Big Ten Honors Softball All-Conference Teams and Individual Award Winners
May 8, 2013
Park Ridge, Ill. - The Big Ten announced the 2013 All-Conference teams and individual award winners on Wednesday. Michigan's Sierra Romero becomes the second student-athlete to win Player and Freshman of the Year honors in the same season, while Wolverine coach Carol Hutchins was named Coach of the Year. Nebraska's Tatum Edwards was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year.
Romero completed a freshman campaign in which she ranked among the conference's top 10 in various statistical categories during Big Ten contests. She established new single-season Big Ten records for both home runs (12) and runs scored (34), while her 35 RBI and 63 total bases rank second in conference history. She led the conference in slugging (1.125) and on-base percentage (.659), while her .464 batting average ranked second this season. She is the fifth consecutive Michigan standout to win Player of the Year honors and second straight to be named Freshman of the Year. In 1995, former Wolverine Sara Griffin became the first conference student-athlete to earn Player and Freshman of the Year accolades in the same season.
Edwards becomes the first Husker to win a Big Ten softball individual accolade after finishing Big Ten play with 11 wins and a conference-best 1.98 ERA. Allowing just 27 earned runs, despite pitching a conference-high 95.1 innings, Edwards held opponents to just .177 hitting during Big Ten play, which also ranked first among conference hurlers. In 13 starts, she threw 12 complete games, including three shutouts.
Hutchins helped guide the Wolverines to their sixth consecutive, and 16th overall, Big Ten Championship and the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan finished the season with a 20-2 conference mark, and 44-9 overall, and enters the postseason ranked among the nation's top 10. She has been named Coach of the Year in five of the last six seasons and 14 times overall.
Romero and Edwards were each named first-team All-Big Ten performers and were joined on the 20-member squad by Iowa's Megan Blank, Michigan's Caitlin Blanchard, Sara Driesenga, Ashley Lane, Sierra Lawrence and Lauren Sweet, Michigan State's Kylene Hopkins, Minnesota's Sara Moulton, Kaitlyn Richardson and Tyler Walker, Nebraska's Taylor Edwards, Northwestern's Amy Letourneau and Mary Majam, Penn State's Cassidy Bell, Purdue's Andie Varsho and Wisconsin's Cassandra Darrah, Mary Massei and Whitney Massey.
Sixteen players were named second-team All-Big Ten honorees, while 10 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. The complete list of honorees can be found below and on the PDF at the top of the page.
First Team All-Big Ten *
Second Team All-Big Ten
Player of the Year: Sierra Romero, Fr., SS, MICH
* Additional honorees due to tie
Sportsmanship Award Honorees: Jenna Mychko, ILL; Meaghan Murphy, IND; Sam Valentine, IOWA; Jaclyn Crummey, MICH; Ellie Stoffer, MSU; Kelsey Klucas, MINN; Mattie Fowler, NEB; Sammy Albanese, NU; Melissa Rennie, OSU; Cassidy Bell, PSU; Ashley Courtney, PUR; Maria Van Abel, WIS.