May 30, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Joe Haase and third team All-Big Ten first baseman Ashley Courtney were named among 24 student-athletes honored by the Big Ten Conference as Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners.
Courtney and Haase were chosen from a group of 300 student-athletes honored throughout the academic year who had displayed positive sportsmanship. Courtney led the softball team to a 31-22 record and the program's second best conference win total, while Haase has guided the baseball team to its first Big Ten title since 1909, its first ever Big Ten Tournament title and its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1987. The Boilermaker baseball team is playing host to the Gary, Ind., NCAA Regional at the U.S. Steel Yard ballpark in Gary Friday through Monday.
One member of each varsity sports team on every campus was chosen by his or her institution as a Sportsmanship Award honoree. From each university's list, two Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners were then selected. All of the Sportsmanship Award honorees have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, these student-athletes must be in good academic standing and must have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
Haase has been a constant in the Purdue rotation the last two years, starting a game in nearly every Big Ten weekend series. He leads the Big Ten with 10 victories this season, but more importantly the Boilers are 13-1 in his 14 starts. He helped guide Purdue to a series-opening victory in every Big Ten weekend series, earning the win in every start except April 20 at Nebraska. After not pitching past the fifth inning in any of his first four starts this year, he put together eight quality outings over a stretch of nine starts from mid-March through mid-May.
Haase was a two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Week this year, earning the award after complete-game shutouts against Northwestern and Michigan. He also led Purdue to a shutout win against Illinois (7 IP, 5 H, 0 BB). He was dynamite in his four starts at Lambert Field this year, winning all four while issuing just one walk and compiling a 0.88 ERA.
All told, Haase boasts a 10-1 record with 52 strikeouts in 95 innings of work, including two complete game shutouts. He has posted a 3.41 ERA and allowed just 20 walks on the year.
For her part, Courtney garnered third team All-Big Ten honors after starting all 53 games for the Boilermakers in 2012, 44 at first base and nine at second base. The junior, who was a starter at second base for the last two seasons, switched to first base to fill a team need. Despite the transition, the Lafayette, Ind., native made good on 98 percent of her defensive opportunities, and was involved in a team-best 14 double plays, which ranked third among conference players.
Courtney also was a steady presence at the plate, reaching base via hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in 45 of 53 games, including two five-game hit streaks, 11 multi-hit games and three perfect days at the plate. She drove in a team-leading 34 RBI, including eight game winners, while scoring 26 runs, including two game winners. The junior posted a .350 average with 18 extra-base hits, including 13 doubles and three home runs. She boasted a .531 slugging percentage and 28 walks for a team-leading .457 on-base percentage, while also swiping eight bases. Courtney ranked among the league's top 10 in double plays (3rd with 14), triples (6th with 2), doubles (8th with 13) and on-base percentage (10th with .457). The on-base percentage tally ranks tied for fifth on Purdue's all-time season list.
In conference play, Courtney posted a .349 average with 15 RBI, 12 runs and seven doubles. Defensively, she made good on all but one of her chances. Her seven doubles ranked fourth in the league, while her one triple also ranked fourth. The junior laid down four sacrifice bunts during the Big Ten season, ranking 10th. She started 22 games at first base during the conference season and one at second. \
The team's Heart of a Champion award winner for the last three seasons, the infielder also was a Wooden Citizenship Award semifinalist. The junior spearheaded the team's fundraising efforts for the Light The Night Walk, which supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Over the past three years, the team has raised more than $5000 for the cause, which it participates in in honor of Courtney's father Mike, who lost his battle with lymphoma in 2010.
Purdue's Sportsmanship Award Honorees
Stephen Schulz, Men's Cross Country Blair Doney, Women's Cross Country Joe Holland, Football Alexis Tryba, Soccer Emily Ehlers, Volleyball Robbie Hummel, Men's Basketball Brittany Rayburn, Women's Basketball Tyler Gertz, Men's Swimming and Diving Carly Marshall, Women's Swimming and Diving Josh Lee, Men's Indoor Track and Field Terri Anderson, Women's Indoor Track and Field Camden Eppert, Wrestling Joe Haase, Baseball Justin Cho, Men's Golf Paula Reto, Women's Golf Ashley Courtney, Softball Mark Kovacs, Men's Tennis Lynda Xepoleas, Women's Tennis Josh Lee, Men's Outdoor Track and Field Leah Eber, Women's Indoor Track and Field