Big Ten Softball Blog




Tuesday, June 9

In the Polls: The University of Washington finished the 2009 season as the No. 1 team in the nation according to the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll and the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll as announced today. The Huskies (51-12) received all 20 first-place votes after capturing the program's first-ever NCAA National Championship with a two-game sweep over top-seeded Florida in the WCWS finals. The Gators (63-5) finished the season in second with all second-place votes after dominating the top spot for 10 consecutive weeks during the 2009 campaign.

Michigan (47-12) completed the season ranked No. 5/6 after displaying a strong performance in Oklahoma City, Okla., while Ohio State (47-11) dropped out of the top 10 to cap off the year at No. 11/12. The Buckeyes advanced to the Supers, where they fell short 6-4 and 7-6 to No. 4-ranked Georgia.

Northwestern (31-15) rounds out the conference squads to appear in the top 25, sitting at No. 20/18. The Iowa Hawkeyes were also among the 17 squads to receive votes in the USA Today/NFCA poll.


Sunday, May 31

Women’s College World Series - Oklahoma City, Okla.
Michigan's
 WCWS run was halted on Saturday evening as the seventh-ranked Wolverines suffered a heartbreaking 7-5 loss to sixth-seeded Georgia in the loser's bracket at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. U-M  wraps up an impressive season with a 47-12 overall record.

No. 1 Florida def. No. 7 MICHIGAN, 7-5/ Recap and Box Score


Saturday, May 30

Women’s College World Series - Oklahoma City, Okla.
No. 7-ranked Michigan suffered a dramatic 1-0 loss to top-ranked Florida in round two of the Women's College World Series on Friday evening in front of a WCWS single-session record 8,323 fans at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. The loss places
Michigan in the WCWS losers' bracket. Up next, the Wolverines (47-11) will face the winner of the Georgia-Missouri game, at 6 p.m. CDT Saturday in an elimination contest to air live on ESPN. 

Friday's Results:
No. 1 Florida def. No. 7 MICHIGAN, 1-0 / Recap and Box Score


Friday, May 29

Women’s College World Series - Oklahoma City, Okla.
Michigan advanced to the second round of the Women's College World Series after ousting No. 4 Alabama with a decisive 6-1 victory on Thursday evening at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla. The No. 7-ranked Wolverines (47-10) will take on top-seeded Florida in Game 6 of the WCWS on Friday, with the first pitch slated for
8 p.m. CDT. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and a webcast is available on ESPN360.com.

Thursday’s Results:
No. 7 MICHIGAN def. No. 4 Alabama, 6-1 / Recap and Box Score

Friday’s Schedule:
No. 1 Florida vs. No. 7 MICHIGAN / 8 p.m. (CDT)


Cream of the Crop: Eight Big Ten student-athletes garnered 2009 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America honors as announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association on Thursday. Below is a complete list of First, Second and Third Team honorees:

First Team

Pos. Name School
1B Adrienne Monka Northwestern
SS Tammy Williams Northwestern
At-Large/P Nikki Nemitz Michigan


Second Team
Pos. Name School
P Brittany Weil Iowa
UT/Non-P Amanda Chidester Michigan
At-Large/C Sam Marder Ohio State


Third Team
Pos. Name School
P Kim Reeder Ohio State
2B Danielle Zymkowitz Illinois

Thursday, May 28

2009 NCAA WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES

The eight remaining teams in the 2009 NCAA Women's College Wolrd Series met Wednesday to discuss their opening matchups. See what Michigan head coach Carol Hutchins had to say about her squad and the upcoming battle against Alabama.

MICHIGAN HEAD COACH CAROL HUTCHINS
Opening statement:
“Michigan is very excited to be here.  I think our team is pretty honored to be here.  I have a number of players who have fallen just a game short and they understand how hard it is to get here.  More than anything, I’m very happy for my team – they are the hardest working team I have ever had.  In college softball there are always about 20 teams, maybe more, who are good enough to get here but there is only room for eight.  I’m very happy for my team and I’m excited for our “football” game with Alabama.”

On what her team’s biggest challenge is against Alabama in the first round:
“I think Alabama is our challenge.  One through nine they can hit, they can pitch and they can play defense.  I agree with Coach Murphy, I think we are fairly similar teams.  They’re very fast and a challenge in every aspect.  The biggest thing for us is to not focus too much on them.  We need to focus on our strengths and focus on what we need to do to play good softball.”


Noteworthy: Iowa's Colleen McGlaughlin was one of 11 Division I softball student-athletes nationally to be chosen as first team ESPN the Magazine Academic all-American as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, Wednesday. The senior designated player becomes the first Hawkeye softball student-athlete in program history to be named first team Academic all-American twice in a career after garnering her first selection last season as a junior.

An actuarial science major, McGlaughlin carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She led the team with a .348 batting average, and a team-leading 10 home runs, 14 doubles and 49 RBI. A versitle player, McGlaughlin saw action at four different positions during her senior campaign and was named first team All-Big Ten for her efforts.  She was selected to the All-Region team for the third time in her career after leading the Hawkeyes to a 42-16 record and an NCAA Tournament berth.

Wednesday, May 27

Michigan earned the right to compete in the Women’s College World Series for the ninth time in program history. The Wolverines topped Baylor, 8-1 and 7-1, in NCAA Super Regionals last week to advance to the WCWS for the first time since 2005 when they captured the NCAA crown. U-M’s nine WCWS appearances ranks fifth among all Division I programs.

The Wolverines open action in the tournament’s third game vs. No. 4 seed Alabama on Thursday, May 28, at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN with a simultaneous broadcast on ESPN360.com. Michigan’s half of the double-elimination bracket consists of No.1 seed Florida and No. 9 seed Arizona, which face off in Game 4 on Thursday at 8 p.m. CT. The winner of that four-team bracket moves on to the best-of-three championship series versus the survivor of the other half of the bracket beginning Monday, June 1. The four other squads comprising the eight-team championship are No. 10 seed Arizona State, No. 6 Georgia, Missouri and No. 3 Washington.

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

WCWS Tournament Bracket: Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


Saturday, May 23

Ann Arbor Super Regional
The No. 7-ranked Michigan Wolverines surged into the Women's College World Series after sweeping the Baylor Bears with a 7-1 victory in Game 2 of the NCAA Ann Arbor Super Regional on Saturday afternoon. U-M (46-10) opens play at the WCWS against No. 4 seed Alabama (52-9) on Thursday, May 28, at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla.

