Pratt, Kurtz earn Big Ten Honors

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa softball student-athletes Cheyenne Pratt and Sarah Kurtz received recognition from the Big Ten Conference on Wednesday. Pratt was selected to the Big Ten all-defensive team, while Kurtz was honored with the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. This is the fifth year in a row the Hawkeyes have had a student-athlete selected for the all-defensive team.
“I’m happy for both of them and I’m proud they are representing our program,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “They are great representatives of what we stand for, and I’m glad they have been recognized for their hard work.”
Pratt has played left field in all 23 conference games, racking up 38 putouts and one assist. She leads the team with a 1.000 fielding percentage. Overall, Pratt has played left field in 48 games and started 45 during the 2017 season. She has accumulated 70 putouts and one assist.
“I’m so proud of Cheyenne for earning this honor,” said Looper. “Cheyenne has continued to work hard since she joined our program. Going back to last year, she didn’t start at the beginning of the year, but at the end of the year she was in the starting lineup. She continued to work in the offseason, and she has continued to come and put in extra time this year. She is proof that putting in the extra time sets you up for success. She has helped our team tremendously, and it’s nice that the conference has recognized her for that work.”
Kurtz has played in 34 games and made 29 starts at third base. She has six hits, a double, and four walks. Kurtz has registered 16 putouts and 50 assists. In addition to softball, Kurtz has recorded 33 volunteer hours with the UI Reach program and is an active participant in Iowa Student-Athlete Academic Services (ISAAC).
“Sarah is the ultimate teammate,” said Looper. “She always encourages her teammates and helps in any way she can. She’s gaining leadership skills by working with ISSAC, and that has transitioned to the softball field. She is a more confident and vocal leader. She believes in her abilities and what she does to help our team. As a student-athlete, she is the overall package. She’s a good teammate, a hard worker, and she serves our community and our team. When someone like that gets recognized, it’s because she is the whole package. She’s not just the athlete and not just the scholar, but she is well rounded.”
The 11th-seeded University of Iowa softball team is set to face No. 6 Wisconsin on Thursday at 6 p.m. (CT) at the Wilpon Complex in the 2017 Big Ten Tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The winner will face third-seeded Ohio State in the quarterfinals on Friday at 6 p.m.

2017 Softball All-Conference Teams and Individual Awards
(as selected by the Big Ten coaches — players in ALL CAPS were unanimous selections)
First Team All-Big Ten
Breanna Wonderly, Sr., P, ILL
CaraMia Tsirigos, Sr., DP, IND
Tera Blanco, Jr., UT, MICH
Faith Canfield, So., 2B, MICH
Kelly Christner, Sr., OF, MICH
Lea Foerster, Jr., OF, MSU
Allie Arneson, So., SS, MINN
Sara Groenewegen, Sr., P, MINN
Kendyl Lindaman, Fr., C, MINN
Danielle Parlich, Jr., 3B, MINN
Emily Clark, So., 2B, OSU
Tori Dubois, So., OF, PSU
Mallory Baker, So., 1B, PUR
Taryn Atlee, Fr., 2B, RU
Second Team All-Big Ten
Leigh Farina, Jr., 2B, ILL
Rebecca Blitz, Jr., OF, IND
Natalie Peters, So., OF, MICH
Abby Ramirez, Sr., SS, MICH
Kaitlyn Eveland, So., 3B, MSU
Sydney Dwyer, Jr., 1B, MINN
Sam Macken, Sr., OF, MINN
Dani Wagner, Jr., OF, MINN
Kaylan Jablonski, Jr., UT, NEB
MJ Knighten, Sr., 3B, NEB
Alyvia Simmons, So., OF, NEB
Marissa Panko, Jr., SS, NU
Sabrina Rabin, Jr., OF, NU
Shelby Hursh, Sr., P, OSU
Taylor White, Jr., OF, OSU
Kaitlyn Menz, Fr., P, WIS
Chloe Miller, Sr., C, WIS
Brooke Wyderski, Jr., SS, WIS
All-Defensive Team
P: Sara Groenewegen, Sr., MINN
C: Kendyl Lindaman, Fr., MINN
1B: Alcy Bush, Sr., NU
2B: Kelsey Jenkins, Jr., WIS
SS: Rachel O’Malley, Jr., IND
3B: Anna Kirk, Sr., OSU
OF: Nicole Evans, Sr., ILL
OF: Cheyenne Pratt, Jr., IOWA
OF: Lea Foerster, Jr., MSU
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Kendyl Lindaman, Fr., MINN
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Sara Groenewegen, Sr., MINN
COACH OF THE YEAR: Jessica Allister, MINN
Sportsmanship Award Honorees: Annie Fleming, ILL; Erin Lehman, IND; Sarah Kurtz, IOWA; Hannah Dewey, MD; Morgan Swift, MICH; McKenzie Long, MSU; Sam Macken, MINN; Bri Cassidy, NEB; Morgan Newport, NU; Anna Kirk, OSU; Gianna Arrizurieta, PSU; Erika Beeler, PUR; Jacqueline Kott, RU; Sara Novak, WIS