Day 3 of the 2015 Big Ten Softball Tournament featured three outstanding games, but in the end, it was the Michigan Wolverines who took home the conference tournament crown.
Iowa pitcher Shayla Starkenburg threw a gem on Friday night in a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal matchup against Minnesota. The Hawkeyes’ redshirt sophomore held the No. 2-seeded Gophers to just two hits and struck out four in a 2-0 win over Minnesota. The victory marked the first time Iowa has beaten Minnesota since back on May 12, 2012. Starkenburg now improves to 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA on the mound in the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa advances to play No. 3-seeded Nebraska in a semifinal game at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday. Well done, Shayla!
No player in the history of NCAA softball has more grand slams than Sierra Romero. [ MORE: View our 2015 Big Ten Softball Tournament homepage ] The Michigan star hit her record 10th career grand slam in Michigan’s Big Ten tourney quarterfinal vs. Penn State on Friday afternoon. Best part: Romero is just a junior, meaning she will have many opportunities to pad her lead. Romero’s 10th bomb with the bases packed highlighted Michigan’s explosive 13-run second inning. If the top-seeded Wolverines hold on, they will face No. 4 Northwestern in the semifinals Saturday afternoon.
Fact: The Michigan softball team is very good. Another fact: The Michigan softball team is full of fun personalities who really enjoy pizza.
Day 2 of the 2015 Big Ten Softball Tournament featured four entertaining games on BTN/BTN2Go. Check out scores, stats, recaps and video highlights in this post!
Northwestern freshman Brooke Marquez probably thought she had a hit in her first at-bat in the Big Ten tournament Friday. [ MORE: View our 2015 Big Ten Softball Tournament homepage ] Purdue centerfielder Kristen Hoppman had other ideas, however. Hoppman, on a line drive hit right back up the middle, sprinted in a few steps and dove to rob Marquez of a base hit, perhaps an extra-base knock. The play wasn’t nearly as easy as the centerfielder made it look. The ball was drilled and likely knuckling on its way out to her. The winner of the Purdue-Northwestern game advances
Iowa used a pair of long balls to erase a 3-1 deficit in its Big Ten tourney opener vs. Rutgers on Thursday night in Columbus, Ohio. [ MORE: View our 2015 Big Ten Softball Tournament homepage ] First, it was Kaitlyn Mullarkey blasting a two-run shot in the top of the sixth inning to tie the score. An inning later, Sammi Gyerman stepped to the plate and followed with another two-run homer, this one to put the Hawkeyes ahead 5-3, which proved to be the final ledger. Gyerman and the 10th-seeded Hawkeyes will face No. 2-seed Minnesota in the quarterfinals
The Ohio State bats were on fire Thursday, and no bat was hotter than Erika Leonard's. The catcher went 4-for-4, including a pair of grand slams, and drove in an Ohio State-record 10 runs.
The first day of the 2015 Big Ten Softball Tournament featured four games on the BTN family of networks. Catch up on all of Thursday's action in this post.
The Big Ten Conference announced the 2015 All-Conference Teams and individual award winners on Wednesday. Minnesota’s Sara Groenewegen captured Player of the Year honors, Michigan’s Megan Betsa was named the Pitcher of the Year and Northwestern’s Sabrina Rabin was tabbed Freshman of the Year. Michigan’s Carol Hutchins was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year. During her sophomore campaign, Groenewegen led the Gophers with a .435 batting average, six home runs and a .524 on-base percentage in Big Ten play, while also recording a 12-2 record with 155 strikeouts and four shutouts. She is the third Gopher to be