No. 7 MICHIGAN def. Baylor, 7-1 / Recap and Box Score 



Athens Super Regional
The Ohio State Buckeyes ended their NCAA run with a 7-6 loss to Georgia in the second game of the best-of-three NCAA Super Regional series in Athens, Ga. OSU completes the season with a 47-11 record, the second most wins in program history, after advancing to its first-ever Super Regional appearance.

Georgia def. No. 11 OHIO STATE, 7-6 / Recap and Box Score

 

Friday, May 22

After falling one game back in the best-of-three game series against Georgia, the No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes will look to regain some ground as they take to the field for Game 2 of the Athens Super Regional at 4:30 p.m. LIVE on ESPN. If Ohio State wins, it will force a third contest in the best-of-three series, set to be played at 7:05 p.m., or 20 minutes following the conclusion of game two. The Buckeyes will vie for their first-ever berth to the Women's College World Series (WCWS).

The No. 7-ranked Michigan Wolverines (44-10) welcome Baylor to Ann Arbor this weekend for the a best-of-three Super Regional series. Game 1 is scheduled to begin at 8 p..m (ET), with Saturday's second contest slated for 2:30 p.m. first pitch. The series will be avaliable on ESPN and ESPN360.com. Baylor (40-20) leads the all-time series, 5-3, and will look to upset the fifth-seeded Wolverines (44-10), who recorded an unblemished 17-0 record at the Wilpson Softball Complex this season.

The winner of each Super Regional will advance to the WCWS in Oklahoma City, Okla., beginning May 27.

Thursday, May 21

The No. 11 seeded Ohoi State Buckeyes (47-10) dropped a 6-4 decision to Athens Super Regional host No. 6 national-seed Georgia (43-10) on Thrusday in NCAA tournament action. Courtney Pruner blasted a three-run homer in the top of the third frame to give the Buckeyes a four-run lead, but OSU could not maintain, allowing six unanswered runs to give the Bulldogs an early advantage in the best-of-three-game series. The Buckeyes will return to the UGA Softball Stadium for Game 2 on Friday.


Wednesday, May 20

Wolverine Duo to Compete for Spot on USA National Team
Michigan’s Nikki Nemitz and Maggie Viefhaus accepted invitations to the 2009 USA Softball Women’s National Team Selection Camp as announced by the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA). The Wolverine duo will join 35 other athletes in Chula Vista, Calif., June 8-12 for team trials.

On the schedule for the USA Softball Women’s National team program are several International events including the World Cup of Softball presented by KFC in Oklahoma City, Okla. July 16-20. The World Cup will feature the top four finishers from the 2008 Olympic Games including a Gold medal game rematch between Japan and the United States.


Monday, May 18

No. 7-ranked Michigan and No. 11 Ohio State captured regional titles to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals.

The Wolverines (44-10) ousted No. 25-ranked Notre Dame, 4-0, to clinch its sixth consecutive Regional crown. U-M will host Baylor, the winner of the Region 12 championship series on Friday and Saturday, May 22-23. All three games will be televised by ESPN and carried on ESPN360.com.

The Buckeyes (47-9) defeated Kentucky, 7-2, to advance to the Super Regional for the first time in six trips to the NCAA Championships. OSU will take on Georgia in the Super Regional, beginning Thursday.

Sunday, May 17

Saturday's NCAA Championships Results:

Ann Arbor Regional
MICHIGAN def. Miami (Ohio), 11-3 (6) / Recap and Box Score
MICHIGAN def. Notre Dame, 2-1 / Recap and Box Score
The Wolverines (43-10) will play a rematch against the Fighting Irish (42-16) in Sunday's NCAA Regional championship game, slated for a 1 p.m. start at the Wilpon Complex.

Atlanta Regional
Boston def. IOWA, 3-1 / Recap and Box Score
The Hawekeyes end their season with a 42-16 overall record.

Columbia Regional
Missouri def. ILLINOIS, 5-1 / Recap and Box Score

DePaul def. ILLINOIS, 6-0 / Recap and Box Score
The Fighting Illini are eliminated from the NCAA Championships and end their season with a 29-17 overall record.

Louisville Regional
PURDUE def. UT Martin, 6-2 / Recap and Box Score
PURDUE def.Louisville, 5-4 / Recap and Box Score
The Boilermakers (31-19) return to action at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, when they take on No. 6 Arizona.  


Waco Regional
Louisiana-Lafayette def. NORTHWESTERN, 3-2 / Recap and Box Score
The Wildcats are eliminated from NCAA Championships and end the 2009 campaign with a 31-15 overall record.


Saturday, May 16

Friday's NCAA Championships Results:

Ann Arbor Regional
- MICHIGAN vs. Miami (Ohio)
The Michigan-Miami (Ohio) game has been suspended until Saturday. Play will resume from bottom of the third with Michigan leading, 3-2.

Atlanta Regional - Auburn def. IOWA, 1-0 /
Recap and Box Score
Up next, the Hawkeyes (42-15) will face Boston (41-17) 2:30 p.m. (CT) Saturday in the loser's bracket. The Terriers fell to No. 14 Georgia Tech on Friday. Iowa will need to defeat Boston in order to remain in the double-elimination tournament.

Hawkeye senior Brittany Weil took the loss, but broke two school records Friday night. Weil tossed her 182nd career game, and her 110th career complete game, both of which set new school record marks.

Columbia Regional - ILLINOIS vs. Missouri
The Illinois-Missouri game was halted due to inclement weather conditions in the Columbia area. Play will resume at 11 a.m. (CT) Saturday, with the Illini at a 1-0 advantage.

Louisville Regional - Louisville def. PURDUE, 4-1 / Recap and Box Score
The Boilermakers (29-19) return to the field at noon Saturday, when they take on UT Martin (38-23) in an elimination game. The Skyhawks suffered a 9-3 loss to No. 6 Arizona Friday afternoon in first-round action.

Waco Regional
- Texas State def. NORTHWESTERN, 8-0 (5) / Recap and Box Score
Northwestern (31-14) will face Louisiana-Lafayette (43-12), which dropped a 2-1 first-round decision to regional host Baylor on Friday. The Wildcats are set to square off against the Ragin' Cajuns at 4 p.m. (CT) Saturday in an elimination game.



Friday, May 15

NCAA Championships

Columbus Regional: Ohio State downs Canisius in Opening Round
Kim Reeder
tied the single-season record for shutouts with her 11th of the year as the No. 11-ranked and seeded Ohio State softball team defeated Canisius, 3-0, Thursday night at New Buckeye Field in the team’s first game of the NCAA Regional in Columbus. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 45-9 on the season. Ohio State will face Brigham Young at 2:30 p.m. Friday with Canisius and Kentucky taking the field at approximately 5 p.m.

OSU def. Canisius, 3-0 / Recap and Box Score

Below is a preview of Friday's regional matchups: (Big Ten games only)

Ann Arbor Regional - MICHIGAN vs. Miami (Ohio) / 7 p.m. (ET)
Atlanta Regional - IOWA vs. Auburn / 5 p.m. (ET)
Columbia Regional - ILLINOIS vs. Missouri / 5 p.m. (CT)
Louisville Regional - PURDUE vs. Louisville / 6 p.m. (ET)
Waco Regional - NORTHWESTERN vs. Texas State / 5 p.m. (CT)

Wednesday, May 13

NCAA Championships Preview: Six teams will represent the Big Ten Conference in the 2009 NCAA Softball Championships with regional play beginning on May 14, and continuing through the evening of May 17. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State and Purdue were selected to compete in the 64-team field.

Illinois will travel to Columbia, Mo., to begin NCAA tournament competition against regional host No. 12-ranked Missouri on Friday, May 15. The Illini are returning to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2004, marking their third postseason berth in program history. In their last appearance in the national tournament, the Orange and Blue advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Illinois finished the regular season slate with a 29-15 overall record and went 12-7 in conference action. The Illini will look to halt the momentum of the Missouri Tigers, who are coming off an upset over No. 9 Oklahoma to capture the Big 12 Tournament title. The winner of the nightcap will face the victor of the DePaul vs. Bradley matchup.

The Iowa Hawkeyes have Georgia on their mind as they head to the Atlanta Regional to begin first round action on Friday against Auburn, slated for a 4 p.m. (CT) first pitch. This marks the ninth NCAA Championships appearance in the last 10 seasons for the Hawkeyes, and their 16th trip to the postseason overall. Iowa is currently 31-31 in NCAA action, and 26-23 in regional contests. The Hawkeyes completed the 2009 campaign fourth in the Big Ten standings, compiling a 42-14 overall record. Friday will mark the first clash between Iowa and Auburn in NCAA Tournament play, and the first meeting between the two teams since 2005 when the Hawkeyes split the series with the Tigers. Georgia Tech and Boston will follow the afternoon contest, with Friday’s winning teams scheduled to face off at noon Saturday.

The No. 7-ranked Michigan earned the No. 5 overall seed in this year’s NCAA Championships and will play host for the eighth straight season at the Wilpon Softball Complex. The Wolverines (41-10, 17-3) welcome three conference tournament champions in No. 25 Notre Dame, Cleveland Stat, and Miami (Ohio) in the double-elimination event. The 2009 Big Ten Champion will open regional action against Miami on Friday at 7 p.m. Michigan owns a near-perfect 8-1 record in the all-time series against Miami (32-22), with the last meeting coming at the 2008 Louisville Classic when the Wolverines topped the RedHawks, 12-0, in five innings. U-M is making its 15th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its 16th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. Last season, the Wolverines earned three straight victories en route to their fourth consecutive Super Regional appearance.

Northwestern will travel to the Lone Star State to square off against Texas State in its opening contest at 5 p.m. (CT) Friday. The two teams will join Louisiana-Lafayette and host Baylor in the Waco Regional. The No. 13-ranked Wildcats enter its seventh straight and 12th overall appearance as the No. 12 overall seed in the NCAA Championships. NU continues to uphold its strong Championships history, earning a seed in every season since the tournament went to the current 16 Regional format in 2005. The Wildcats currently hold a 25-15 record in their six previous NCAA Tournament appearances. Northwestern finished the regular season with a 31-13 overall record and went 12-10 against foes in the 64-team field.

The 11-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes welcome the NCAA Championships back to Columbus for the second time in three years this weekend and will host Canisius, BYU and Kentucky in regional action. OSU is making its sixth appearance in the NCAA tournament and is currently 7-10 at the regional level. The Buckeyes (44-9, 16-4) will look to capture their first trip to a Super Regional as they begin tournament play against the Golden Griffins (26-23) on Thursday.

Purdue (29-18, 12-8 ) is making its second straight NCAA Regional appearance after posting its best conference mark since 1997 and finishing sixth in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers will travel to Louisville, Ky., to face off with No. 19 Louisville on Friday. The two squads will be joined by UT Martina and No. 6 Arizona, to complete the four-team regional lineup. The Boilermaker squad, which returns 14 letterwinners from the 2008 team that earned the first NCAA Tournament berth and victory in program history, posted four wins over Top 25 foes in 2009 and faced off against 12 members of the NCAA field.

Tuesday, May 12

In the Polls: Florida enters the postseason atop the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll for a 10th consecutive week and as a unanimous selection for a fifth straight week. UCLA, Washington, Alabama and Stanford round out the top-five in the poll, while the Bruins, Huskies and Crimson Tide moving up one spot apiece in the national standings. Michigan moved up one spot from last week into No. 7, while Ohio State and Northwestern held steadfast at No. 11 and No. 13, respectively.

The Amateur Softball Association also announced Florida as the No. 1 team in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll. Three Big Ten squads made the final regular season poll for 2009, with two teams wrapping up the spring campaign in the Top-10. The Top-10 teams remain the same with No. 6 Michigan and No. 10 Ohio State seeing no movement from last week, while Northwestern dropped one spot to No. 13. 

After falling out of the Top-25 two weeks ago, Iowa continues to receive votes in both polls.

Among the Nation's Best: Iowa senior pitcher Brittany Weil has been named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week for the week ending May 10, 2009, the NFCA announced today.

Weil went 4-0 last week with a 0.30 ERA for the Hawkeyes to close out the regular season. The Garden, Grove, Calif., native tossed her fifth no-hitter of the season in Game 1 against Wisconsin, breaking Iowa's career record for most hitless games in a career. She took a perfect game into the fifth with the Hawkeyes leading 8-0, but committed a throwing error with one out in the inning. She managed to get the final two outs after a 45-minute rain delay to secure the no-hitter.

In her farewell appearance at Pearl Field, Weil stamped her name in Iowa softball lore by shattering the Hawkeyes’ single-season strikeout record while also tying the program’s career record for wins (99), complete games (109) and games pitched (181). She capped off a stellar Senior Day performance by fanning 20 batters to set the new single-season mark at 328.

