May 7, 2014
PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- Seven members of the No. 10-ranked University of Michigan softball team earned All-Big Ten status Wednesday (May 7), including Big Ten Player of Year and unanimous first-team selection sophomore Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta), unanimous first-team selection senior Lyndsay Doyle (Channahon, Ill./Minooka Community) and first-team selection senior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco).
Second-team members include freshman Megan Betsa (McDonough, Ga./Union Grove), senior Taylor Hasselbach (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston), and juniors Lauren Sweet (Corona, Calif./Santiago) and Haylie Wagner (Orange, Calif./El Modena).
Big Ten coaches voted on two teams of 18 players each, as well as an all-defensive team. Sappingfield and freshman Abby Ramirez (Chicago, Ill./Trinity) each earned a spot on the Big Ten All-Defensive Team. Michigan had the most representatives on the three squads, with nine total selections.
Romero won her second consecutive Big Ten Player of the Year award and is the second consecutive Wolverine to win two years in a row (Amanda Chidester, 2011-12). She has also been a unanimous first team choice in each of her first two seasons in Ann Arbor.
During Big Ten play, the shortstop led the conference in hitting (.516), slugging percentage (.968), on-base percentage (.663), runs scored (32) and walks (27). She finished tied for third with seven home runs and fourth in total bases (60). Romero reached base in all 23 Big Ten games and put together a 10-game hitting streak in the final two weeks of league play.
Doyle, another of Michigan's unanimous first team choices, tied for the conference lead with 35 hits. She also finished with the fourth-highest batting average at .417. She batted leadoff in all 23 Big Ten games, scoring 19 runs with a .432 on-base percentage. She had five extra-base hits in conference games, including her second career home run in the final game of the regular season (May 4). This is the first All-Big Ten selection for Doyle.
Sappingfield was voted to the All-Big Ten first team for the second time in her career (2011) and is an All-Big Ten selection for the third time (2011-12, 14). The right fielder batted .398 during Big Ten games -- which is the sixth-best average in the conference -- and she racked up the third-most hits (33). Sappingfield scored 25 runs in 23 conference games, tied for fourth most. She was perfect in the field, compiling a 1.000 fielding percentage and also earned a spot on the all-defensive team.
Betsa earns the first All-Big Ten citation of her career, as one of four U-M representatives on the second team. The righty went 7-0 in the conference, tied for seventh-most wins. She also put together the third-lowest earned run average at 1.92 and tied for eighth-most strikeouts at 47. Betsa tossed five complete games and had one shutout. She was also valuable down the stretch, beating Purdue (April 23, game two), Illinois (April 26, game one) and Wisconsin (May 3), following a Michigan loss.
Hasselbach slugged her way to her first All-Big Ten selection in her senior season. The left-handed designated player bashed seven home runs and drove in a team-high 26 runs, which were the second most in the conference. She batted .323 and slugged .758 while tallying 47 total bases.
Sweet earns her second consecutive All-Big Ten honor, following a first team selection in 2013. The junior catcher was superb behind the dish, catching all 23 games without committing an error. Sweet also put together a .339 batting average while knocking in 21 runs. She smacked six home runs and two doubles, contributing to her slugging percentage of .696.
Wagner was awarded an All-Big Ten citation for the third time in her three seasons, with her second straight second team selection. She was named to the first team in 2012. The southpaw posted a 7-2 record with an earned-run average of 2.30. She tossed 54.2 innings, including four complete games and three shutouts.
Ramirez was named to the all-defensive team for her steady play at second base. She played all 23 games on the right side, committing just two errors. That was good enough for a .973 fielding percentage. She is the only underclassman on the all-defensive team, with six seniors and two juniors comprising the rest of the team.
Senior co-captain Katie Luetkens (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) was selected as Michigan's sportsmanship honoree.
The Wolverines will open up play in the Big Ten Tournament on Friday (May 9) as the No. 1 overall seed in Evanston, Ill. U-M will play either Iowa or Illinois beginning at 4:30 p.m. CDT at Sharon J. Drysdale Field.
2014 ALL-BIG TEN TEAMS
First Team All-Big Ten
Megan Blank, Jr., SS, IOWA
LYNDSAY DOYLE, Sr., OF, MICH
SIERRA ROMERO, So., SS, MICH
Nicole Sappingfield, Sr., OF, MICH
Sara Groenewegen, Fr., P, MINN
Kaitlyn Richardson, Jr., 3B, MINN
Tyler Walker, Jr., SS, MINN
Hailey Decker, So., 2B, NEB
Tatum Edwards, Sr., P/UT, NEB
Taylor Edwards, Sr., C, NEB
Marisa Bast, Sr., 3B, NU
Brianna LeBeau, So., 2B, NU
EVELYN CARRILLO, Sr., 1B, OSU
Cammi Prantl, So., OF, OSU
Taylor Watkins, Jr., OF, OSU
Ashley Burkhardt, Jr., 1B, PUR
Andie Varsho, Sr., OF, PUR
Mary Massei, Sr., OF, WIS
Second Team All-Big Ten
Kylie Johnson, So., OF, ILL
Breanna Saucedo, Sr., SS, IND
Megan Betsa, Fr., P, MICH
Taylor Hasselbach, Sr., DP, MICH
Lauren Sweet, Jr., C, MICH
Haylie Wagner, Jr., P, MICH
Sara Moulton, Sr., P, MINN
Alicia Armstrong, So., SS, NEB
Marjani Knighten, Fr., 3B, NEB
Emily Lockman, So., P, NEB
Emily Allard, Sr., OF, NU
Andrea DiPrima, Jr., OF, NU
Lexi Knief, So., OF, PSU
Tori Chiodo, Sr., 3B. PUR
Lilly Fecho, So., P, PUR
Danielle Fletcher, Sr., C, PUR
Michelle Mueller, Sr., 3B, WIS
Taylor-Paige Stewart, So., P, WIS
Unanimous selections in ALL CAPS
Player of the Year: Sierra Romero, So., MICH
Pitcher of the Year: Sara Groenewegen, Fr., MINN
Freshman of the Year: Sara Groenewegen, MINN
Coach of the Year: Rhonda Revelle, NEB
P: Tatum Edwards, Sr., NEB
C: Taylor Edwards, Sr., NEB
1B: Evelyn Carrillo, Sr., OSU
2B: Abby Ramirez, Fr., MICH
SS: Megan Blank, Jr., IOWA
3B: Marisa Bast, Sr., NU
OF: Nicole Sappingfield, Sr., MICH
OF: Emily Allard, Sr., NU
OF: Taylor Watkins, Jr., OSU
Contact: Michael Kasiborski (email@example.com)