media source avatar
Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 5/8/2024, Last updated: 5/8/2024
link picture

Big Ten Conference Announces 2024 Softball Postseason Honors

Gophers’ Oakland, Wildcats’ Miller and Drohan and Nittany Lions’ Nemeth collect individual awards

page picture

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced the 2024 All-Big Ten Softball Teams and individual awards Wednesday, with Minnesota, Northwestern and Penn State earning individual accolades through a vote of the conference’s 14 head coaches.

Minnesota infielder Jess Oakland was selected as Player of the Year, while Northwestern’s Ashley Miller was named Pitcher of the Year, led by Big Ten Coach of the Year Kate Drohan, who earned the honor for the third consecutive year. Pitcher Bridget Nemeth of Penn State was named Freshman of the Year.

It’s the sixth time that a Minnesota player has been named Player of the Year and first since the 2018 season. In the final weekend of the regular season, Oakland became Minnesota’s single season leading runs scorer with 68. The sophomore currently leads the Big Ten in batting average (.457), doubles (19), home runs (19), on-base percentage (.554), slugging percentage (.915) and total bases (151). Oakland was also a unanimous selection on the All-Big Ten First Team and earned a spot on the All-Defensive Team at shortstop.

Miller earns Pitcher of the Year as the fifth Wildcat to receive the honor, and first since Danielle Williams was the unanimous selection in 2022. Miller currently leads the conference with a 1.34 ERA behind 16 wins throughout the regular season. Miller has struck out 165 batters across 151.1 innings pitched and was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week four times this season. Miller was also a unanimous selection on the All-Big Ten First Team.

This marks the sixth Big Ten Coach of the Year honor for Drohan, and fourth in five seasons. It’s also the eighth time Northwestern has produced the Big Ten Coach of the Year, with Sharon Drysdale receiving the award in 1987 and 1995. Drohan guided Northwestern to its third consecutive Big Ten Championship and 10th overall, posting a 33-10 record and a 19-3 mark in conference play to earn the No. 1 seed in this year’s Big Ten Tournament.

Nemeth is the first Nittany Lion to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and first Penn State player or pitcher to win an individual accolade. The right-handed pitcher leads the team with a 1.68 overall season ERA, paired with a historic 22-5 individual record in the circle, needing one winning decision to set the Penn State program record for wins in a single season. Her 22-5 record leads the Big Ten and is 39th-best nationally. Nemeth also owns the Penn State single-season record for Big Ten weekly awards with four. Nemeth was a unanimous selection on the All-Big Ten First Team and was also selected to the All-Freshman Team.

In addition to the individual award winners, the Big Ten announced an All-Big Ten First and Second Team, as well as nine student-athletes selected to the conference’s All-Defensive Team and 11 chosen for the All-Freshman team.

The Big Ten also announced the 14 Sportsmanship Award honorees from each institution. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sport-competition setting.

The complete All-Big Ten teams and individual honorees can be found below.



Player of the Year: Jess Oakland, So., SS, Minnesota 

Pitcher of the Year: Ashley Miller, Gr., RHP, Northwestern  

Freshman of the Year: Bridget Nemeth, RHP, Penn State  

Coach of the Year: Kate Drohan, Northwestern 



Sarah Stone, Jr., IF, Indiana 

Jena Young, Fr., IF, Iowa 

Jaeda McFarland, Gr., OF, Maryland 

Lauren Derkowski, Jr., P, Michigan 

Maddie Erickson, So., IF, Michigan 

Elle Sieler, Jr., OF, Michigan 

Keke Tholl, Sr., IF, Michigan 

Taylor Krapf, Jr., C, Minnesota 

JESS OAKLAND, So., IF, Minnesota  

Billie Andrews, Sr., IF, Nebraska 

Kelsey Nader, So., OF, Northwestern 

ASHLEY MILLER, Gr., P, Northwestern 

Kansas Robinson, So., IF, Northwestern 

Kami Kortokrax, Jr., IF, Ohio State 

BRIDGET NEMETH, Fr., P, Penn State 

Kyleigh Sand, Sr., IF, Rutgers 

MORGAN SMITH, Sr., OF, Rutgers 

Hilary Blomberg, Fr., DP, Wisconsin 



Taylor Minnick, Jr., OF, Indiana 

Aly VanBrandt, Fr., IF, Indiana 

Rylie Moss, Jr., OF, Iowa 

Sydney Lewis, So., DP, Maryland 

Mazie MacFarlane, Gr., OF, Maryland 

Diamond Williams, Gr., IF, Maryland 

Courtney Wyche, Gr., P, Maryland 

Ella Stephenson, Fr., OF, Michigan 

Hannah Hawley, So., IF, Michigan State 

Morgan DeBord, Gr., OF, Minnesota 

Sydney Strelow, Gr., IF, Minnesota  

Sydney Gray, Sr., IF, Nebraska  

Taylor Heckman, Sr., OF, Ohio State 

Allison Smith, Sr., P, Ohio State 

Gaby Garcia, Sr., C, Penn State 

Maddie Gordon, Jr., OF, Penn State 

Kaitlyn Morrison, Sr.+, IF, Penn State 

Mattie Boyd, Gr., P, Rutgers 

Ava Kuszak, So., IF, Wisconsin 



Adisyn Caryl, IF, Illinois 

Alex Cooper, UTL, Indiana 

Aly VanBrandt, UTL, Indiana 

Jena Young, IF, Iowa 

Ava Costales, UTL, Michigan 


Samantha Bland, IF/OF, Nebraska 

Emma Raye, C/IF, Northwestern 

Jasmyn Burns, C/UTL, Ohio State 

Bridget Nemeth, RHP, Penn State 




P: Morgan Smith, Sr., Rutgers 

C: Emma Raye, Fr., Northwestern 

1B: Sammy Diaz, Sr., Iowa  

2B: Sydney Strelow, Gr., Minnesota 

SS: Jess Oakland, So., Minnesota  

3B: Alex Cooper, Fr., Indiana 

OF: Morgan DeBord, Gr., Minnesota  

OF: Moriah Polar, Fr., Purdue 

OF: Jaeda McFarland, Gr., Maryland  



Abby Ryniec, Illinois  

Brooke Benson, Indiana  

Sammy Diaz, Iowa  

Megan Mikami, Maryland 

Ellie Sieler, Michigan 

Macy Lee, Michigan State  

Jacie Hambrick, Minnesota 

Mckinley Malecha, Nebraska  

Lauren Boyd, Northwestern 

Kirsten Eppele, Ohio State  

Amanda Mack, Penn State  

Kate Claypool, Purdue  

Megan Herka, Rutgers 

Tessa Magnanimo, Wisconsin 


ALL CAPS indicates unanimous selections 

* - additional players due to ties in voting