Thursday, May 11, 2017

Big Ten Awards: Minnesota Sweeps Individual Honors

The Minnesota Golden Gophers' terrific season continued Wednesday with the announcement that all four of the conference's major individual awards would be going home to Minneapolis.

Freshman catcher Kendyl Lindaman was named both the conference's Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. She follows her frequent battery mate Sara Groenewegen in being named the conference's Player of the Year, the latter having won the award in 2015.

Lindaman is the third Gopher in the last four years to take home the Freshman of the Year award, following Groenewegen in 2014 and Maddie Houlihan in 2016. On the year, the rookie boasts a .432 batting average, as well as nineteen home runs and a .932 slugging percentage. She leads her next-closest teammate by more than 300 points in slugging percentage and is the only Gopher to reach the double-digit threshold in home runs.

Groenewegen, in her own right, was named the Big Ten's Pitcher of the Year for her work in the circle; on the season, the Canadian product is 27-2 with an 0.60 ERA and an opponent's batting average of .153.

Rounding out the awards for the Gophers was head coach Jessica Allister, who earned Coach of the Year honors for the first time in her career. She is the first Gophers head coach to earn the COTY trophy since Teresa Wilson in 1991.

Four players unanimously earned all-conference first-team honors. Among them were Nicole Evans of Illinois; Megan Betsa of Michigan; Houlihan of Minnesota; and Lilli Piper of Ohio State. 

The Golden Gophers also led the conference with a total of eight selections to the all-conference teams. The Michigan Wolverines placed six representatives on the all-conference rosters, while Illinois, Nebraska, and Wisconsin earned three selections a piece. Indiana, Michigan State, and Northwestern boast a pair of representatives, while Penn State, Purdue, and Rutgers each had a single player selected.

Maryland and Iowa were the only teams not to have an all-conference selection.

The full rosters of the all-conference teams are below; players are listed in alphabetical order by team.

First Team All-Big Ten 
Nicole Evans, Sr., OF, ILL 
Breanna Wonderly, Sr., P, ILL 
CaraMia Tsirigos, Sr., DP, IND 
Megan Betsa, Sr., P, MICH 
Tera Blanco, Jr., UT, MICH 
Faith Canfield, So., 2B, MICH 
Kelly Christner, Sr., OF, MICH 
Lea Foerster, Jr., OF, MSU 
Allie Arneson, So., SS, MINN 
Sara Groenewegen, Sr., P, MINN 
Maddie Houlihan, So., OF, MINN 
Kendyl Lindaman, Fr., C, MINN 
Danielle Parlich, Jr., 3B, MINN 
Emily Clark, So., 2B, OSU 
Lilli Piper, So., SS, OSU 
Tori Dubois, So., OF, PSU 
Mallory Baker, So., 1B, PUR 
Taryn Atlee, Fr., 2B, RU 

Second Team All-Big Ten 
Leigh Farina, Jr., 2B, ILL 
Rebecca Blitz, Jr., OF, IND 
Natalie Peters, So., OF, MICH 
Abby Ramirez, Sr., SS, MICH 
Kaitlyn Eveland, So., 3B, MSU 
Sydney Dwyer, Jr., 1B, MINN 
Sam Macken, Sr., OF, MINN 
Dani Wagner, Jr., OF, MINN 
Kaylan Jablonski, Jr., UT, NEB 
MJ Knighten, Sr., 3B, NEB 
Alyvia Simmons, So., OF, NEB 
Marissa Panko, Jr., SS, NU 
Sabrina Rabin, Jr., OF, NU 
Shelby Hursh, Sr., P, OSU 
Taylor White, Jr., OF, OSU 
Kaitlyn Menz, Fr., P, WIS 
Chloe Miller, Sr., C, WIS 
Brooke Wyderski, Jr., SS, WIS

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