Fourteen members of the Minnesota softball team were named academic all-conference honorees Thursday
Senior Kaitlyn Richardson has been named a 2015 Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-American
The Phoenix, Ariz. native will be the seventh Gopher to play professional softball
Minnesota opened the NCAA Tournament with a 10-2 win in six innings over New Mexico State
Minnesota had three members on the first and second NFCA All-Great Lakes Region teams and one third-team honoree
2015 • SENIOR SEASON:
Started all 60 games at first base and started all 224 of Minnesota's games in her time on campus • Senior CLASS Award Top-10 Finalist and Senior CLASS Award First Team All-American • National Pro Fastpitch College Draft First-round Selection (Dallas Charge) • U of M Outstanding Student-Athlete Achievement Award • Patty Berg Legacy Award that recognizes the U of M female student-athlete who excels in competition and in the classroom while representing the values of the athletics department • USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award Top 50 Watch List • Second Team All-Big Ten • First Team NFCA All-Great Lakes Region • Big Ten All-Defensive Team, posting a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage, starting all 60 games at first base; was involved in a team-high 16 double plays • Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient • Academic All-Big Ten • finished with a .374 average and finished her career with a .388 average, the third highest in school history • finished with the highest career slugging percentage in school history after setting the school record for doubles with 64 (second-most among 2015 Division I players) • led the team in 2015 with 16 doubles • had 47 runs batted in, including a team-best 22 two-out RBI • had seven game-winning hits and scored a pair of game-winning runs • posted 10 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI games • reached base in 11-straight games and had two eight-game hit streaks • got on base in 53 of 60 games, including all six of the team's postseason games • picked up three hits five times on the season and had a season-best four RBI against Illinois March 21 • hit two home runs against Boise State Feb. 20 • scored three runs against South Dakota State March 13 • led the team with a .462 average and a .650 on-base percentage at the NCAA Tucson Regional • set program records for career on-base percentage (.502) and walks (138), leading the Maroon and Gold in those respective categories in 2015 with a .484 on-base percentage and 32 bases on balls • recorded fourth-straight double-digit home run season • was second on the Gophers with a 1.122 OPS.
2014 • JUNIOR SEASON:
Academic All-Big Ten and NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete • received Patty Berg Legacy Award for excellence in competition and in the classroom while representing the values of the athletics department • named an NFCA Second Team All-American, making her Minnesota's third two-time All-American • First Team All-Big Ten • NFCA First Team All-Great Lakes Region member • named to the top-50 pre-season watch list and was a top-25 finalist for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award • earned Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors after finishing the weekend with an .857 batting average, .889 on-base percentage, and 2.000 slugging percentage (May 9-10) • received the team's Player of the Year Award for the second year in a row • started all 56 of Minnesota's games at third base • finished the season with a .418 batting average, good for second-best in the Big Ten and fourth-best in school history • hit safely in 44 of 56 games and had a team-best 11-game hitting streak from March 21 to April 11 that coincided with the start of Big Ten play • had a on-base percentage of .538, the second-best in the conference, third-best in Gopher softball history, and 11th-best in the country • reached base in 52 of 56 games, including 40 of the first 41 games, and had reached-base streaks of 17 (Feb. 7-March 7) and 23 (March 9-April 25) • had a school-record .752 season slugging percentage was the second-best mark in the conference • notched 10 home runs and tied for the second-most doubles in a single season in program history with 21, a number that also tied for the Big Ten lead and tied for the 9th-most in conference history • seventh in NCAA Division I softball with .0.38 doubles per game • notched 51 RBI to lead the team and walked 40 times, the second-most in school history and third-most in the Big Ten • recorded 100th and 101st RBI of her career versus Troy (March 16) • named to Coastal Carolina Chanticleer Showdown All-Tournament Team (March 14-16) • against Missouri State, set or tied season highs with two home runs, three runs scored, four RBI, and 10 total bases (March 7) • registered 16 multi-hit games, including four three-hit games, and drove in multiple runs 12 times • scored seven game-winning runs and had seven game-winning RBI • had a career-best .969 fielding percentage, including a perfect 1.000 percentage in 17 games against ranked opponents • stole six bases.
