The University of Wisconsin softball team’s record-setting season translated to its best showing ever on the All-Big Ten Conference team.
Catcher Whitney Massey, outfielder Mary Massei and pitcher Cassandra Darrah earned first-team nods and the Badgers put a program-best five players on the honor squad announced Wednesday.
Outfielder Kendall Grimm and pitcher Meghan McIntosh were second-team selections. Outfielder Maria Van Abel was UW’s Sportsmanship Award honoree.
UW’s previous best showing on the all-league squad was last season, when four players were honored.
Massey is a repeat first-team pick after the senior led the Big Ten with 18 doubles and set a UW single-season record with 12 home runs. Her seven home runs in league play tied for second and she ranked ninth in the Big Ten with a .761 slugging percentage.
Massei was a unanimous selection after the junior led the Big Ten with 74 hits and finished fourth with a .433 batting average. A second-team selection last season, Massei ranked eighth in the league with a .419 batting average this spring.
Darrah’s 2.25 ERA and .211 opponent batting average ranked second and fifth in the Big Ten as the junior, a second-team performer a year ago, posted a 23-5 record to tie for second on UW’s single-season wins list.
Grimm batted .391 in league play and the senior did not commit an error. She was a first-team selection in 2012.
McIntosh went 7-3 in league play and her 2.72 ERA ranked sixth in the Big Ten.
Van Abel played in all 50 games for the Badgers. The sophomore batted .360 and she did not commit an error.
The fourth-seeded Badgers
(39-11), who broke the program record for wins this season, open play in the Big Ten tournament Friday morning in Lincoln, Neb. They will play the winner of today’s game between fifth-seeded Northwestern and No. 12 Indiana.
Women’s track and field
UW’s Deanna Latham was named Big Ten Co-Track Athlete of the Week, the league announced.
The junior clocked a personal-best time of 13.49 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles at last week’s Wisconsin Open. The mark is the second-best in UW history, behind the :13.45 posted by Egle Staisiunaite in 2011, and is the fourth-best in Big Ten this year.