May 31, 2009
[ONE // big ten baseball concludes season in ncaa championship]
All eyes have been on the baseball and softball diamonds this week as four Big Ten teams were competing in NCAA postseason play. This past Monday, Indiana, Minnesota and Ohio State all received invitations to the 2009 NCAA Baseball Championship, marking the second time in the last three years the Big Ten has placed three teams in the bracket. No. 2 seed Minnesota and No. 3 seed Ohio State both opened NCAA play 1-1, as the Golden Gophers fell 5-0 to No. 3 Baylor in the Baton Rouge Regional, but rebounded to defeat No. 4, Southern 11-8. The Buckeyes dropped a 24-8 decision to No. 2 Georgia in the Tallahassee Regional and then responded to take out No. 4 Marist 6-4 on Saturday. OSU then answered with a 13-6 victory over Georgia on Sunday, but was ousted from the tournament, 37-6, by host Florida State. Minnesota topped Baylor 15-12 earlier on Sunday but was eliminated by host LSU, 10-3. The Hoosiers, competing in the Louisville as the No. 4 seed, were dropped from the tournament following losses to top-seed Louisville (8-2) and No. 3 Vanderbilt (10-0).
[TWO // big ten baseball standouts named all-american]
The Louisville Slugger NCAA Division I All-American baseball teams and National Player of The Year were announced Thursday by Collegiate Baseball newspaper and three conference standouts received national accolades. Congratulations to Indiana pitcher Eric Arnett and Ohio State pitcher Alex Wimmers on second-team All-America honors as well as Ohio State relief pitcher Jake Hale for his selection to the third team.
[THREE // conference trio in line for golden spikes award]
Three Big Ten standouts were also named to a list of 30 semifinalists for the coveted Golden Spikes Award, it was announced by USA Baseball on Tuesday. Congrats to Ohio State’s Alex Wimmers, the 2009 Big Ten co-Pitcher of the Year, and pitcher Eric Arnett and catcher Josh Phegley of Indiana. The award is presented to the top player in college baseball and is the equivalent to the Heisman Trophy in football.
[FOUR // michigan softball ends season in women’s college world series]
Saturday evening marked the end to the Big Ten softball season as seventh-ranked Michigan fell to No. 6 Georgia, 7-5, in the loser's bracket of the Women's College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. The Wolverines gave up a WCWS-record four home runs as Georgia went long in the first, second, fourth and sixth innings to account for six of its seven runs. Michigan wrapped up the season with a 47-12 record after appearing in the WCWS for the ninth time.
[FIVE // big ten softball stars named all-americans]
Eight Big Ten players were named to the 2009 Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America teams by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Wednesday. Michigan’s Nikki Nemitz (At-Large/P) and Northwestern’s Adrienne Monka (1B) and Tammy Williams (SS) were named first-team honorees, while Iowa’s Brittany Weil (P), Michigan’s Amanda Chidester (UT-Non-P) and Ohio State’s Sam Marder (At-Large/C) were tabbed as second-team selections. Two conference standouts, Illinois’ Danielle Zymkowitz (2B) and Ohio State’s Kim Reeder (P), earned third-team accolades.
[SIX // wolverines contend for ncaa match play title]
Five Big Ten squads -- Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern and Ohio State -- battled for the 2009 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship this past week and the Wolverines nearly earned a shot at the title. Michigan ousted Southern California 3 & 2 in match-play to advance to the semifinals, but fell 3-1-1 to No. 7 Texas A&M. The tournament was hosted by the University of Toledo at the par-71, 7,255-yard Inverness Club.
[SEVEN // spartans lead rowing contingent at ncaa championships]
Four Big Ten rowing squads competed this past weekend at the NCAA Championships in Cherry Hill, N.J., with Michigan State leading all conference teams with a sixth-place finish. The Spartans scored 54 points and were followed by Ohio State (49) in eighth, Michigan (48) in ninth and Wisconsin (26) in 13th. Stanford paced the 16-team field with a championship-winning 88 points. Among the notable finishers, Michigan State captured the First Varsity Eight petite title in 6:19.05, followed closely by Michigan in second at 6:19.09. The Spartans also took the Second Varsity Eight petite final in 6:37.83, only to be followed this time by Ohio State in 6:42.85. In the First Varsity Four, Wisconsin placed second in the grand final in 7:28.54, while Ohio State used a time of 7:27.14 to capture first in the petite final.
[EIGHT // northwestern lacrosse star honored as nation’s top play…again]
For the fourth consecutive year, the coveted Tewaaraton Trophy will remain in Evanston as Northwestern senior Hannah Nielsen was once again named the nation's top player in women’s lacrosse. Nielsen is just the second player to win the sport's most prestigious award in back-to-back seasons, joining former Wildcat standout Kristen Kjellman, who took home the trophy in 2006 and 2007. This season Nielsen played a vital role in helping Northwestern to a 23-0 record in 2009 and its fifth-straight national championship.
[NINE // conference announces academic all-big ten honors]
As the 2008-09 school year comes to a close, the Big Ten recognized a total of 1,049 spring and at-large sports student-athletes who have been named to the Academic All-Conference team on Wednesday. The list of honored student-athletes features 88 baseball players, 76 softball players, 122 women’s rowers, 45 women’s and 37 men’s golfers, 55 women’s and 47 men’s tennis standouts, 188 women’s and 158 men’s track and field athletes and 135 women’s (representing water polo, ice hockey, fencing, synchronized swimming, lightweight rowing, lacrosse, pistol and rifle) and 98 men’s (representing ice hockey, volleyball, lacrosse, fencing, rowing, pistol and rifle) at-large athletes. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. A complete list of the Academic All-Big Ten honorees can be viewed here.
[TEN // minnesota student journalist earns conference award]
In addition to Academic All-Big Ten accolades being announced this past week, one of the conference’s special season-ending honors was also handed out. University of Minnesota student journalist Trevor Born was named this year’s recipient of the William R. Reed Memorial Award. The award is named in honor of former Big Ten Commissioner William R. Reed who served the conference for more than 20 years. The conference annually honors the former commissioner by presenting this award to a student journalist from one of the 11 Big Ten campuses who, through his or her writing during the previous academic term, best exemplifies the spirit, ideals and dedication to the Big Ten and intercollegiate athletics, which marked the life of William R. Reed. A sophomore journalism major, Born is the beat writer for football and men’s basketball at the Minnesota Daily.
[ELEVEN // a lion of a man]
Finally this week, the Big Ten learned of the passing of former Michigan football standout Terry Barr. He was 73. A defensive back and running back in Ann Arbor, Barr was tabbed a third-round pick in the 1957 NFL Draft and became a household name for the Detroit Lions. During his nine-year tenure with Detroit, he was a rookie on the Lions’ championship team in 1957 and was later a two-time Pro Bowler at receiver in 1963 and 1964.