Softball places four on All-Big Ten teams

University Park, Pa. — Penn State softball placed four student-athletes on All-Big Ten teams on Wednesday, the most Nittany Lions recognized by the conference's season-end awards since 2006. Lisa Akamine (Escondido, Calif.) garnered her third consecutive All-Big Ten honor when she was named to the second team. Jackie Hill (San Jose, Calif.) and Cassidy Bell (Bakersfield, Calif.) joined Akamine on the All-Big Ten Second Team, while Alyssa Sovereign (La Canada, Calif.) earned All-Big Ten Third Team recognition.

Akamine posted yet another outstanding year in the circle and at the plate for the Blue and White. The right-handed pitcher led the team in earned run average (1.92) and batting average against (.190), while providing a pivotal bat in the lineup. Akamine was fourth on the team with a .256 average to go along with three doubles, 11 runs, a homer and 12 RBI. Akamine also played a nearly flawless infield, securing a .978 fielding percentage, committing only one error. This is her third All-Big Ten award, previously being named to the All-Big Ten Third Team her freshman and sophomore years.

For Hill, she earned her first All-Big Ten accolade thanks to a career season where she won 18 games, third-most in a single season at Penn State. Hill posted a 2.12 ERA after a career-high 205 innings of work in her healthiest collegiate season. Hill struck out 182 batters, which ranked fifth in the conference, while her walks allowed was fourth best in the Big Ten. The redshirt-senior moved into Penn State's all-time lead for wins (61) and second in strikeouts with 670.

Bell notched her first All-Big Ten honor on Wednesday thanks to leading the Penn State roster in every power category and setting the table for the Nittany Lion offense as the leadoff hitter. Bell hit .295 with a team-high 30 runs, 49 hits, 13 doubles, three triples and seven homers to accompany 25 RBI. She also stole a team best eight bases with six outfield assists in the field, earning her the team's defensive player of the year honors this past Saturday. During Big Ten play, Bell led the conference in doubles (7) while hitting .333 with a triple, two homers and 10 RBI. Additionally, Bell was named Penn State's recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

Sovereign gave PSU an immediate boost in the outfield in her inaugural campaign. The freshman hit .268 on the year with nine doubles, a triple and three home runs. She also tallied 22 RBI while throwing out five base runners from rightfield, second most on the team behind her counterpart, Bell. Like Bell, she hit .333 in Big Ten season, notching five doubles and 12 RBI for Penn State.

The last time the Nittany Lions saw at least four of their own land on All-Big Ten squads was in 2006 when Jenn Reynolds was named to the first team, Danielle Kinley and Jen Williams garnered second-team attention, and Missy Beseres and Ashley Esparza were third-team honorees.

Michigan's Amanda Chidester and Carol Hutchins took home Big Ten Player and Coach of the Year honors, respectively, while Morgan Melloh of Indiana was named Pitcher of the Year. Minnesota pitcher Sara Moulton gathered Big Ten Freshman of the Year accolades.

The Nittany Lions host their first NCAA Regional since 1983 when No. 13 seed Oregon, Fordham and Albany visit Beard Field for a minimum of six games this weekend. Oregon and Albany kick off double-elimination action at 2:30 p.m. on Friday before Penn State hosts Fordham at 5:00 p.m. The regional continues on Saturday with games at 2:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. before the regional finals commence on Sunday at Noon. A second game on Sunday, if necessary, will take place at 2:30 p.m.

All University Park Regional games on Friday and Saturday will be streamed live on GoPSUsports.com with free video. All Penn State and Fordham games will be broadcast online as well, while Friday's PSU-Fordham game can be heard on 1390 AM WRSC in State College. Sunday's competition is scheduled to be broadcast live by the Big Ten Network.

For fans who are making the trip to University Park they can purchase tickets starting Tuesday at the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office (Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) and until Friday at Noon. Tickets may also be purchased over the phone at (814) 865-5555. Tickets may also be purchased at the Nittany Lion Softball Park one hour prior to the day's game time.

All-session tickets for general admission adults will be $25 with a student/youth price at $15. Groups of 15 or more will be $12 a person. Daily ticket prices will go $10 for general admission adult, $6 general admission student/youth and $5 per person in groups of 15 or more. Groups may contact Joel Diamond at (814) 867-2557 ahead of time.

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Last Updated May 20, 2011