Minnesota standouts Sara Groenewegen and Kendyl Lindaman have both been named to the NFCA All-American 1st Team! This is the first time the Gophers have had two players named as 1st Team All-Americans in the same season. It’s fitting that the awards season has Sara and Kendyl breaking records just like the record season did.
The award caps a great career for Groenewegen. Gopher Sports summarizes her accomplishments better than I ever could:
Groenewegen is the first player in team history to be named an All-American three times. She had her most dominant season in the circle yet. She went 31-4 with a 0.63 ERA and 307 strikeouts. It was her third straight season with 31 wins (second most in a Gophers single season) and her 0.63 ERA is the second lowest recorded ERA in a season in program history.
Coming into the season Groenewegen had already tossed more no-hitters than any player in Gophers history. She added two more this season finishing with eight in her career. Groenewegen became the first player to ever throw a no-hitter in the Big Ten Tournament when she did so against Northwestern in the quarterfinals.
For the second time in her career Groenewegen was named the B1G Pitcher of the Year. She was already one of only three players in B1G history to win Player, Pitcher and Freshman of the Year honors in a career. She has earned All-B1G first-team honors and NFCA All-Region honors all four seasons of her career. She is a three-time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award top-10 finalist and also earned CoSIDA Academic All-America team honors this season.
Groenewegen left her mark on the Gophers record book. She holds the strikeout record with 1,214 strikeouts and averaged the most strikeouts per game with 10.66 a game. She will go down second in wins with 107 and third in shutouts with 31 in her career. She is also second all-time for most walks in a career with 116 and her 36 home runs is the fifth best mark in Gophers history.
Sara will be missed next year and Gopher fans should feel lucky to have gotten the chance to watch her in the Maroon & Gold.
It’s hard to feel too down about the future though when Minnesota’s other All-American is just starting her career in Minneapolis. Just how good was Lindaman’s first year as a Gopher?
Lindaman had one of the most productive offensive seasons in the entire country. She was named both the Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year and earned NFCA All-Region first-team honors. She was also the first ever Big Ten player ever to be named a Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year top-3 finalist.
This season Lindaman had a stranglehold on the B1G Freshman of the Week award. She collected a record breaking eight B1G Freshman of the Week plaudits. Lindaman led the Big Ten in home runs (20), slugging percentage (.899), RBI (tied-76), walks (63), on base percentage (.598) and batting average (.426).
The home runs, slugging percentage, RBI, walks and on base percentage were all school records. She is also third in the NCAA in on base percentage, tied for third in RBI, fourth in slugging percentage and seventh in home runs.
Lindaman also broke the team record and tied the B1G record for most times walked in a game when she drew five walks in a 6-0 victory over Wisconsin.
The Gophers will be relying on Kendyl in the years to come and I think we’re all looking forward to what she and her teammates have in store for us next season!