Softball Garners An All-Time High Eight All-Big Ten Selections
Four Nittany Lions selected to All-Big Ten First Team, while four others earn third-team status
State College, Pa., May 10, 2000 --- The Penn State softball team had a total of eight players earn All-Big Ten status, the most in school history, in a vote by league coaches announced today. The Lions boasted a total of four first-team selections, tied for most overall with regular season conference champion Iowa. In addition, Penn State also had four players named to the All-Big Ten third team.
The first-team honorees for Penn State included second baseman Allison Medellin (San Pablo, Calif.), outfielder Karen Gulini (Easton, Pa.), outfielder Gina Bianchini (Pottstown, Pa.) and utility player Tanis Ambelang (San Jose, Calif.). Earning third-team status for the Nittany Lions were shortstop Terra Pracht (Hawthorne, Calif.), third baseman Jennifer Tripken (Middletown, N.Y.), first baseman Erin Norton (Orange, Calif.) and pitcher Jaci Kalp (Greensburg, Pa.).
Medellin hit .326 in Big Ten action, while maintaining an overall batting average of .321. The junior was one of the top contact hitters in the nation, striking out only three times in 140 at bats. She also was solid in the field, committing only six errors in 190 chances at second base.
Gulini led Penn State and ranked second in the Big Ten with an overall batting average of .397. She hit a solid .450 in Big Ten games, which ranked second among conference leaders. The senior also swiped the fourth-most bases in the conference with 25, including a conference-best nine in Big Ten games. Gulini was named third-team All-Big Ten in 1999.
Bianchini led Penn State and tied for the conference lead with 37 stolen bases, while registering a solid .338 overall batting average. She ranked third among Big Ten conference leaders with 37 runs scored, 12 in Big Ten games.
Ambelang, who was named second-team All-Big Ten in 1999, hit .286 in Big Ten games. She ranks third on the Penn State squad with a .423 on-base percentage in Big Ten contests.
Pracht, a co-captain of the Nittany Lion squad, finished conference play with the second-highest batting average on the squad at .341 in against Big Ten foes. She ranks fourth among Penn State leaders with 18 RBI. The senior started 44 of the teamĘ¬s 49 games this season. Pracht was a GTE-Academic All-District selection in 1999.
Tripken repeated as a third-team all-conference selection, duplicating the achievement she received following the 1999 season. She finished the regular season with a .369 batting average, while recording the top slugging percentage on the Nittany Lion squad at .496. The sophomore is currently tied for the team-lead with 52 hits and leads the squad with 26 RBI. Tripken was a defensive force at third base, leading the team with 106 assists.
Norton capped a tremendous freshman campaign with third-team All-Big Ten honors. She provided a steady presence in the middle of the Nittany Lion batting order with a .308 batting average and 21 RBI. She hit .277 in Big Ten games, while driving in a team-high nine runs.
Kalp shattered virtually every Penn State pitching record this season. The senior co-captain broke the schoolĘ¬s career records in strikeouts (522) and wins (49). She also set Penn State season-highs with 181 strikeouts and tossed the most complete games in a single-season with 10. She currently is tied for the most wins in a season in Penn State history with 17. Kalp tallied a 7-3 record and a 1.23 ERA versus Big Ten opponents.
Penn State opens play as the number three seed in the 2000 Big Ten Tournament tomorrow afternoon when it faces No. 6 seed Purdue in a first-round game scheduled for a 12:00 p.m. (CT) start. If the Nittany Lions defeat the Boilermakers, they will face No. 2 seed Michigan at approximately 5:00 p.m. Thursday evening.
2000 ALL-BIG TEN CONFERENCE HONORS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
COACH OF THE YEAR