For the week, Weil went 4-0 with complete game shutouts and an atomic 0.30 ERA. She recorded 23.2 innings of work and struck out 32 of the 51 batters she faced.

'Monday, May 11

NCAA Bound: Six Big Ten squads earned bids to the 2009 NCAA Softball Championship. The SEC led all conferences with nine teams in the championship, while the Big 12 placed seven and the Big Ten and the Pacific-10 each placed six. Congratulations to Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State and Purdue on being selected to the 64-team field.

The championship will be three weekends of competition. Four teams will participate at each of 16 regional sites in a double-elimination tournament. Sixteen teams were seeded and placed at one of the regional sites. The regional winners will advance to super regional competition for a best-of-three series May 21-24 at eight campus sites.

NCAA.com 2009 Softball Championship Bracket

Weekend Results:

Friday, May 8
MICHIGAN def. MICHIGAN STATE, 8-2 / Recap and Box Score
NORTHWESTERN def. WISCONSIN, 3-0 / Recap and Box Score

Saturday, May 9

PURDUE swept INDIANA, 2-1 and 8-7 / Recap and Box Score
MICHIGAN STATE def. MICHIGAN, 2-1 / Recap and Box Score
OHIO STATE swept PENN STATE, 6-0 and 2-0 / Recap and Box Score
IOWA swept MINNESOTA, 2-0 and 3-0 / Recap and Box Score
NORTHWESTERN def. WISCONSIN, 2-0 / Recap and Box Score



Sunday, May 10

Congratulations to the 12 Big Ten athletes who were named to the 2009 Academic All-District Softball Teams as selected by CoSIDA:

District II
Second Team
IF Danielle Kinle, PENN STATE / Sr. / Carlsbad, Calif.

District IV
First Team
P Kimberly Reeder, OHIO STATE / Sr. / Salinas, Calif.
OF Angela Findlay, MICHIGAN / Jr. / Lockport, Ill.

Second Team
IF Victoria Haddad, OHIO STATE / Jr. /  Valparaiso, Fla.

District V
First Team
IF Liane Horiuchi,  PURDUE / Jr. / Wahiawa, Hawaii

Second Team
P Briana Hassett, MINNESOTA / Sr. / Eagan, Minn.
C Shannon Stemper, MINNESOTA / Sr. / Burnsville, Minn.
IF Candace Curtis, PURDUE / Sr. / Danville, Calif.
IF Danielle Zymkowitz, ILLINOIS / So. / West Hills, Calif.
OF Hope Howell, ILLINOIS / Jr. / Lithonia, Ga.
OF Kelly Quinn, NORTHWESTERN / So. / Northbrook, Ill.

District VII
First Team
DP Colleen McGlaughlin, IOWA / Sr. / Morton, Ill.

Friday, May 8

Race for the Conference Title: The No. 8-ranked Michigan Wolverines swept No. 11 Ohio State in Wednesday night’s doubleheader to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten Conference title. With the sweep, the Wolverines improved their winning streak to a whopping 20 consecutive victories and improved to 16-2 in conference action. Michigan now owns 12 regular season titles, amassing at least six more than any other Big Ten school and the second in as many seasons.

The Wolverines look to face in-state foe Michigan State in the upcoming weekend series, beginning Friday at 6 p.m. U-M could claim the conference championship outright with a sweep over the Spartans, or if the Buckeyes lose in their home contest against Penn State on Saturday. With the win over OSU, Michigan owns the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage, and will receive the Big Ten automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Below is a preview of this weekend’s games:

Friday, May 8
MICHIGAN STATE at MICHIGAN at 6 p.m.
MINNESOTA at IOWA at 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 9
PURDUE at INDIANA at 1 p.m. (DH)
MICHIGAN at MICHIGAN STATE at 1 p.m.
PENN STATE at OHIO STATE at 2 p.m. (DH)
MINNESOTA at IOWA at 3 p.m.
NORTHWESTERN at WISCONSIN at 7 p.m.

Sunday, May 10
NORTHWESTERN at WISCONSIN at 3 p.m.

Thursday, May 7

Wednesday Results:
MICHIGAN def. OHIO STATE, 6-3, 5-2  Recap and Box Score
IOWA def. WISCONSIN, 8-0 (5), 5-4 (9) Recap and Box Score

Wednesday, May 6

No. 11 Ohio State will travel to face border rival No. 8 Michigan in a pivotal twinbill on Wednesday night, slated to begin at 5 p.m. (ET) at the Wilpon Softball Complex. Currently notched in a tie as the conference frontrunners in the Big Ten standings, the two teams will vie for a chance to secure the regular season crown and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

OSU enters the contest on the heels of a sweep over then-No. 12 Northwestern last weekend as it continues to maintain its reign atop the Big Ten standings for the third consecutive week with a 14-2 conference ledger. The Buckeyes have won 16 of their last 17 games and will look to improve their seven-game win streak and claim sole possession of the conference’s top spot.

Michigan registered a pair of sweeps over Indiana and Iowa last week to improve their Big Ten slate to 14-2. The Wolverines did not see a loss during the entire month of April, winning their last 18 contests, including 14 against conference opponents.

The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network, with Leah Secondo and Heather Lyke calling the action.

Tonight’s Games:
OHIO STATE at MICHIGAN 5 p.m. (DH)
WISCONSIN at IOWA  6 p.m. (DH)

Narrowing the Field: Northwestern senior infielder Tammy Williams was selected as one of 10 finalists for the 8th Annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award today by the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States. The award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women’s collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.

The Top 10 list represents 10 schools and five different NCAA Division I Conferences. The list is comprised of five seniors, four juniors, and one sophomore. The 2009 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be chosen from the 10 finalists.

The three finalists will be announced May 20th while the winner of the 2009 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced prior to the start of the 2009 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

2009 Top 10 Finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year
Stacie Chambers (Arizona) – Junior – Catcher – Glendale, Az.
Kaitlin Cochran (Arizona State) - Senior- Outfield - Yorba Linda, Calif.
Amber Flores (Oklahoma) – Junior – Infield – Calexico, Calif.
Alisa Goler (Georgia) – Sophomore – Infield – Frankfort, Ill.
Danielle Lawrie (Washington) – Junior - Pitcher – Langley, British Columbia
Charlotte Morgan (Alabama) – Junior– Pitcher/Utility – Moreno Valley, Calif.
Stacey Nelson (Florida) – Senior – Pitcher – Los Alamitos, Calif.
Amber Patton (DePaul) – Senior – Third Base - Forsyth, Ill.
Missy Penna (Stanford) – Senior – Pitcher/Infield – Miami, Fla.
Tammy Williams (Northwestern) – Senior – Infield - Roscoe, Mo.

