2008 Big Ten Softball Season in Review
June 17, 2008
Four Big Ten teams were selected to compete in the 2008 NCAA Softball Championship. Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern and Purdue all competed in the postseason, with Big Ten Co-Champions Michigan and Northwestern both advancing to super regional play.
The Wolverines hosted the opening regional weekend and swept through the first round, posting wins over Wright State, Notre Dame and Kent State, outscoring their opponents by a combined margin of 26-5. In the super regional, U-M took Game 1 over Virginia Tech, 1-0, but the Hokies rebounded the following day to win two straight to advance to the Women's College World Series.
Northwestern also hosted regional action to open NCAA Championship play. The Wildcats defeated Western Illinois and DePaul, winning both games by a score of 6-0. NU then met the Blue Demons again in the regional championship with DePaul winning Game 1, 3-2, to force a second game. The Wildcats prevailed in the finale to move on the super regionals. Northwestern's season ended with back-to-back losses to eventual national champion Arizona State.
Michigan and Northwestern were ranked nationally all season in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA polls. To end the season, the Wolverines ranked ninth and the Wildcats 12th in both polls.
Several student-athletes garnered national awards, including Michigan's Samantha Findlay and Northwestern's Tammy Williams each earning All-America honors as selected by Louisville Slugger/NFCA. In addition, Michigan's Jordan Taylor and Alessandra Giampaolo were selected to the second team, while Michigan's Nikki Nemitz and Ohio State's Brittany Vanderink and Sam Marder were named to the third team.