While the 2015 Gopher softball season may not have ended as positively as the Gophers may have hoped, the post-season honors continue to roll in. On Wednesday Gopher senior Kaitlin Richardson was named a First Team Senior CLASS All-American. CLASS stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. The Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
Richardson was one of only five members on the First-Team. A four-time member of the Dean's List, Richardson is a human resources and industrial relations major going for her Bachelor of Science in Business degree with a minor in marketing in the Carlson School of Management. She is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, was a 2013 CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-American and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and was a 2014 NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete. She also earned the University's Patty Berg Legacy Award for excellence in competition and in the classroom while representing the values of the athletics department.
On the field Richardson was just as impressive. She finished her Minnesota career with the third-best career batting average in Gopher history at .388 and is Minnesota's all-time leader in doubles with 64, walks with 138, on-base percentage at .502 and slugging percentage at .678. She also tied for second with 179-career RBI and was fourth in home runs with 40. Richardson never missed a game in her four years as a Gopher starting a Ripken-like 224 straight games. She finished her collegiate career with two All-American selections, three All-Big Ten honors and three all-region nods.
Richardson will now begin her professional career in the National Pro Fastpitch League. She was selected fifth overall by the Dallas Charge in this springs draft and has signed a contract. She will see former Gopher teammate Sara Moulson in the pros who is a pitcher for the Chicago Bandits.
Congrats to Kaitlin and good luck in her professional debut this summer!