Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Wallace Deserved All-Big Ten Recognition

May 12, 2023

When the Big Ten announced its all-conference selections on Wednesday, there was one glaring omission.

Nebraska’s Courtney Wallace, a reigning Gold Glove winner and the heart of the team was not mentioned.

At the end of the regular season, Courtney Wallace pitched a conference-high 197 innings and was second in wins with 22. Minnesota’s Autumn Pease was named the conference Pitcher of Year with 25 wins.

Pease led the league in wins, earned run average (1.31) and strikeouts (243). She also pitched 17 complete games and had a conference-high eight shutouts. She was one of two unanimous first-team selections.

Other pitchers who earned postseason honors are Danielle Williams of Northwestern, Maddie Schwartz of Wisconsin, Courtney Wyche of Maryland, Lauren Derkowski of Michigan and Bailey Parshall of Penn State. Iowa’s Jalen Adams made the All-Freshman Team and Maryland’s Trinity Schlotterbeck was named to the All-Defensive Team.

Wallace didn’t have a stellar ERA compared to other pitchers and she isn’t known to be a strikeout pitcher. However, she did appear in 22 of the Huskers’ 23 conference games. On Thursday, Wallace pitched Nebraska to a 1-0 win over Illinois in the Huskers’ first game of the Big Ten Tournament.

When it comes to conference-only stats, Wallace was third in wins with 10 and second in innings pitched with 102. She was seventh in strikeouts (64), fourth in strikeouts looking (18) second in saves (4).

The downfall for Wallace could’ve been her tendency to be wild at times, she had 15 wild pitches and 13 hit batters, but in the end she was the arm the team needed in almost every game this season.

When it comes to postseason awards, the thought process should be imagining what the team would be like without the person on the team. How important is that student-athlete to the program this season?

Nebraska head coach Rhonda Revelle made it a point to talk about Wallace on Senior Day.

“I’m not going to be shy about this, Courtney and I have had some tough conversations and I tell you what, she breathes live into this old gal at a time when it wasn’t easy,” said Revelle. “Her love and support and belief in me, and I don’t like to talk about me very often but, she did that. She led the way along with some others. I can distinctly remember three or four conversations that made me bawl like a baby but it made me want to fight like a dog for her.”

It’s fair to say that the Huskers would be up the creek without Wallace this season. Without the fifth-year right-hander, that would leave Sarah Harness and Kendall Mangel. Harness only pitched 47 innings and Mangel recorded 4.1.

Pitching and defense wins games, offense can only get a team so far.

There’s no doubt that Brooke Andrews, Billie Andrews and Katelyn Caneda deserved to be on the first team, like they are, but there isn’t a single Husker on the second team.

Courtney Wallace was the heartbeat of this team and deserved to be recognized. The Huskers will go as far as she can take them.

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