Alex Booker led the Big Ten with the most fielding chances in 2013 without committing an error.
Feb. 4, 2014
Urbana, Ill. – Illinois senior leftfielder Alex Booker was named to the Preseason All-Big Ten Second Team by CollegeSportsMadness.com, after earning All-Big Ten Second Team honors and earning a spot on the Big Ten All-Defensive Team in 2013. Booker is the third Illini in the past three seasons to garner preseason all-conference honors, joining Pepper Gay (2013) and Jessica Davis (2012).
Booker had a fantastic season for the Illini on both offense and defense in 2013, leading the Orange and Blue at the plate with a .352 batting average and registering a .427 on base percentage. The Gurnee, Ill., native put together a team-best 51 hits, 33 runs, 13 RBI, five doubles, a triple and 18 walks, while recording three sacrifice bunts.
The speed demon stole 20 bases on just 21 attempts, becoming the third Illini in school history to tab 20 swipes in a single season, while tying for second with a .952 efficiency. She ranked fifth in the Big Ten and 72nd in the nation in stolen bases, including fourth in the conference with eight during Big Ten play. With her final season about to get under way, she sits in seventh all-time in career stolen bases (32) and in fifth in SB% (.821).
Booker was outstanding in left field, recording the most fielding chances in the Big Ten without making an error, tallying 87 putouts and seven outfield assists.
“Alex has continued to improve all areas of her game throughout her career at Illinois,” said Head Coach Terri Sullivan. “It is great that these efforts are being recognized. Booker is however focusing all of her attention on her team’s success this year, and any individual accolade she receives will be secondary to her goals for our program.”
The Illini senior was one of 24 Big Ten players named to the pair of preseason all-conference teams, with an additional four individual honors awarded. 2013 Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year Sierra Romero represents Michigan as the 2014 Preseason Field Player of the Year, while her coach Carol Hutchins once again earns Preseason Coach of the Year. Nebraska senior Tatum Edwards was named Preseason Pitcher of the Year, after earning Pitcher of the Year in 2013, while Michigan State rookie Valerie Kaff is predicted to be the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Michigan leads the Big Ten with six student-athletes named to one of the two preseason all-conference teams, followed by four from Northwestern and three each from Nebraska and Minnesota. For the complete list of preseason all-conference players, click here.