Owen joins Akron Racers of National Pro Fastpitch League
After wrapping up her Mississippi State career by leading the Bulldogs to their third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, former East Coweta High star pitcher Alison Owen will continue her softball career in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league as a member of the Akron Racers.
The league opens the 2014 season on Thursday when the Racers play the Chicago Bandits.
Owen becomes the first Mississippi State player to go to the NPF since Courtney Bures was drafted 16th overall by the Washington Glory in 2008.
The NPF consists of four teams, the USSSA Pride, Chicago Bandits, Akron Racers and Pennsylvania Rebellion.
Owen will be joined on the squad by other former Southeastern Conference members Kelley Montalvo (Alabama), Charlotte Morgan (Alabama), Taylor Schlopy (Georgia) and Rachele Fico (LSU).
Owen ended her senior campaign with an 18-12 record, 223 strikeouts, three shutouts and a 2.98 earned-run average. Prior to the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament she ranked 18th among all Division I pitchers in strikeouts per seven innings (8.9), was 34th in total strikeouts while 38th in fewest walks allowed per seven innings (1.35).
“I’m excited to add Alison to our pitching staff,” Racers’ General Manager Joey Arrietta said. “Alison will provide us with a battle-tested pitcher having dealt with the explosive lineups in the SEC.”
Owen departs from Mississippi State ranking within the top three in nearly every career pitching category despite just two years for the Bulldogs after transferring from the University of Georgia. Owen established the MSU records for most strikeouts per game (8.83), total strikeouts (473) and strikeouts looking (102). She also checks in fourth in complete games (34), sixth in saves (six) and sixth in shutouts (eight).
SMITH, KENTUCKY HEADED TO COLLEGE WORLD SERIES: Only a couple of years after helping lead Northgate High to a Class AAAA state softball championship in 2011, Ansley Smith is a part of a historic year with Kentucky’s program as it clawed its way past UCLA for its first trip to the College World Series.
The sophomore infielder scored a run during the Wildcats’ clinching 7-1 victory over third-seeded UCLA (52-8) in a two-game sweep over the Bruins on their home field. Kentucky entered last week’s NCAA Super Regionals at the No. 14 seed in the tournament.
Kentucky will play sixth-seeded Louisiana-Lafayette in the opening round of the College World Series at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 on Thursday in Oklahoma City.
Smith is the first local player to compete in the CWS since former East Coweta standouts Lisaira Daniels and Alison Owen were freshman players for Georgia over consecutive years in 2009 and 2010. Both players later transferred to Syracuse and Mississippi State, respectively.
The 2011 Newnan Times-Herald Player of the Year, who was a starting shortstop for the Lady Vikings during their Class AAAA title run, has appeared in 63 out of 66 games for Kentucky this season while batting .202 in 52 starts. She’s posted four doubles, three homers and 13 RBIs.
REINHARDT UNBEATEN AT NAIA WORLD SERIES HEADING INTO TONIGHT’S GAME: A Reinhardt roster including former Northgate standouts Katie Burns and Carleigh Myatt, both freshmen for the Eagles, has won its first two games of the NAIA World Series at South Commons Complex in Columbus with a 6-0 victory over Saint Gregory’s University and a 3-2 victory over Oklahoma City University on Monday.
Tonight, Reinhardt will face the winner of Tuesday’s late game between Auburn-Montgomery and William Carey.
The Eagles, who captured this year’s Appalachian Athletic Conference Championship, entered with a No. 9 national ranking, while improving their record to 46-8.