U of M shortstop Jess Oakland named Big Ten Player of the Year

The Big Ten Conference has selected sophomore Jess Oakland, the shortstop for the University of Minnesota’s women’s softball team, as its Player of the Year.

The conference announced its decision on Wednesday.

In addition to being named Big Ten Player of the Year, Oakland was unanimously named First Team All-Big Ten and was also selected for the All-Defensive Team.

According to the university, Oakland is the first Gopher to win the award since Kendyl Lindaman did so in 2017 and 2018. In addition, she’s the fifth player in the team’s history to win it.

Oakland, who is from San Jose, Calif., leads the teams with runs (68), and is second in batting average (.445) and third in home runs with 19. She has also hit 19 doubles and has been walked 38 times.

Throughout the country, Oakland is fifth in batting average, on-base percentage, doubles and walks and is fourth in total bases.

Big Ten officials also announced catcher Taylor Krapf was named First Team All-Big Ten, second baseman Sydney Strelow and centerfielder Morgan DeBord – both graduates – were named to the conference’s second team. Pitcher Jacie Hambrick was nominated for a Sportsmanship Award.