Tuesday, May 5

In the Polls:
The Amateur Softball Association announced Florida the No.1 team in the nation according to the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll. Florida (52-3) received 19 first-place votes after wrapping up the regular season with a three-game sweep over Longwood.

The Top Five remained the same with No. 4 Stanford (44-6) earning the remaining first-place vote. Michigan (38-9) maintained its position at No. 6 after sweeping Indiana and Iowa last week. Arizona State (38-15) fell out of the Top 10 to No.11 after going 1-4 this weekend against Arizona and then-No. 14 California while No.10 Ohio State (42-7) entered into the Top 10 for the first time all season. Meanwhile, Northwestern (29-13) dropped out of the Top 10, dropping two spots to No. 12. 

No. 25 ULL made it back into the Top 25 going 3-0 on the weekend after the week before clinching their eighth regular season Sun Belt Conference Title.  Iowa (38-14) fell out of the Top 25, suffering three losses on the week, including two against then-No.6 Michigan.

It’s a huge week of play this week as five teams from the Top Ten are set to face off other Top-Ten squads.

Top Ten Matchups
May 6
No.10 Ohio State @ No. 6 Michigan        5:00 p.m./ET
No.10 Ohio State @ No. 6 Michigan        7:00 p.m./ET

May 7
No.4 Stanford @ No. 5 Washington         1:00 p.m./PT

For a ninth consecutive week, the Florida Gators also sit atop the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll, and for a fourth consecutive week, UF is a unanimous choice atop the poll. Stanford took over the No. 2 spot, bumping UCLA down to No. 3 from last week. Washington and Alabama continue to round out the top-five.

Conference frontrunners Michigan and Ohio State maintained their positions from last week, standing strong at No. 8 and No. 11, respectfully, while Northwestern moved down one notch to No. 13. Meanwhile, Iowa dropped out of the poll but continues to receive votes.

Monday, May 4

Weekend Results:

Saturday, May 2
WISCONSIN def. MICHIGAN STATE, 2-1 / Recap and Box Score 
PURDUE at IUPUI - Rain in the Indianapolis area forced unplayable field conditions at the IUPUI Softball Complex, prompting the cancellation of Saturday's doubleheader.   
ILLINOIS def. MINNESOTA, 5-4 / Recap and Box Score   
INDIANA def.PENN STATE, 4-3 / Recap and Box Score  
OHIO STATE def. NORTHWESTERN, 7-6 / Recap and Box Score 
MICHIGAN def. IOWA, 2-1 / Recap and Box Score   

Sunday, May 3
PENN STATE def. INDIANA, 9-1 / Recap and Box Score
MICHIGAN def. IOWA, 6-0 / Recap and Box Score   
MICHIGAN STATE def. WISCONSIN, 5-3 / Recap and Box Score 
ILLINOIS def. MINNESOTA, 2-1 / Recap and Box Score   
OHIO STATE def. NORTHWESTERN, 10-1 / Recap and Box Score

Noteworthy: Michigan sophomore pitcher Jordan Taylor tossed a career-best 16 strikeouts in Sunday’s win over Iowa, claiming her seventh complete-game shutout of the season against the Hawkeyes.

Alicia Herron broke the all-time Ohio State record for freshman homeruns with two against No. 12-ranked Northwestern in the Buckeyes’ 10-1 defeat over the Wildcats on Sunday. Herron launched a two and three-run blast in back-to-back at-bats, accounting for five of OSU’s runs and giving her 11 round-trippers on the year to fracture the previous record of 10 achieved by teammate Sam Marder in 2007 and Kristine Himes in 2000.


Friday, May 1

Down the Stretch: Things heat up this weekend as No. 11 Ohio State travels to Evanston, Ill., to face No. 12 Northwestern in a pivotal conference title showdown. The Buckeyes maintain a share of the Big Ten lead with a 12-2 record while the Wildcats are a mere one game back in the title race, sitting at 12-4 in conference play. Earlier this week, the No. 8-ranked Michigan Wolverines surged to the top of the Big Ten standings with a doubleheader sweep over Indiana on Wednesday. The Maize and Blue are perfect in their last 16 outings, and currently share the conference’s top spot with OSU at 12-2 in conference action. In its first year without a conference tournament, the Big Ten regular-season champion will earn the coveted automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Below is a preview of this weekend’s games:

Saturday, May 2
WISCONSIN at MICHIGAN STATE 1 p.m.
PURDUE at IUPUI   1 p.m. (DH)
ILLINOIS at MINNESOTA   2 p.m.
INDIANA at PENN STATE  2 p.m.
OHIO STATE at NORTHWESTERN 2 p.m.
IOWA at MICHIGAN   6 p.m.

Sunday, May 3
INDIANA at PENN STATE  1 p.m.
IOWA at MICHIGNA   1 p.m.
WISCONSIN at MICHIGAN STATE 1 p.m.
ILLINOIS at MINNESOTA   2 p.m.
OHIO STATE at NORTHWESTERN 2 p.m.

Thursday, April 30

Wednesday's Results:
ILLINOIS at Purdue
Game One: Purdue, 4-1 Recap / Box Score
Game Two: Illinois, 10-6 Recap / Box Score

PENN STATE at MICHIGAN STATE
Game One: Penn State, 6-3 Recap / Box Score
Game Two: Michigan State, 3-2 Recap / Box Score

INDIANA at MICHIGAN
Game One: Michigan, 5-1 Recap / Box Score
Game Two: Michigan, 7-1 Box Score


Western Michigan at OHIO STATE 
Game One: Ohio State, 2-0 Recap / Box Score
Game Two: Ohio State, 1-0 Box Score

Drake def. IOWA, 1-0 Recap / Box Score

WISCONSIN def. Northern Illinois, 2-0 Recap / Box Score


Noteworthy: Penn State ‘s Danielle Kinley recorded a pair of doubles in Wednesday's doubleheader to surpass the all-time record previously held by Ashley Esparza. The senior first baseman has now amassed 46 doubles in her career as a Nittany Lion.  

