For the first time in its 30-year history, the Stetson University softball program has an All-American.
Senior pitcher and designated player Meredith Owen (Jackson, Miss.) earned Third Team All-America honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, it was announced Wednesday.
Owen was selected to the NFCA All-South Region First Team earlier this month.
"I am thrilled and humbled to be the first All-American in a program that has had its share of amazing and talented student-athletes," Owen said. "I am thankful to God, to my coaches for always giving me an opportunity, to my teammates who I wouldn't have accomplished anything without, to Stetson University for accepting me into such a great school, and to my family for always supporting me and pushing me to work harder to achieve my childhood dreams that I never knew I could reach."
The only player in the nation this season with 15 or more home runs and 25 or more victories, Owen helped lead Stetson to a 39-14 record, an Atlantic Sun Conference Championship, and the program's first-ever NCAA postseason victory.
In the circle, Owen tied the school single-season record with 27 wins, finishing the season with a 27-9 mark and a league-best 1.26 ERA. She earned first team all-conference honors as a pitcher and was named the league's Pitcher of the Week three times during the season.
Owen was at her best in the Atlantic Sun tournament, going 4-0 with a 0.50 ERA en route to Most Valuable Player honors. She allowed just two runs on 14 hits while pitching all 28 innings for the Hatters.
Owen also had a career season at the plate, batting .342 with a team-high 15 home runs and 46 RBI. She also led the team with a .711 slugging pct. and a .463 on-base percentage, reaching base safely in 48 of the team's 53 games. She batted .500 during the A-Sun tournament and scored the championship clinching run in the title game against Mercer.
"The honor is well-deserved and I am so proud of Meredith," head coach Frank Griffin said. "She is quite a story. When she first came to Stetson, she was an average pitcher at best, but she was very determined, and she went to work immediately. It is rewarding to see someone set a goal and accomplish it, and exceed all expectations. I was glad to be a part of it."
A recent Stetson graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing, Owen was a three-time Atlantic Sun Academic All-Conference performer during her career. She made more appearances than other pitcher in school history (139), and ranks among the school all-time leaders in wins (third), strikeouts (third), home runs (third), RBI (fourth) and total bases (fifth).
Owen was one of two Atlantic Sun players recognized on the NFCA All-America teams, along with USC Upstate outfielder Shellie Robinson.