• Minnesota earned its first-ever No. 1 seed for the Big Ten Tournament after winning its first conference title since 1991 and fourth in school history. Michigan is the host institution for the tournament, which features a single-elimination format and begins Thursday, continuing through Saturday night’s championship game, with every game played at the Wilpon Complex/Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The tournament champion earns the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
• BTN will provide live coverage of the entire Big Ten Softball Tournament, televising all 11 games live on the linear network, as well as through the BTN2Go platform, which is available online (btn2go.com) and through the BTN2Go app.
• Minnesota is the reigning Big Ten Tournament champion, defeating Michigan 4-3 in 10 innings in last year’s title game. The Wolverines lead the conference with nine tournament titles, most recently hoisting the hardware in 2015.
• According to the latest NCAA Softball RPI ratings released on Monday, five Big Ten schools are among the top 50 in the nation — Minnesota (12), Michigan (21), Illinois (27), Ohio State (35) and Wisconsin (42).
• Minnesota was ranked in the top 10 in both NCAA Selection Committee regular-season reveals this year, placing No. 8 on April 22 and rising one spot to No. 7 on May 6.
• Minnesota received five first-place votes in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll this week, checking in at a program-best No. 2, while placing a school-record third in the USA Softball poll and earning four first-place votes. Michigan is ranked No. 17 in both polls this week, while Ohio State is tied for No. 24 in the USA Softball poll and receiving votes in the NFCA poll. Illinois is receiving votes in both polls, while Wisconsin earned votes in the USA Softball balloting.
• Nine Big Ten softball students representing five conference schools earned Academic All-District honors, it was announced May 4 by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Seven of the nine honorees collected first-team Academic All-District recognition — a trio of Illinois students (Stephanie Abello, Nicole Evans and Annie Fleming) — along with duos from Michigan State (Lea Foerster and Kristina Zalewski) and Minnesota (Sydney Dwyer and Sara Groenewegen). Meanwhile, Indiana’s CaraMia Tsirigos and Michigan’s Abby Ramirez received second-team Academic All-District plaudits.