2013 • SOPHOMORE SEASON:
Started all 55 games at third base • named to the NFCA All-America Third-Team • First Team All-Big Ten • also made CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-America Third Team and All-District First Team • Academic All-Big Ten • Big Ten Distinguished Scholar • led the team in batting (.430), runs batted in (43), slugging (.705) ,walks (34) and on-base percentage (.544) • batting average ranks fourth in school history, and was tied for 21st nationally at the end of the season • on-base percentage was ninth in the NCAA •second on the team with 64 hits • hit 10 home runs and 11 doubles • tallied five three-hit games on the season • went 2-for-2 with a grand slam, a double, a walk and two runs at Illinois (April 14) • went 3-for-4 with a HR, a double, a run and four RBI vs. Louisville (Feb. 10) • hit a game-winning two-run HR at Florida State (March 15) • batted 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and two RBI vs. Georgia Southern (March 17) • hit two HRs and was 2-for-4 with four RBI and two runs at Northwestern (March 30) • drew three walks at Northwestern (March 31) • drew four walks at Illinois (April 13, game 2) • batted 3-for-4 with two runs, three RBI and a double at Iowa State (April 24, game 2) • went 2-for-2 in the Gophers' NCAA win vs. Portland State (May 18) • also homered vs. Texas Tech (Feb. 9), Stanford (March 9), Georgia Southern (March 16), Nebraska (April 16, game 2) and Indiana (May 5).
2012 • FRESHMAN SEASON:
Started all 53 games at third base • posted the second-best batting average on the team at .338 and tied for the lead in home runs with 10 • ranked Top 10 in the Big Ten in doubles (tied for third), slugging percentage (fourth), home runs (tied for fifth), walks (tied for seventh), run batted in (tied for eight) and runs (tied for 10th) • ranks fourth all-time in Gopher history with 16 doubles • sits fifth all-time in school history with 32 walks • named Big Ten Freshman of the Week three times (Mar. 5; Mar. 12; Apr. 2) • tallied first-career hit in the season opener against Kent State (Feb. 11) • notched first-career home run in a 1-for-3 performances against CSU Bakersfield (Feb. 12) while also recording three RBI • belted two home runs and had four RBI in a 2-for-2 day against Illinois State (Feb. 18) • went 2-for-3 at the plate against the defending National Champions Arizona State (Feb. 18) • tallied a pair of hits and three RBI against Iowa State (Feb. 19) • notched a home run and scored two runs against James Madison (Feb .25) • went 6-for-12 with six runs, four RBI, six walks, two doubles and a pair of home runs at the Bulldog Invitational (Mar. 2-4) in Athens, Ga. • garnered first Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor on March 5 for her efforts at the Bulldog Invitational • was perfect at the plate against Bethune-Cookman (Mar. 10) with three hits, two RBI, three runs and a double • named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second time on March 12 for going 7-for-13 at the Embassy Suites Invitational in Boca Raton, Fla. • began an eight-game hitting streak in the Big Ten opener against Illinois (Mar. 23) • notched a two-run home run in a 2-for-3 performances in the second game of the Illinois series (Mar. 24) • went 6-for-12 with seven runs, six RBI, two doubles and two homers in the Nebraska series (Mar. 31-Apr.1) • tagged Big Ten Freshman of the Week for her performance in the Nebraska series • had hitting streak snapped in the series finale against Wisconsin (Apr. 7) • went 2-for-3 from the plate with one RBI in the second game of the Michigan series (Apr. 21) • recorded two doubles in the second game of the Penn State series (Apr. 28) • was a perfect 3-for-3 with a home run in the Game Two of the Purdue series (May 5).
Graduated from Sandra Day O'Connor High School in Phoenix, Ariz. • two-time all-state selection (2009 and 2010) and a three-time all-region honoree (2008-10) • batted .495 with 51 RBI, 19 doubles and six home runs during 2010 • won three regional championships (2008-10) • played three seasons on O'Connor's golf team • member of National Honor Society and the Society of Female Scholars • earned all-academic region honors for golf and was named to the NFCA All-Academic Softball team in 2008 • coached by Melissa and Jason Shepherd and Rob Latona • also competed for the Arizona Hotshots from 2007-10.
First Pitch with Maddie Houlihan
Our final freshman to introduce you to before season is Maddie Houlihan out of Plymouth, Minn.
Groenewegen Named to Watch List
Sara Groenewegen has been selected to the “Watch List” for the 2016 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award for her second straight season.
First Pitch with Taylor Chell
With season less than two weeks away get to know one of the newest Gophers in freshman outfielder Taylor Chell.