Seven players from the No. 1/3 University of Minnesota Gophers were named to the NFCA Great Lakes All-Region teams, the NFCA announced Thursday.
Sara Groenewegen, Kendyl Lindaman, Sydney Dwyer and Maddie Houlihan were all named to the first-team. Dani Wagner was named to the second-team. Danielle Parlich and MaKenna Partain each earned third-team honors.
This is the second time the Gophers have had seven players named All-Region in the same season. They also did so in the 2015 season. The four first-teamers is a program record.
Groenewegen has earned all-region honors all four years of her career. She was also named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year this season. She is 30-2 with a 0.59 ERA and 280 strikeouts. She threw two no-hitters including the first one in the history of the Big Ten Tournament against Northwestern. Groenewegen is now the Gophers career strikeout record holder with 1,187 career strikeouts.
Lindaman exploded onto the scene for the Maroon and Gold in her freshman season. She was named both the Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year and won a record breaking eight B1G Freshman of the Week honors. She leads the Big Ten in home runs (20), slugging percentage (.942), walks (60), on-base percentage (.608) and batting average (.438). She is also third in the NCAA in on base percentage and slugging percentage and sixth in RBIs and home runs.
The only person ahead of Lindaman in RBIs in the Big Ten and single season Gophers history is Dwyer. This season Dwyer has a record breaking 76 RBIs. She also has a .391 batting average with 12 doubles and 12 home runs. She has an on base percentage of .456 and a slugging percentage of .675. This is the second straight season that Dwyer has earned first-team honors.
Houlihan had another strong season. She is hitting .401 with 16 doubles and four home runs. She has recorded 45 RBIs and has scored 55 runs with a .505 on base percentage and a .564 slugging percentage. She has a team leading 12 stolen bases. This is the second time Houlihan has been named to the All-Region team after earning third-team honors last year.
Wagner had a breakout season for the Gophers earning All-Region honors for the first time in her career. She has hit a pair of walk-offs and is hitting .345 with six doubles, two triples and eight home runs. She has an on base percentage of .463 and a slugging percentage of .585. She is a perfect 9-9 on stolen bases.
Parlich has remained a steady presence in the top of the Gophers batting lineup and in the field. This is the third straight season that she has been named to the All-Region team. She hit .349 with 14 doubles, a triple and three home runs. She has scored a team leading 58 runs and is statistically the toughest batter in the Big Ten to strikeout for the second straight season.
Partain made a big splash as a freshman this season. In her very first collegiate game she lifted the Gophers to victory with a walk-off single. She is hitting .379 with 11 doubles, two triples and two home runs. She has a .448 on base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage.
The Gophers are set to play in their fifth straight NCAA Tournament at the Tuscaloosa Regional this weekend. They face Louisiana Tech at 1:30 p.m. (CT) Friday. The game can be viewed live on ESPNU. Alabama is the No. 16 seed in the tournament and will face Albany at 4 p.m. on Friday. This will be the Gophers 12th NCAA Tournament appearance.
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