ROSEMONT, Ill. -
For the first time in their collegiate careers as student-athletes, Mallory Baker and Erika Beeler have been honored by the Big Ten Conference in its release of the 2017 Softball All-Conference Teams and Individual Awards. Baker is lone first baseman to earn First Team All-Big Ten honors while Beeler is one-of-14 honorees of the conference’s Sportsmanship Award.
Baker is Purdue’s 49th All-Big Ten honoree and is one-of-18 student-athletes named to the first team. With her selection, Purdue has now had first-team recipients in five of the last seven seasons. She’s also Purdue’s first, first baseman selected to the first team since Ashley Burkhardt earned the accolade her senior season in 2014.
The Greenwood, Indiana, native took her game to new heights in her sophomore season as she enjoyed career-best totals in every offensive stat category. She appeared in all 55 games, accumulating 54 hits in 154 at-bats to hit .351 on the season while slugging .448 and posting a .440 on-base percentage. Of her 54 hits, 12 were for extra bases as she roped 10 doubles, a triple and a home run. The three hitter was Purdue’s top run producer with 28 runs batted in and 29 runs scored while also stealing 13 bases on 13 attempts.
In comparison, Baker hit just .235 as a freshman in 43 games with 27 hits in 115 at-bats to drive in 14 RBI and score 12 runs. Her 2017 campaign raises her career batting average to .301 with 81 hits, 42 RBI and 41 runs scored.
Beeler is Purdue’s recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award as the conference honors a student-athlete from each school that displays exceptional sportsmanship and ethical behavior with good academic standing and has demonstrated outstanding citizenship off the field.