-round regionals. Michigan has appeared in 19 straight tournaments and 21 overall, Minnesota earned a tournament berth for the first time since 2003 and its eighth overall, Nebraska appeared in the event for the 21st overall and Wisconsin advanced to its fourth NCAA Tournament after winning the Big Ten Tournament. Click HERE for more information.

We Are the Champions: Michigan was the top seed in the 2013 Big Ten Tournament after winning its sixth consecutive Big Ten Championship this season. The Wolverines won their 16th conference title after finishing the Big Ten slate with a 20-2 mark. Wisconsin, however, would earn the Big Ten's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big Ten Tournament title. The Badgers, who were the No. 4 seed in the tournament, knocked off Northwestern in the quarterfinals before taking down the top-seeded Wolverines in the semifinals. Wisconsin then defeated third-seeded Minnesota to win its first tournament crown. Click HERE for more information on Michigan's Big Ten Championship. Click HERE for complete information on the 2013 Big Ten Tournament.

Earning Accolades: Michigan's Sierra Romero and Carol Hutchins and Nebraska's Tatum Edwards were among those honored when the conference announced the 2013 All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners following the conclusion of the regular season. Romero was named Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year, Hutchins was named Coach of the Year and Edwards garnered Pitcher of the Year accolades. Click HERE for more information on the end of the year honors.

Primetime Performers: Five Big Ten softball standouts were named NFCA Division I All-Americans, it was announced on Wednesday afternoon. Penn State's Cassidy Bell was named a first-team honoree, Michigan's Sierra Romero and Nebraska's Tatum Edwards garnered second-team All-America accolades and Michigan's Ashley Lane and Minnesota's Kaitlyn Richardson earned third-team laurels. The five standouts were also named first-team All-Conference performers this past year, while Richardson was recently honored as an Academic All-American. In addition, 20 were named to the NFCA All-District teams and a complete list can be found HERE.

They're Academic: Three Big Ten softball standouts were named 2013 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, it was announced on Thursday. Northwestern's Marisa Bast was named to the second team, while Minnesota's Kaitlyn Richardson and Purdue's Andie Varsho were both third-team selections. Richardson is one of two sophomores named among the Academic All-Americans while Bast and Varsho are two of 11 juniors making up the 33-player squad. The three were among a group of 94 Big Ten softball standouts to earn Academic All-Conference honors in May. For more information on Academic All-Big Ten honorees, click HERE.

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