STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior Alison Owen became the first pitcher in school history to be named Southeastern Conference Softball Pitcher of the Week for a second-consecutive week, the league announced Monday. The right-hander, who earned SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors Feb. 25, is also the first MSU player to earn the accolade twice in a career. The two weekly honors make 2013 the first season in school history the program has garnered two weekly pitching awards in the same year.
"I am humbled again by this extremely prestigious honor," Owen said. "This really is a team award, because when I think about what we did this weekend, it was the entire roster, from one to 22, that helped me succeed in the circle."
Along with her teammates, Owen guided the Bulldogs to a perfect 5-0 record on the weekend at the 2013 D9 Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. The Newnan, Ga., native flashed some Disney magic of her own, going 3-0 with a save in four appearances, with all three victories being complete games. The highlight of the weekend came Saturday against Fordham, when the righty tossed the 14th no-hitter in school history.
Following her success this weekend, Owen leads the SEC in opponent batting average .083 (only pitcher under .100) and is tied for the league lead in fewest walks allowed (2). The ace also ranks second in the conference in ERA (0.47), fourth in strikeouts (88) and sixth in wins with an 8-1 record on the year.
After not having an SEC Pitcher of the Week from March 2006 to the end of the 2011 season, the Bulldogs have earned three weekly pitching accolades under Head Coach Vann Stuedeman since the dugout general arrived in Starkville prior to the 2012 season. Owen's award for the second time in as many weeks marks the 22nd time in Stuedeman's career the skipper has coached an SEC Pitcher of the Week.
"I really hope the fans out there in our state know Coach Stuedeman is up to something special here," Owen said. "She is the best pitching coach in the country."
Fans wanting to watch the reigning and defending two-time SEC Pitcher of the Week perfect her craft can do so four times this week, as Starkville's team returns home to the MSU Softball Stadium for a four-game homestand. On Wednesday, March 6, at 5:30 p.m., MSU battles Memphis in a non-conference showdown. The homestand wraps up March 8-10 as the Bully Bombers launch SEC play with a three-game series against nationally-ranked LSU.
For live in-game updates of MSU's homestand this upcoming week, follow the program on Twitter at @MStateSB. For pictures, like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateSB and visit the team's Instagram account at MStateSB. For pregame and postgame video, check out MSU's official YouTube channel at YouTube.com/HailState.
Mississippi State's 2013 SEC Weekly
March 4, 2013 - Alison Owen, SEC Pitcher of the Week
Feb. 25, 2013 - Alison Owen, Co-SEC Pitcher of the Week
Mississippi State's SEC Softball Pitchers of the Week
March 4, 2013 - Alison Owen
Feb. 25, 2013 - Alison Owen
April 23, 2012 - Stephanie Becker
Feb. 27, 2006 - Stephanie Comeaux
May 11, 2004 - Kelli Miller
Feb. 24, 2003 - Melissa Massey
Feb. 12, 2002 - Kasey Whitehead
April 2, 2001 - Jennifer Pursell
April 6, 1999 - Autumn Anderson
April 29, 1997 - Alicia Judd