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Week 1 Polls: Before the 2016 season kicks off Thursday night, pick your Week 1 Big Ten winners.

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Friday Sep 2
12:30 PMW. Illinois at IowaWatch
3:00 PMLSU at IndianaWatch
4:00 PMPepperdine at MarylandWatch
7:00 PMGeorgetown at Rutgers Watch
7:00 PMIowa St. at NebraskaWatch
7:30 PMGeorgetown at MarylandWatch
8:00 PMSan Diego at WisconsinWatch
8:00 PMArizona St. at IowaWatch

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BTN LiveBIG: Northwestern's Bast striking out bullying

What began as a summer project for Northwestern senior softball star Marisa Bast has quickly become a community-changing program. During her Leadership Certificate Program field study this summer, the softball slugger teamed up with NU assistant athletic director for community relations, Maureen Palchak, to develop a program to address bullying. In the fall, Bast’s field study evolved into “Stand Up and Reach Out and Reinforce Respect” (a.k.a. Stand Up and ROARR). “Anything we’ve ever done in community outreach has always been more successful when students are leading the way,” said Palchak. “And that’s what Marisa’s been able to do.” Bast,

Big Ten Softball Tourney: Day 1

The 2013 Big Ten Softball Tournament started Thursday as four teams advanced to play again Friday. Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue all won on Thursday. Reminder:  Saturday’s semifinal games and Sunday’s championship air live on BTN & BTN2Go. Northwestern 6, Indiana 3: Northwestern starter Amy Letourneau led Northwestern with a 2-for-3 performance including a double, a home run and two runs scored. Andrea DiPrima (two doubles) and Brianna LeBeau (two singles) each went 2-for-3 while Bast drove in two runs to give her a team-best 44 on the year. NU is 31-21 overall on the season while Indiana concludes 2013 with a 19-35

Texas drops NU twice, ousts Wildcats

After a furious 8-1 run to end the regular season, a huge win over No. 6 national seed Texas to start the NCAA Tournament and a gritty victory over Houston to advance to the Austin Regional final, Northwestern saw its season come to a close Sunday in a 5-0 loss to the Longhorns in a winner-takes-all game. Read full recap at NUSports.com, view the interactive NCAA bracket and read about Northwestern’s first loss Sunday in this post. TEXAS TOPS NU TO FORCE ELIMINATION GAME No. 6 seed Texas took advantage of several Northwestern miscues to plate three unearned runs in the

NU tops Houston, advances to regional final

Northwestern tied a school-single game record with 17 base hits en route to beating Houston, 13-9, Saturday in a winner’s bracket victory that sends the Wildcats to the NCAA Austin Regional championship Sunday. The Wildcats (29-27) advance to their fifth NCAA Regional championship round in the last eight years. Read full recap at NUSports.com and view the interactive NCAA bracket.

Michigan, NU win, advance to winner's bracket

Five-time reigning Big Ten champ Michigan and Northwestern won their opening NCAA games Friday to advance to the winner’s bracket Saturday. The Wolverines got a walk-off win against Kentucky, 3-2, and the Wildcats shut out No. 6 Texas, 2-0. Up Saturday: Michigan plays Louisville and Northwestern takes on Houston. View the interactive NCAA bracket and read recaps in this post. MICHIGAN 3, KENTUCKY 2 Facing a 3-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, freshman RHP Sara Driesenga doubled down the left-field line to score two runs as the No. 21-ranked University of Michigan softball team rallied

Two Teams Prep for NCAA Tourney

Big Ten softball’s regular-season champion Michigan and Northwestern play their NCAA Tournament openers on Friday. The Wolverines open at 4:30 p.m. ET in the Louisville regional against Kentucky, and yopu can find lot of good softball stuff on the team’s page at MGoBlue.com. Meanwhile, NUsports.com has you covered as the Wildcats face Texas in Austin regional Friday at 5 p.m. ET. The first-round regionals are double elimination and a great way to track all games is on the NCAA.com interactive bracket. The B1G Diamond Report show will cover both of these teams on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.

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Michigan sweeps All-Big Ten softball individual honors

The Big Ten Conference announced the 2012 All-Big Ten Softball Teams on Wednesday afternoon, and five-time reigning champ Michigan dominated the honors. The Wolverines swept all of the individual laurels, with first baseman Amanda Chidester taking home Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. See all the teams and the superlative winners in this post. FIRST TEAM C – Liz Watkins, Sr., IOWA 1B – Amanda Chidester, Sr. MICH 2B – Whitney Massey, Jr., WIS SS – Megan Blank, Fr., IOWA 3B – Marisa Bast, So., NU OF – Kylene Hopkins, Jr., MSU OF – CASSIDY BELL, Jr.,

Big Ten hands out final weekly softball honors

The Big Ten Conference released its Big Ten Softball Players of the Week for May 7-13 on Monday. See all the winners and check out what they did to earn the distinctions in this post. Player of the Week: Brooke Thomason, Nebraska, Jr., OF, Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Northwest Hit .571 (4-for-7) and combined for an OPS of 1.524 in Nebraska’s series win over Wisconsin Smacked two doubles, drew two walks and swiped one base in the series, recording three RBI and scoring one run over the weekend Recorded at least one hit in all three games, including a 2-for-2

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Big Ten champ Michigan, NU make NCAA field

Two Big Ten teams were selected to the NCAA Division I Softball Championship field, the NCAA selection committee announced Sunday. Five-time reigning Big Ten champ Michigan headlines the duo, while Northwestern earned an at-large berth into the tournament. Both teams begin competition Friday. View the NCAA interactive bracket. Michigan secured the Big Ten’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship after winning the Big Ten Championship on Saturday. The Wolverines, who have appeared in nine Women’s College World Series, will open their 18th straight and 20th all-time NCAA tournament appearance against Kentucky in the Louisville Regional. Michigan is joined in the

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Friday Softball & Baseball Roundup

Several Big Ten teams took to the diamond Friday as the Big Ten softball regular season comes to a close this weekend. Illinois softball suffered a pair of losses against Northwestern, falling in game one, 3-2, before dropping the second contest, 7-3. Watch highlights of that game now and jump inside for more, including baseball wrap-ups from Seattle University vs. Ohio State where Aaron Craft made a cameo visit. The Ohio State baseball team opened its three-game set with Seattle with a 4-1 victory Friday evening: Penn State baseball coach Robbie Wine talks after the Nittany Lions picked up its