LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association voted Mallory Baker as one of the nation's 27 best Division-I first basemen on Wednesday when it released all nine of it's all-region teams. The honor is Baker's first time earning the award and her second postseason accolade of the year.
The Greenwood, Indiana, native's breakthrough season earned her Second Team All-Midwest Region. She is now the 43rd student-athlete in Purdue softball history to earn all-region recognition and is the the program has now produced an all-region honoree each of the last five seasons. The honor comes just a week after she was named the best first baseman in the Big Ten, declaring her as the 49th Boilermaker in program history to earn All-Big Ten status and the 18th selection to the first team.
Baker took her game to new heights as a sophomore with career-best totals in every offensive stat category. She appeared in all 55 games during the regular season, 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. Baker's year was capped off by a solo home run in the first inning against Northwestern in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
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.