Wisconsin senior Leah Vanevenhoven pitched a complete-game shutout striking out seven in the win over Northern Illinois on Wednesday.

Tonight's Games:
Rain in the Fort Wayne, Ind., area has forced the cancellation of Thursday's scheduled softball game between Purdue and IPFW. The contest will not be rescheduled.

Wednesday, April 29

Tuesday’s Results:
NORTHWESTERN def. DePaul, 12-4 (6) Recap / Box Score

Noteworthy:  Wildcat junior Kelly Dyer went 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs, including a grand slam in Northwestern’s win over No. 19 DePaul on Tuesday.  Her performance tied the school single-game record set by her sister, Erin Dyer, in 2006 with eight RBI.

With the win, NU improves to 9-5 on the year against ranked opponents.

Below is a preview of tonight's games:
ILLINOIS at PURDUE   3 p.m. (DH)
PENN STATE at MICHIGAN STATE 3 p.m. (DH)
INDIANA at MICHIGAN   4 p.m. (DH)
Western Michigan at OHIO STATE 5 p.m. (DH)
Drake at IOWA    6 p.m.
Northern Illinois at WISCONSIN  6 p.m.

Tuesday, April 28

In the Polls: For the eighth consecutive week, the Florida Gators (49-3) remain atop the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll, earning their third straight unanimous selection at the No. 1 spot. UCLA continues at the No. 2 spot in the poll with Stanford moving up two spots to No. 3. Washington falls one spot to No. 4 while Alabama broke the top five, moving up one spot from No. 6 last week. Michigan is currently notched in a tie for No. 8 with Georgia. Ohio State and Northwestern just missed the top-10, sitting at No. 11 and No.12, respectfully, while Iowa rounds out the poll at No. 25, maintaining its position from last week. The Buckeyes' No. 11 national ranking is the highest for any OSU team in program history.

Florida was also named the No. 1 team in the nation according to the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll announced today by the Amateur Softball Association. Michigan maintained its position from last week at No. 6, and is the only Big Ten team to rank in this week’s top-10. The Northwestern Wildcats fell three spots in the national poll to No. 10 after suffering a pair of tough losses at home to Illinois over the weekend. Ohio State held its spot at No. 12 while Iowa moved up one spot to No. 24.

Noteworthy: Illinois’ Katrina Ross was named Big Ten Softball Player of the Week after leading the Illini’s sweep over then-No. 11 Northwestern. Ross delivered the walk-off homerun in Saturday’s contest and blasted another over the fence in the finale on Sunday. The Illini senior batted .500 (3-for-6) while slugging 1.500 and drove in five runs during the two-game stretch. Iowa’s Brittany Weil was also named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week after picking up three wins for the Hawkeyes. In 11 innings of work, Weil did not allow a single earned run, striking out 19 batters with just one walk. Overall, Weil gave up only four hits and finished the week with a .105 opponent batting average.

Tonight’s Games:
DePaul at NORTHWESTERN 5 p.m.

 

 

 

 

MICHIGAN STATE splits doubleheader with Oakland
Game One: MICHIGAN STATE def. Oakland, 5-1  Box Score
Game Two: Oakland def. MICHIGAN STATE, 4-3  Box Score
Recap


PENN STATE
splits doubleheader with Maryland
Game One: PENN STATE def. Maryland, 3-2
Game Two: Maryland def. PENN STATE, 2-0
Recap / Box Score


Noteworthy:
Penn State senior first baseman Danielle Kinley recorded her 44th career double in game one of Thursday's doubleheader against Maryland to tie the program's all-time doubles record. Kinley now shares the title with former teammate Ashley Esparza. 

 

Thursday, April 23

Wednesday's Results:
INDIANA def. Ball State, 2-1, 8-0 Game One Recap and Box Score / Game Two Recap and Box Score
WISCONSIN splits with MINNESOTA, 0-4, 2-1 Game One Recap and Box Score / Game Two Recap and Box Score
NORTHWESTERN def. Northern Illinois, 6-4 Recap and Box Score
OHIO STATE splits with Purdue, 2-3, 4-1 Recap and Box Scores


Noteworthy: Tammy Williams belted two of No. 11 Northwestern's five homers in the Wildcats' win over Northern Illinois to fracture NU's all-time home run record with the 55th and 56th shots of her career.  The Wildcat senior launched a two-run blast in the third inning to tie Garland Cooper's (2004-07) mark before blasting a solo shot over the fence in the fifth to break the record. She now has the second-most home runs in Big Ten Conference softball history.

Tonight's Games:
The Illinois softball team's game at Eastern Illinois scheduled for 6 p.m. today has been canceled. No make up date has been scheduled.

 

Oakland vs. MICHIGAN STATE
PENN STATE at Maryland

Wednesday, April 22

Iowa posted a 5-3 victory at Northern Iowa on Tuesday, improving their spring slate to 36-11 overall. Meanwhile, Michigan State recorded its second shutout of the season, routing Bowling Green 8-0 in just five innings in front of a home crowd. Northwestern's Tuesday game at Notre Dame was cancelled due to inclement weather. The make-up date has yet to be scheduled.

Tuesday Results:
IOWA def. Northern Iowa ,5-3  
Recap and Box Score
MICHIGAN STATE def. Bowling Green, 8-0 Recap and Box Score
NORTHWESTERN @ Notre Dame, cancelled

Tonight's Games:
Ball State @ INDIANA    
Oakland @ MICHIGAN STATE  
MINNESOTA @ WISCONSIN  
Northern Illinois @ NORTHWESTERN  
PURDUE @ OHIO STATE  
PENN STATE @ Maryland 

Noteworthy: Iowa head softball coach Gayle Blevins announced today that Stephanie Ochoa has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Iowa next fall. Ochoa currently attends Iowa Lakes Community College and will have two years of eligibility at Iowa. Ochoa hails from Stanton, Calif., where she was previously high school teammates with current Hawkeye pitcher Brittany Weil at Pacifica High School. In her second season at Iowa Lakes, Ochoa currently leads the team with a .577 batting average and has recorded a team-best 60 RBI. For her efforts as a freshman, Ochoa was named a National Fastpitch Coaches Associatin (NFCA) first team all-American and a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) second team all-American. 

