STARKVILLE, Miss. - Alison Owen and Julia Echols have transferred to Mississippi State University and will be eligible to don the Maroon and White starting with the 2013 campaign, head coach Vann Stuedeman announced Monday. Both players arrive from the University of Georgia.
"We are extremely thrilled to have Alison and Julia join our program," Stuedeman said. "The players on this team are as equally excited as the coaching staff to have them aboard. After being highly sought after, the fact that they chose Mississippi State to continue their talented careers speaks highly of the direction we're headed as a program."
Owen arrives in Starkville with a 2.21 career ERA and a 28-7 overall record her first two seasons inside the Southeastern Conference. The Newnan, Ga., native made four appearances at the 2010 Women's College World Series, including a save against No. 1 Washington.
During the 2011 campaign, Owen appeared in 38 games (13 starts) and registered 15 wins (15-5), three saves and a career-low 1.93 ERA. Additionally, the newcomer nearly doubled her freshman strikeout total of 88, fanning 159 batters while lowering her walk total despite pitching 28 more innings. Owen's strikeouts per seven innings (19th, 9.0) and walks allowed per seven innings (23rd, 1.31) ranked inside the top 25 nationally.
Echols will immediately add depth to the lineup at State, joining the team after a freshman debut that saw her hit .268 in 33 games (13 starts). The McDonough, Ga., native recorded 12 runs, nine RBI and three home runs.
Both Owen and Echols have ties to the current MSU squad dating back to high school, when the duo played against current Bulldog sophomores Sam Lenahan and Heidi Shape in travel ball as well as junior Erin Nesbit in summer ball.