For the fourth time this season, Indiana softball’s Taryn Kern has been awarded Big Ten Freshman of the Week. Team 50 swept Rutgers in a three-game series that ended Sunday just a week after being swept by Nebraska.
Kern launched her 19th home run of the season in Sunday’s series finale, leading the Hoosiers to a close 5-4 victory.
With Sunday’s two-run blast, Kern is tied for first with four other players for the NCAA lead in home runs. Kern leads the Big Ten in home runs handily as the next closest is Maryland’s Amelia Lech with 14.
With six games left in the regular season, Kern is five home runs shy of the Big Ten single-season record of 24 that was set by Illinois’ Angelena Mexicano in 2008.
During the three games in Piscataway, New Jersey, Kern batted .500 with a slugging percentage of 1.250 and an on-base percentage of .833. She totaled a whopping OPS of 2.083 against the Scarlet Knights, driving in four runs, scoring five runs while also drawing four walks.
Kern has now received Freshman of the Week four times – a mark tying her for fourth-most in conference history.
Kern and the rest of Team 50 head into the week with a record of 34-15 and a conference record of 12-5. The Hoosiers are tied with Nebraska for second in the Big Ten standings, proving the upcoming series against perennial powerhouse Michigan to be a critical one.