Photo credit - IU Athletics

Freshman IU softball star Taryn Kern breaks records, sweeps Big Ten honors

Indiana softball freshman Taryn Kern was unanimously named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in addition to the league’s Player of the Year, the league announced on Wednesday morning.

Kern earned two unanimous selections to the All-Freshman Team and as Freshman of the Year, in addition to being awarded the Big Ten Player of the Year and named to the First Team All-Big Ten.

Kern leads the Big Ten in eight offensive categories: slugging percentage (1.022), OBS (.605), OPS (1.627), RBI (67), home runs (22), runs scored (65), walks (41), and hit by pitch (20). She is also ranked third in batting average (.438).

Not only is she an offensive force in the conference, but she is putting up big numbers at the national level, highlighted by her 22 home runs on the season where she is tied for the most homers in the nation. Kern is also on track to set a new Big Ten record for home runs by a freshman (23) as well as set a new single season record (24).

The San Jose, Calif., native has set single season program records in home runs, RBI and runs scored and is the only Hoosier to win two individual postseason awards in program history.

She has tallied six Big Ten weekly awards including three Player of the Weeks, and six Freshman of the Week honors. She began the season with three consecutive weekly honors and finished the regular season with three straight league awards.

Indiana’s Taylor Minnick was also named to the First Team All-Big Ten alongside Kern while redshirt-junior Cora Bassett, freshman Avery Parker and Sarah Stone earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors. Parker and freshman Cassidy Kettleman were also selected to the league’s All-Freshman Team with classmate Kern.

Sophomore utility player Brianna Copeland rounds out the honors with the Sportsmanship Award for her leadership and dedication to her teammates on and off the field.

The No. 2 seed Hoosiers will face the winner of No. 7 Penn State and No. 10 Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. ET at Eichelberger field on the campus of the University of Illinois.