« Softball 2017

Sara Groenewegen

School

University of Minnesota

Position
Pitcher/Utility
Major
Sport Management

Classroom

Sara Groenewegen is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, students must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Groenewegen accomplished this while majoring in sport management and minoring in leadership. With her leadership minor Groenewegen worked for a semester with the Marcy Open Elementary School.

Character

Groenewegen shines with her positive attitude. She plays with type 1 diabetes but you would never be able to tell. Groenewegen has never let diabetes keep her from accomplishing her goals. Her teammates often joke that they forget she even has it because she is so laid back about it. Groenewegen said she never really had any athlete she knew of that played with type 1 diabetes, so she has made it a goal to be an inspiration for young athletes growing up with it. She’s had little girls come up to her and tell her that she has inspired them or that they were embarrassed of playing with their pump before they heard her story. On top of what she has overcome, Groenewegen is as competitive as they come. She has been a constant leader as the Gophers have built a successful top-ranked program through her career.

Community

Groenewegen has been very active in the Twin Cities community throughout her time as a student-athlete at the University of Minnesota. She is a frequent visitor of the Masonic Children’s Hospital. If they are putting on an event, you can be sure to find Groenewegen there. She has also participated in many anti-bullying events at elementary and middle schools as part of the Gophers Stand Up to Bullying program. She also just started working as a student intern in the Student Athlete Development department at the University of Minnesota.

Competition

Groenewegen is a two-time NFCA All-American (first-team in 2016, second-team in 2015). She is one of only three players in the history of the Big Ten to win B1G Freshman, Pitcher and Player of the Year awards. She is a three-time All B1G and three-time NFCA All-Region honoree, and is a two-time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award top-10 finalist. In her career Groenewegen has earned 16 weekly B1G plaudits. One of her most impressive performances came against No. 2 Michigan in the 2016 B1G Tournament Championship game. She pitched all 24 innings of the tournament for Minnesota striking out 29 batters including striking out 11 in 10 innings in the championship game against Michigan as the Gophers went on to win.

Groenewegen will go down as one of the best players if not the best player in Gopher history. After three seasons she is fifth all-time in program for most complete games with 60, fourth all-time for most wins with 76, fourth all-time for strikeouts with 907, fifth all-time for home runs with 34 and first all-time for no-hitters with 6. She has one career perfect game in a 1-0 victory over FAU.