On Monday, the Big Ten conference announced their last weekly softball honors of the season. The Illinois Fighting Illini saw one of their players end the regular season out on a high note as Illini pitcher Brandi Needham was named both Big Ten Pitcher of the Week and Big Ten Freshman of the Week by the conference.
Last week, Needham pitched a total of fourteen innings where she went 2-0 while only giving up one run on nine hits and struck out four batters.
According to fightingillini.com, “Needham becomes the first Illinois pitcher to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Week since the conference began awarding the honor in 2011.”
On top of that, the Dripping Springs, Texas, native is the first Illini freshman to be named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week since 2001 (the year where Illinois fielded 17 freshman in total).
However, Brandi Needham is not the only freshman to earn the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week title this season. Minnesota’s freshman Sara Groenewegen earned the honor on April 7th along with Co-Freshman of the Week.
The Fighting Illini will play next on May 8th in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Illinois earned the 9th seed in the tournament and will play the 8th seeded Iowa Hawkeyes on May 8th at 4:30 p.m. (CST).
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