The Gopher Softball Team cleaned up the end of the season Big Ten Awards as expected Wednesday afternoon. Freshman Kendyl Lindaman was named both the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the Big Ten Player of the Year. Senior Sara Groenewegen was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. Gopher coach Jessica Allister was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year. Three other Gophers, Maddie Houlihan, Allie Arneson and Danielle Parlich joined Lindaman and Groenewegen on the Big Ten All First Team.
Kendyl Lindaman is the fourth Gopher in program history to win the Big Ten Player of the Year Award, and the fifth to win the Big Ten Freshman of the Year Award. Groenewegen won POY in 2015, and Houlihan won FOY last season. Lindaman put up historic numbers in big ten conference play. She led the Big Ten in batting average (.468), slugging percentage (1.128), on base percentage (.671), RBIs (36) and walks (32). She finsished second in conference play in home runs with nine. She was awarded the Big Ten Freshman of the Week award a record eight times this season, and was named Big Ten Player of the Week once. Lindaman was also named both All-Big Ten First Team, and to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team at catcher.
Sara Groenewegen is the only Gopher player to win the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Award, and now has won it twice with the other time being 2014. She is one of only three players in Big Ten history to win all three major playing honors in her career—Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, and Freshman of the Year. This season in Big Ten play she led the conference in ERA (0.53) and wins (15). She struck out 145 batters while only allowing an opponent batting average of .141. This season Groenewegen was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week five times. She was also named All-Big Ten First Team for the fourth time in her career and for the first time was named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team at pitcher.
Jessica Allister became the first Gopher coach since Teresa Wilson in 1991 to win the Big Ten Coach of the Year. She has led the Gophers to school records in season wins, winning streaks, and all time national ranking which is currently #2.
Three other Gophers joined Lindaman and Groenewegen on the All-Big Ten First Team. Maddie Houlihan earned first-team honors for the second season in a row. Playing in the outfield this season after playing first base a year ago, she hit .420 with four doubles, three home runs and 21 RBIs in B1G play. Allie Arneson earned All Big Ten first-team honors in her first season as a Gopher after transferring from Virginia She finished third on the team with a .391 batting average in Big Ten play and added five doubles, a triple and one home run. Danielle Parlich was named All-Big Ten first team for the second time in her career wiht the previous one being in 2015. This season in Big Ten play she hit .378 and scored a B1G leading 29 runs. She also was statistically the toughest player to strikeout in the Big Ten this season.
Minnesota also had three players named to the All-Big Ten Second Team. Sam Macken was named to the second team for the second time in her career. She also moved to the outfield this season hit .351 with eight doubles, a triple and five home runs in Big Ten play. Sydney Dwyer was named to the second team for the second year in a row. In Big Ten play she hit .314 with six doubles and three home runs and 25 RBI. Dani Wagner as named to the second team for the first time in her career. She hit .356 with a double, one triple and five home runs in Big Ten play.
Macken was also the Gophers Sportsmanship Award recipient. That award goes to a player who has distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior, is in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
All of the award winning Minnesota Golden Gophers will be on the field at the Big Ten Tournament starting at 11 AM Friday against the winner of the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Purdue Boilermakers. All games of the Big Ten Tournament will air live on BTN and stream for free on BTN2Go.