Sept. 13, 2013
The University of Minnesota softball team celebrated its 2013 season Friday night with its team banquet at the Mariucci Arena Club Room. At the event, Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and Teammate of the Year awards, and 2013 varsity letters were presented to members of last season's team by fourth-year head coach Jessica Allister.
Earning the team's Player of the Year Award was current junior Kaitlyn Richardson. As a sophomore in 2013, Richardson was a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Third Team All-American. With a .430 batting average and .544 on-base percentage in 55 games, the Phoenix, Ariz. native was the first Golden Gopher to receive an All-America nod since 1998.
Richardson paced Minnesota with a .705 slugging percentage, 43 runs batted in, and 34 walks and was second on the team with 34 runs scored, 11 doubles, and 10 home runs. She also earned First Team All-Big Ten, NFCA First Team All-Region, and First Team Academic All-District 6 accolades for her efforts.
For the third straight year, Sara Moulton was awarded the team's Pitcher of the Year Award. Moulton was dominant as a junior last season, posting a 32-12 record in 45 starts. The right-handed hurler out of Eagan, Minn. finished the year with a 1.57 earned runs average and tallied 308 strikeouts in 275.2 innings pitched.
Moulton tossed 29 complete games and 14 shutouts, including two no-hitters and one combined no-hitter to earn a spot on the All-Big Ten First Team. It was her third All-Big Ten honor in as many collegiate seasons.
The Teammate of the Year Award, the only award voted on by the players, was given to Hannah Granger. Granger was a sophomore last season.
Kayla Wenner took home the Freshman of the Year Award after playing in 49 games, including 29 starts, in her first collegiate season. Wenner was fourth on the squad in average at .246 and owned the team's third-best slugging percentage at .609. The Nicollet, Minn. native also launched seven home runs and drew 23 walks. In addition, she was a threat on the base paths, stealing 13 bases on 14 attempts.
The 2013 freshman class of Wenner, Brandi McGregor, Paige Palkovich, Nikki Anderson, Sydney Fabian, and Hannah Skallman all earned their first letters and were given a letterman's jacket at the event.
Player of the Year: Kaitlyn Richardson
Pitcher of the Year: Sara Moulton
Teammate of the Year: Hannah Granger
Freshman of the Year: Kayla Wenner
2012 Letterwinners: Nikki Anderson, Bree Blanchette, Kari Dorli, Alex Davis, Madie Eckstrom, Sydney Fabian, Hannah Granger, Kelsey Kimminau, Kelsey Klucas, Brandi McGregor, Erica Meyer, Sara Moulton, Paige Palkovich, Kaitlyn Richardson, Hannah Skallman, Erika Smyth, Tyler Walker, and Kayla Wenner.
Historic Season Comes To An End
The University of Minnesota Gophers topped La Tech 5-2 in extra innings this afternoon before losing 1-0 to Alabama to end their historic season.
Gophers Softball Schedule Change
Sara Groenewegen was locked in a three hour pitcher's duel with Alabama's Alexis Osorio all afternoon but the Univerity of Minnesota Gophers fell 1-0 in nine innings.
Gophers Open NCAA Tournament With 11-3 Victory
The No. 1/3 University of Minnesota Gophers started the NCAA Tournament with an 11-3 run-rule victory over Louisiana Tech this afternoon.