May 8, 2013
Official 2013 All-Big Ten Teams
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Led by first-team selections Amy Letourneau (Laguna Niguel, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) and Mari Majam (Pine Valley, Calif./Mountain Empire), five Wildcats have earned All-Big Ten honors in 2013 as voted on by the conference coaches and announced today (May 8) by the league office. NU has had at least four players chosen for All-Big Ten awards in each of the last 11 seasons; voting is based solely on performance in conference play.
In addition to Letourneau and Majam, junior Marisa Bast (Orange, Calif./Villa Park) and sophomore Anna Edwards (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) are second-team award winners. In the first year of selecting a B1G All-Defensive team, freshman Brianna LeBeau (Worth, Ill./H.L. Richards) won the nod at second base.
One year after earning second-team honors as a freshman, Letourneau won the Big Ten batting title at the plate and led the conference in strikeouts from the circle (the first time that has ever happened in league history) in 2013 to be named the first-team choice as a utility player. Letourneau's .475 average in conference games was part of an incredible late-season surge in which she clubbed eight doubles and six home runs while driving in 25 in 22 B1G games played. Letourneau twice earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors in 2013 for her plate prowess and was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA National and USA Softball College Player of the Week on April 2.
Fun fact: While Bast won the overall Big Ten batting title last year with a .411 average in all games during the 2012 season, Letourneau is the first Wildcat to lead the league in batting during conference games only since three-time Big Ten Player of the Year and 2012 NU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Garland Cooper did it in back-to-back years from 2005-06. Both Letourneau and Cooper attended the same high school: Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
In the circle, Letourneau's 113 strikeouts went unmatched among conference brethren, helping her to compile a 10-5 overall record with a .199 opponent's batting average in 94.2 innings of work. Letourneau had two no-hitters in the Big Ten this year, the first coming March 29 against Minnesota before the second came exactly one week later versus Illinois.
Majam's first-career All-Big Ten award is on the first team (though she likely could have been awarded an honor in 2012 after leading the entire B1G with 28 runs scored in conference play). Majam batted .394 with 21 runs in 22 games played in 2013, slugging .507 with a double, two triples and a grand slam to help her compile 14 RBIs. Majam was named Big Ten Player of the Week on April 8 after her performance in NU's sweep of Illinois the previous week.
Bast now is a three-time All-Big Ten award winner after earning second-team honors as a freshman and a first-team nod during her All-America campaign of 2012. This year, Bast hit .314 in conference play with 10 extra-base hits, ranking third in the Big Ten with 24 runs scored while also driving in 17.
Edwards' first-career All-Big Ten honor came in a year when the conference was absolutely stacked at the shortstop position, giving even more meaning to her second-team nod. Edwards batted .359 and ranked seventh in the league with 22 RBIs while slugging .625 in Big Ten play.
LeBeau is Northwestern's lone representative on the inaugural All-Defensive Team following a stellar rookie season patrolling the right side of the infield. LeBeau made good on 71 of the 72 chances that came her way with just a single error, but what stands out are the many spectacular, lunging, diving and athletic plays she made on a consistent basis -- many to end innings and quash rallies.
Northwestern's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree is junior Sammy Albanese (Belmont, Calif./Castilleja), whose demeanor in the dugout and in any role she has been asked to play on the field has been remarkable and contagious. Appearing in four games offensively and three times in the circle in B1G play, Albanese went 0-1 as a pinch hitter with a walk, a hit by pitch and two runs scored in a very productive three trips to the plate.
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