Tuesday, April 21

Noteworthy: Northwestern's Adrienne Monka  was named Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week. The Wildcat freshman first baseman hit .765 (13-for-17) in five games last week, driving in 13 runs and slugging 1.706. At one point during the week, she had base hits in eight-consecutive at-bats, a streak that is tied for ninth longest in NCAA Division I history. For her efforts, Monka was also named Big Ten Player of the Week. 

Ohio State's Kim Reeder was recognized as the Big Ten Conference's Pitcher of the Week. The Buckeye senior earned all three wins for the then No. 15-ranked Buckeyes last week. The Salinas, Calif., native did not allow a single run to improve to 19-3 on the season, moving to within six games of tying the all-time career wins record at Ohio State.


Monday, April 20

Saturday's Games:
PURDUE def. NORTHWESTERN Recap / Box Score
OHIO STATE def. WISCONSIN, 10-0 Box Score
IOWA def. MICHIGAN STATE, 8-0 Recap / Box Score
PENN STATE def. MINNESOTA, 1-0 Recap / Box Score
MICHIGAN def. ILLINOIS, 8-2 Box Score


Sunday's Games:
MICHIGAN def. ILLINOIS, 8-3 Recap / Box Score
MINNESOTA def. PENN STATE, 1-0 Recap / Box Score
NORTHWESTERN def. PURDUE, 10-8 Recap / Box Score
OHIO STATE def. WISCONSIN, 6-5 Recap / Box Score
IOWA def. MICHIGAN STATE, 4-3 Recap / Box Score



Noteworthy: Iowa senior Brittany Weil became the first Hawkeye pitcher and only the eighth in Big Ten history to record 1,000 career strikeouts during game two of Saturday's doubleheader against Michigan State. Weil relieved starter Amanda Zust in the fifth inning where she recorded her historical strikeout under pressure with the bases loaded and two outs on the board. With a lot of softball still left to play in the spring, Weil is already Iowa's all-time strikeout leader, recording 1,007 K's in games played to date.

Friday, April 17

Thursday's Games:
NORTHWESTERN def. Loyola (Chicago), 6-0 Recap and Box Score
PURDUE def. Valparaiso, 7-1 Recap and Box Score
PENN STATE splits with St. Francis (Pa.) Recap and Box Score


Thursday, April 16

Wednesday's Games:
NORTHWESTERN def. IOWA, 6-5, 16-5 Game One Recap and Box Score / Game Two Recap and Box Score
MICHIGAN STATE def. Central Michigan, 7-6 Recap and Box Score
PURDUE def. Ball State, 7-1 Recap and Box Score
OHIO STATE def. Evansville, 6-2 Recap and Box Score
ILLINOIS def. INDIANA, 5-0, 3-2 Recap and Box Scores
MICHIGAN def. Eastern Michigan, 9-0 Recap and Box Score

 

Noteworthy: Illini freshman pitcher Monica Perry fanned a combined 20 batters to set a program single-season record in Illinois' sweep over the Hoosiers on Wednesday night. Perry's 186 strikeouts surpassed Amanda Fortune's record of 182 set in 2004, and her 12 strikeouts in the nightcap are the second-most in a single game; Fortune still holds the record for 13 K's in a single game, which she set in 2001.

Wednesday, April 15

Tuesday's Games:
PENN STATE def. Kent State, 2-0 Recap and Box Score
Bowling Green at MICHIGAN STATE, postponed. Rescheduled for April 21
Notre Dame def. WISCONSIN, 5-0 and 4-2 Recap


The Race for Big Ten Supremacy: Northwestern and Ohio State are currently notched in a tie for first place in the conference standings and are 9-1 (.900) against Big Ten opponents in games played to date. The Wildcats will have a chance to take sole possession of the conference lead as they prepare to play host in tonight's doubleheader against Iowa. The Buckeyes will welcome Evansville to Columbus in tonight's matchup, and will return to conference action on Saturday when they travel to Madison to face Wisconsin. Michigan sits in third place in the conference race with a 6-2 (.750) slate, while Iowa stands in the fourth spot at 5-3 (.625). Illinois and Purdue round out the conference's top six squads and are currently tied for fifth place with 5-5 (.500) records.

Tuesday, April 14

 

 

 

 

Monday, April 13

Saturday's Games:
INDIANA def. MICHIGAN STATE, 3-1 Recap and Box Score
OHIO STATE def. ILLINOIS, 5-0 Recap and Box Score
IOWA def. PURDUE, 3-0 Recap and Box Score
MICHIGAN def. MINNESOTA, 4-1 Recap and Box Score
PENN STATE def. WISCONSIN, 2-1 Recap and Box Score

Sunday's Games:
INDIANA def. MICHIGAN STATE, 5-2 Recap and Box Score
OHIO STATE def. ILLINOIS, 17-15 Recap and Box Score

MICHIGAN def. MINNESOTA, 7-0 Recap and Box Score
IOWA def. PURDUE, 4-0 Recap and Box Score
PENN STATE def. WISCONSIN, 4-0 Recap and Box Score


Friday, April 10

ILLINOIS def. Bradley, 4-0 Recap and Box Score 

Noteworthy: Ohio State junior all-America catcher Sam Marder has accepted an invitation to the 2009 USA Softball Women’s National Team Selection Camp in Chula Vista, Calif., June 8-12. Marder is one of 27 athletes among the initial round of invitations. The Buckeye first-year captain currently leads the Big Ten in homeruns with 14 and has amassed 38 in her career. So far this season, Marder boasts a .944 slugging percentage and has recorded 32 RBI to add to her 135 total, good enough to rank third all-time in program history.

Illinois second baseman Danielle Zymkowitz became the second Illini to earn recognition in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd section of the April 13 issue. Look here to view the Faces in the crowd section online.

Thursday, April 9

Wednesday's Games:
OHIO STATE def. INDIANA, 14-4, 1-0
 Recap and Box Score
PURDUE def. MICHIGAN STATE, 12-0, 8-3 Game One Recap and Box Score / Game 2 Recap and Box Score
MICHIGAN def. Central Michigan, 7-2 Recap and Box Score
IOWA def. Western Illinois, 9-1 Recap and Box Score
NORTHWESTERN splits with MINNESOTA, 6-1, 8-3 Game One Recap and Box Score /Game 2 Recap and Box Score
Northern Iowa def. WISCONSIN 9-0, 8-0 Recap and Box Scores 

Wednesday, April 8

Tuesday's Games:
IOWA def. Iowa State, 7-1 
Recap / Box Score
ILLINOIS def. Illinois State Recap / Box Score

Tuesday, April 7

Noteworthy: Northwestern's Nicole Pauly and Michigan's Nikki Nemitz were named player and pitcher of the week, respectfully, on Monday, April 6.  The Wildcat junior led Northwestern to a pair of series sweeps against Michigan State and Indiana during the week, batting .875 over four games and slugging 2.125 while reaching base at a .917 clip in front of a home crowd in Evanston, Ill. The Michigan junior claimed all four decisions in the Wolverines' back-to-back doubleheader sweeps against Penn State and Purdue, including two wins in relief, to up her season record to 17-5. The Wolverine junior allowed just two runs and seven hits over the 23.2 inning stretch while fanning 37.

