May 14, 2014
Michigan's Sierra Romero was named one of 10 finalists for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year. The sophomore shortstop was also a finalist for the award last season in her freshman campaign. Romero enters the NCAA Tournament leading the nation in batting average with a mark of .510.
Michigan's Megan Betsa and Minnesota's Sara Groenewegen are among the top 10 finalists for the inaugural NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Trophy.
The Big Ten is one of three conferences, joining the Pac-12 and SEC, with five or more teams rated among the top 40 of the latest NCAA RPI. Minnesota leads the way at No. 16, followed by No. 20 Michigan, No. 21 Nebraska, No. 36 Wisconsin and No. 38 Northwestern.
Entering the NCAA Tournament, the Big Ten has four teams ranked among the top 25 in the national polls. In the ESPN.com/USA Softball ballot, Michigan leads the way at No. 13, followed by No. 16 Minnesota, No. 20 Nebraska and No. 25 Wisconsin. In the NFCA Coaches poll, Michigan is ranked 13th, followed by No. 14 Minnesota and No. 19 Nebraska. Wisconsin received votes in the coaches' poll, while Northwestern received votes in both national ballots. For seven consecutive weeks during the regular season, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Minnesota were ranked among the top 25 of the coaches' poll. In addition, the Wolverines, Cornhuskers and Golden Gophers were ranked in every USA Softball top 25 poll this year.