BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – After guiding Mississippi State to a 2-2 week in four games against top-15 opponents, senior Alison Owen has been named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week. It is the first honor this season for Owen and the third of her career as she picked up the award Feb. 25 and March 4, 2013.
MSU has received at least one SEC Pitcher of the Week honor for three-straight years, the longest such stretch for the program since 2001-04. Owen is the only pitcher in program history to win the award more than once in her career.
Owen, 16-8 this season, began her week yielding three runs on four hits in two innings in a 3-2 setback at No. 15 South Alabama on Wednesday.
The Newnan, Ga., product bounced back in a big way Saturday and Sunday against No. 3/2 Alabama. She earned her second victory of the campaign against a ranked foe Saturday as she struck out 12, the most whiffs by the Crimson Tide since 12 on Feb. 15 at No. 24 Arizona. Owen retired Alabama in order in five of the seven innings and was perfect through the first three-and-two-thirds frames. She gave up a home run and single for Alabama’s only two hits of the contest in MSU’s 4-2 victory. Of the final six outs of the game, five were recorded via a strikeout. She retired the final seven batters she faced.
Earning the start again Sunday, Owen retired the first six batters to extend the streak to 13 consecutive sent down. She scattered eight hits, six singles, in the near complete-game performance in the Bulldogs’ 4-3, 10-inning walk-off victory. She only struck out one, but recorded 18 fly or pop outs to keep Alabama in check.
The Saturday and Sunday wins improved Mississippi State to 32-14, tied for the best 46-game record in program history. The wins also gave MSU its second-ever series victory against Alabama, and first since 2004. The Bulldogs earned back-to-back wins versus ranked foes for the first time since 2013, when they topped No. 3 Florida April 7 and No. 4 Alabama on April 19. MSU had never beaten a top-five opponent at home before winning the final two games of this weekend’s series.
Owen, who enters the week with 443 career strikeouts, just eight shy of the MSU all-time record, currently held by Stephanie Becker (2010-13/451), shares this week’s SEC honors with Player of the Week Madison Shipman of Tennessee and Freshman of the Week Kelli Schkade of Missouri.
The Bulldogs return to action Tuesday with a 6 p.m. CT contest at Jackson State.