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Co-Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of
the Year: catcher Boo Gillette
The junior led the Badgers with five home runs and a
single-season record 34 RBI, and was second with a .328 batting average.
Gillette, a two-year captain, also had a school-record 14 doubles. Defensively,
she held opponents to a 48 percent success rate in steal attempts. She also
picked off a conference-leading seven runners. Gillette was honored with a Big
Ten Player of the Week award for the week of March 2.
Co-Most Valuable Player: shortstop Kris Zacher
Wisconsin’s starting shortstop for all 57 games, Zacher
set a new single-season hit record with 63 while recording a team-high .350
batting average. Zacher was also second on the team with four homers, 31 RBI and
10 doubles, and led the Badgers with three triples and 13 stolen bases. Zacher
was named the Big Ten’s player of the week April 12. Zacher was also awarded
with a spot on the all-tournament team at the Capital Classic, going 6-for-16
(.375) with three runs scored, two home runs, six RBI and an .813 slugging
percentage from March 19-21.
Most Improved Player: pitcher Megan Smith
A freshman walk-on, Smith appeared in 12 games this season
and posted a 1-1 record with a 3.16 ERA. In just 31 innings of work, Smith
struck out 10 batters. She worked a complete game in her first collegiate start
– a heartbreaking nine-inning 7-5 loss to Hawaii Feb. 14, in which she gave up
six earned runs. After that game, Smith surrendered only seven runs in 22
innings, giving her a 2.22 ERA the rest of the season.
Defensive Player of the Year: third baseman Athena
Starting all 57 games at third base, Vasquez made a huge
impact on the field. The freshman notched a team-leading and single-season
record 185 assists. She unofficially has the most assists of any Division I
third baseman. Vasquez’s average of 3.24 assists per game is believed to be the
third highest in Division I. Vasquez also contributed at the plate, notching 17
RBI with seven doubles and two homers.
Freshman of the Year: pitcher Eden Brock
Brock led the Badgers with 30 appearances, 24 starts and a
team-low 1.71 ERA. She compiled a 12-13 record. Brock also led the squad with
six shutouts and tied for the team lead with 14 complete games. Brock nearly
reached perfection against Loyola-Chicago April 7, when she retired the first 16
batters she faced before surrendering a single with one out in the sixth inning.
Brock recorded three wins during Wisconsin’s record-tying eight-game winning
streak from Feb. 21-29.
Coaches’ Award: pitcher Katie Layne
The Badgers’ only returning pitcher entering the 2004
season, Layne led the pitching staff with 13 victories and 90 strikeouts while
throwing for a 2.72 ERA. Layne tied Brock for the team lead with 14 complete
games. She also threw two shutouts among her 22 starts. Layne earned a spot on
the all-tournament team at the National Invitational Softball Tournament, going
2-1 with a 0.00 ERA in 16.2 innings pitched, scattering seven hits and striking
out 11 over the course of three games.
Academic Achievement Award: Natalie Phillips
Showing excellence on the field and in the classroom, this
is the second straight year Phillips has received the Academic Achievement
Award. A junior majoring in secondary education (political science and history),
Phillips owns the team’s highest grade-point average and is an Athletic Board
Scholar. On the diamond, Phillips slugged two home runs and three doubles with
Badger Pride Award: Sam Polito
Polito made a big impact at Wisconsin in her first year
playing collegiate softball, starting all 57 games. Hitting in the leadoff spot,
the freshman was second on the team with 33 runs scored and was third on the
squad with 46 hits. She had a .247 batting average. Polito was also second on
the team with four stolen bases and tied for second with two triples. A staple
in centerfield, Polito led all Wisconsin outfielders with 62 putouts.
Most Inspirational Player: Diana Consolmagno
Wisconsin’s lone graduating senior, Consolmagno
exemplified leadership, serving as a team captain for the past three seasons.
Consolmagno contributed to the Badger cause by belting two home runs and seven
doubles with 13 RBI in 54 games played. She smacked the second grand slam of her
career in Wisconsin’s 7-1 win over Utah State Feb. 21 at the ASU Louisville
Slugger Classic. Consolmagno’s energy extended to her defensive play as well.
She led all Badger outfielders with five assists.