Big Ten Honors Softball All-Conference Teams and Individual Award Winners
May 7, 2014
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten announced the 2014 All-Conference Teams and individual award winners on Wednesday. Michigan’s Sierra Romero captured Player of the Year honors for the second straight season, while Minnesota’s Sara Groenewegen became the first Golden Gopher to collect both Pitcher and Freshman of the Year honors in the same season. Nebraska’s Rhonda Revelle was tabbed the Big Ten Coach of the Year.
During her sophomore campaign, Romero led the conference in batting average (.516), slugging percentage (.968), on-base percentage (.663), runs scored (32) and walks (27) in Big Ten games only. She is hitting .511 on the season, which would mark the single-season Big Ten record for batting average in all games. Romero becomes the fifth Wolverine to win back-to-back Player of the Year awards, joining Patti Benedict (1992-93), Sara Griffin (1995-96), Traci Conrad (1998-99) and Amanda Chidester (2011-12). A Michigan student-athlete has won the last five Big Ten Player of the Year honors.
Groenewegen becomes the third Big Ten player to claim both the Pitcher and Freshman of the Year awards in the same season. She posted a record of 12-2 during the regular season, including seven wins in Big Ten play. Groenewegen led the conference in opposing batting average (.166), runs (32) and hits (58) allowed in Big Ten games only, while also recording 164 strikeouts. She was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on April 7 and collected three Freshman of the Week nods during the regular season.
Revelle guided Nebraska to a share of its first Big Ten Championship after posting an 18-5 record in conference play. The Huskers enter the Big Ten Tournament having won 15 of their last 16 games. Nebraska led the conference in slugging percentage (.596), doubles (45), home runs (35) and total bases (364) in Big Ten play and saw six players named to the All-Big Ten first or second team. Revelle is in her 22nd season as the Huskers’ mentor, and has led 17 teams to the NCAA Tournament.
Romero and Groenewegen were each named first-team All-Big Ten performers and were joined on the 18-member squad by Iowa’s Megan Blank, Michigan’s Lyndsay Doyle and Nicole Sappingfield, Minnesota’s Kaitlyn Richardson, and Tyler Walker, Nebraska’s Hailey Decker, Tatum Edwards and Taylor Edwards, Northwestern’s Marisa Bast and Brianna LeBeau, Ohio State’s Evelyn Carrillo, Cammi Prantil and Taylor Watkins, Purdue’s Ashley Burkhardt and Andie Varsho and Wisconsin’s Mary Massei. Doyle, Romero and Carrillo were all unanimous first-team selections.
Eighteen players were named second-team All-Big Ten honorees, while nine players were named to the conference’s All-Defensive Team. The Big Ten also announced the 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees from each institution. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
2014 Softball All-Conference Teams and Individual Awards
First Team All-Big Ten
Second Team All-Big Ten
Players in ALL CAPS denote unanimous selection
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sierra Romero, So., MICH
Sportsmanship Award Honorees: Jenna Mychko, ILL; Lora Olson, IND; Brianna Luna, IOWA; Katie Luetkens, MICH; Ellie Stoffer, MSU; Kelsey Klucas, MINN; Mattie Fowler, NEB; Fran Strub, NU; Caitlin Conrad, OSU; Maegan Tupinio, PSU; Maia Monchek, PUR; Ashley Van Zeeland, WIS