Badgers softball: five players earn Big Ten honors - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers softball: five players earn Big Ten honors

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MADISON, Wis.  The Wisconsin softball team is reaping the success of its incredible 2017 season with five players earning Big Ten honors, as announced by the conference on Wednesday.

Freshman Kaitlyn Menz, junior Brooke Wyderski and senior Chloe Miller were all named to the All-Big Ten second team, while junior Kelsey Jenkins was named to the All-Defensive team and senior Sara Novak was recognized as the team’s Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree.

The four honorees tie for the most the program has ever had in a single season.

In her rookie season, Menz has already proven herself as a force to be reckoned with from the circle. With 10 wins in Big Ten play, the Waukee, Iowa, native has already tied the program record for Big Ten wins in a season by an individual. She has 10 of the Badgers’ 11 conference wins and has a 3.44 ERA in Big Ten play with 50 batters struck out.

Miller earns her first All-Big Ten honor after a standout senior season where she leads the conference in overall batting average (.423) and leads the team with a .585 slugging percentage in conference play. Earlier this season, Miller collected the program’s second-ever NFCA Player of the Week honor as well as her first Big Ten Player of the Week nod after posting a .800 batting average, .842 on base percentage and 1.800 slugging percentage at the Colorado State Classic.

In her first conference season with the Badgers, Wyderski has been on fire in Big Ten play and leads the Badgers with a .346 batting average. She’s racked up a team-high 27 hits with five doubles, 12 RBI and eight runs.

This marks Jenkins’ third consecutive Big Ten honor as she was named first-team All-Big Ten the last two seasons. Jenkins earned her spot on the All-Defensive team after making some all-star plays as UW’s second baseman all season long. She has a .972 fielding percentage with 91 putouts and 12 assists.

Novak was chosen for the Sportsmanship Award, which is given to student-athletes who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. Novak has been the definition of a great teammate since joining the team in 2014 and has defined what it means to exemplify sportsmanship. After she suffered a season-ending injury in 2015, Novak battled back and is going out with a bang in her senior campaign, currently on a four-game hitting streak.

Wisconsin drew the No. 6 seed in this week’s 2017 Big Ten Softball Tournament and will face 11th-seeded Iowa in the opening round. The Badgers will take on the Hawkeyes on Thursday night at 6 p.m. (CT). The game will air live on Big Ten Network with Dean Linke and Jennie Ritter on the call.

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