WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — A trio of Purdue softball student-athletes garnered postseason accolades when the Big Ten Conference announced its All-Big Ten honors on Wednesday.
Senior Jenny Behan repeated as a first-team selection for the second straight year, while freshman Kasey Wilhoit was named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team and senior Mallory Baker was selected Purdue's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award recipient.
A two-time First-Team All-Big Ten selection, Behan continues to be a steady force at the plate since joining the Boilermakers in 2018. The third baseman leads the Boilermakers in batting average (.362), slugging percentage (.687), on-base percentage (.473), RBI (40), hits (59) and sacrifice flies (4) this season. She also tops the Boilermakers with 13 home runs on the year, which is good for the second-most home runs in a season in program history. Defensively, Behan owns a .913 fielding percentage with a team-best 119 assists and 48 putouts.
"Behan has made a huge impact on our program over the last two seasons, both on the field and with our culture," head coach Boo De Oliveira said. "It's been exciting to see her grow into herself as a ballplayer and a leader. She's clutch and she deserves this award."
Behan is only one of two Boilermakers to receive first-team honors twice in their collegiate careers. She joins Andie Varsho, who garnered first-team honors in 2013 and 2014. Earlier this season Behan also became the first Boilermaker since 2015 to be recognized as the Big Ten Player of the Week after guiding Purdue to a 4-1 showing at the Diamond 9 Citrus Class. In the tournament, she tallied nine hits and nine RBI.
A breakout start for the Boilermakers, Wilhoit started 54 games in the outfield and ranks third on the team in batting average (.309), hits (52) and RBI (33) to go along with 30 runs this season. The freshman also registered key hits for the Boilermakers, knocking in the game-winning runs against Iowa and Penn State. Defensively, Wilhoit is tied for first with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with 57 putouts and three assists.
"Wilhoit has played all of the outfield positions this season and has been solid at them all," De Oliveira said. "She is aggressive and a good vocal leader out there. She is a gamer and her future looks bright as a Boilermaker."
Baker was one of 14 recognized Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These students must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
"Baker is a true leader in our program, on the field and in life," De Oliveira said. "She not only is a vocal leader, but she leads by example. She embodies what it means to be a Boilermaker. Our culture is a positive family environment largely because of her and this senior class."
A 2017 NFCA All-Region Second-Team honoree, Baker has competed in over 200 games for the Boilermakers, including 56 games this season. In her final season, the Greenwood, Indiana, native registered 50 hits, 40 runs and 33 RBI.
Purdue heads to the Big Ten Tournament in Bloomington, Ind. as the No. 11 seed, May 9-11. The Boilermakers hit off the tournament against No. 6 Rutgers on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. The winner of the opening match up will face No. 3 Minnesota on Friday, May 10 at 7 p.m. ET.