The Iowa softball team will have a pair of first-team all-Big Ten performers when the season begins after junior pitcher Kayla Massey and sophomore infielder Megan Blank were both honored with the preseason selections this week.
The honors were made possible by College Sports Madness.
“It is a great honor to have your student-athletes recognized for their athletic abilities,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “Kayla and Megan have done great things on the field in the past, and I know they will continue to do great things in the future. Their challenge is to not rest on the accolades and awards, but to prove they deserve them.
“Softball is a team sport that relies heavily on individual performances, but without the team succeeding the individual will not be recognized. These two were chosen this preseason, but I expect others to join them and be recognized for their contributions by the end of the season.”
Massey has won 27 games in his 68 career appearances inside the circle. She was a first-team all-Big Ten selection a year ago after going 15-11 with an earned run average of 2.04. Massey also had seven shutouts and 24 complete games in her 26 starts and had 120 strikeouts over 185 2/3 innings.
The California native has 27 career wins with an ERA of 2.60.
Blank was the ninth player in school history to garner first team all-Big Ten honors as a freshman and the ninth player in program history to earn all-region recognition as a freshman.
The California native started all 53 games at shortstop and led the team with a .390 batting average that included 34 runs, 29 RBIs, 17 doubles, five triples and two home runs.
The 17 doubles are tied for fourth in the Iowa record books, while the triples are tied for eighth and the batting average is 10th best all-time.
Iowa opens the season Feb. 8 in Houston, Texas. The Hawkeyes face Lipscomb and UT Arlington at the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic.