Melloh Named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year; Olson Named to First Team
May 18, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana softball program continued to bring home the hardware from the conference office on Wednesday, as senior Morgan Melloh was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and Sara Olson was named to the First Team All-Big Ten along with Melloh. It is the first time since 1994 that Indiana has had two people named to the first team.
"Morgan and Sara are two of the biggest reasons that we are where we are today, getting ready for the NCAA Tournament," Indiana head coach Michelle Gardner said. "It has been a total team effort throughout the season, but these two have taken it to a completely different level on the field. I am so proud of them for all they have done for our program this season and the impact it will leave for years to come."
Melloh is the first Indiana pitcher to receive the pitcher of the year award from the Big Ten since Gina Ugo in 1996. She was 17-3 in conference action this year with a miniscule 1.07 ERA and a Big Ten record 221 strikeouts. She pitched every inning of every Big Ten game and posted seven shutouts while allowing opponents to hit just .155 against her. She also joined Michigan's Jordan Taylor as pitchers on the First Team All-Big Ten list.
Olson hit .425 in conference action and had a .667 on-base percentage to lead all first basemen in the Big Ten in both categories. She drew 17 walks and was hit by pitch a conference-leading 12 times to with three home runs and 14 RBI. Olson hit a pair of home runs at No. 3 Michigan earlier in the conference season to lead the Hoosiers to their first win over the Wolverines since 1996 and the first win in Ann Arbor since 1993.
"It is also a great sign for our program to have a couple of underclassmen receive some recognition for the hard work they put in," Gardner said about Wagner and Abaraham. "Both Jenna and Amanda stepped up in Big Ten play and were instrumental in our success."
Wagner hit all six of her home runs this season in conference games and drove in 14 runs as she hit in the cleanup spot in the order behind Olson. It is the first conference honor for the sophomore from Burbank, Ill.
Abraham hit .346 in Big Ten action and added depth to the heart of the IU order. She had three doubles, a triple and one home run to go with three RBI and a .500 slugging percentage. It is the first conference accolade for the Fishers, Ind., native.
Olson was also the Sportsmanship Award nominee for the Hoosiers.
The Hoosiers received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and will take on DePaul in Columbia, Mo., at 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, May 20. Fans can listen to the game for free by clicking the "live audio" link at IUHoosiers.com on the schedule page.
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