Tonight's Games:
Iowa State at IOWA  6 p.m.
Illinois State at ILLINOIS  7 p.m.

Monday, April 6

Saturday's Games:
NORTHWESTERN def. INDIANA, 3-1 Recap / Box Score
MICHIGAN def. PURDUE, 3-1 Box Score
OHIO STATE def. MINNESOTA, 1-0 Box Score
ILLINOIS def. WISCONSIN, 8-0 (5) Box Score
PENN STATE def. IOWA, 1-0

NORTHWESTERN def. INDIANA, 8-0 (5) Recap / Box Score
MICHIGAN def. PURDUE, 4-3 Recap / Box Score
OHIO STATE def. MINNESOTA, 1-0 Recap / Box Score
ILLINOIS def. WISCONSIN, 3-2  Recap / Box Score
PENN STATE def. IOWA, 2-1 Recap / Box Score


Friday, April 3

The Big Ten returns to action on Saturday, April 4 as 10 teams prepare to clash in conference matchups.

The Hoosiers will look to disrupt No. 8/7 Northwestern's unblemished conference slate as they travel to Evanston, Ill., this weekend. Illinois and Penn State will also hit the road this weekend to face Wisconsin and Iowa, respectively. Both teams will look to improve on their Big Ten records after going 0-2 in Wednesday's doubleheaders against Iowa and Michigan. After a week-long hiatus, Purdue will return to the field on Saturday and Sunday in Ann Arbor, Mich., where they will face the No. 10/9 Wolverines. Minnesota will welcome the No. 17/15-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes to Jane Sage Cowles Stadium, rounding out this weekend's outlook in Big Ten competition. 

Below is a preview of this weekend's conference matchups:

Saturday, April 4:
Indiana at Northwestern
Purdue at Michigan
Ohio State at Minnesota
Illinois at Wisconsin
Penn State at Iowa

Sunday, April 5:
Purdue at Michigan
Indiana at Northwestern
Ohio State at Minnesota
Illinois at Wisconsin
Penn State at Iowa

Thursday, April 2

Three Big Ten student-athletes were named to the list of 25 finalists for the 8th Annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award by the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), Wednesday. Congratulations to junior catcher Sam Marder of Ohio State, junior pitcher Nikki Nemitz of Michigan and senior infielder Tammy Williams of Northwestern on their selections. Considered to be the most prestigious honor in Division I women's collegiate softball, this award recognizes outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softbally players troughout the nation.

The Big Ten opened the month of April with nine teams in action, including six squads facing off against conference opponents. Highlighting Wednesday night's matches was Iowa's 1-0, 9-1 sweep over Big Ten foe Illinois. Senior Hawkeye Brittany Weil tossed only the third perfect game in Iowa softball history in front of a home crowd during Game 1 of the mid-week doubleheader. Weil joins all-American Debbie Bilbao as the only Iowa players to ever throw a perfect game.

Also in conference action, tenth-ranked Michigan routed Penn State on the road, earning a 9-1, 11-3 doubleheader sweep on Wednesday. Wolverine junior pitcher Nemitz posted 18 strike outs, while allowing only three hits, a walk and one unearned run in 13 innings of work. The Wolverines have now evened their conference record at 2-2.

The No. 8-ranked Northwestern Wildcats improved to 20-7 overall (6-0 Big Ten) after posting its own pair of victories in run-rule fashion over Michigan State. The `Cats belted its second straight walk-off home run to defeat the Spartans 11-2 after posting a 9-1 victory earlier that afternoon. Michigan State falls to 13-18 (o-5 Big Ten) with the loss.

In non-conference action, No. 17 Ohio State swept Ball State, 9-1 and 4-0, in a home doubleheader. Pitchers Kim Reeder and Lindsay Bodeker combined for 11 strikeouts against the Cardinals to help the Buckeyes improve to 26-6 in spring play. Meanwhile, Wisconsin split its non-conference doubleheader against Green Bay, overcoming a 4-0 deficit in the first game to post an 11-2 six-inning triumph in Game 2. The Badgers are now 12-22 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten action.

After rain halted Indiana's trip to Evansville on Tuesday, the Hoosiers hit the road on Wednesday for a mid-week match against the Aces. Although the Hoosiers put up a tough fight, battling their way back from a three-run deficit in the top of the seventh to tie the game, the Aces blasted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to edge Indiana 4-3. Sara Olson posted her fourth home run of the season and Emily Bergeson tied the game with a two-run single in the seventh, but it would not prove to be enough as the Cream and Crimson dropped to 5-24 (1-3 Big Ten).


Wednesday, April 1

Welcome to the Big Ten Softball blog. Your comprehensive stop for all things Big Ten softball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Polls: For the first time this season, one school has earned all first-place votes as Florida remains the No.1 team in the Nation according to the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll announced today by the Amateur Softball Association. Florida (42-3) is currently on an eight-game win streak in the SEC.

The Top 10 remained the same with No. 2 Stanford (35-4) holding its spot after going 1-2 this past weekend against  a now No. 14 California (28-12). UCLA (29-8) moved four spots this week to No.3, breaking the Top 5, after shutting out then-No. 3 Washington, 2-0 (11) and 10-0.

Michigan (29-9) maintains its spot at No. 8 and Northwestern (23-8) rounds out the top-10 teams in the national poll at No. 10. Ohio State (32-6) is currently tied with Oklahoma (31-13) at No. 15, moving up one spot from last week.
No. 23 Iowa (33-9) made its way into the Top 25 with a 4-0 week, outscoring opponents 25-2. Texas A&M (26-15) and Fresno State (26-17) fell out but did receive votes.

Noteworthy: Michigan's Angela Findlay and Iowa's Brittany Weil took home weekly accolades for player and pitcher of the week, as announced by the Big Ten Conference on Monday. The Wolver