Former Polk County standout Autumn Owen was named the Big South Freshman of the Year and received two additional awards while teammates Andria Booth, Brooke Perry, Jenna Wacaster and Reah Barger also received recognition from the conference during Tuesday’s announcement of the Big South All-Conference awards.
Owen was also named a First-Team All-Big South member as a utility player and All-Freshman honoree, and Booth was named a First-Team outfielder. Perry received Second-Team honors as a pitcher and Wacaster made the Honorable Mention team. Barger was the second Runnin’ Bulldog on the All-Freshman squad.
Owen was a four-time Freshman of the Week honoree and is a candidate for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Freshman of the Year award. She led Gardner-Webb with a .384 batting average and 28 extra base hits, 13 of which were home runs. With her Freshman of the Year honor, the 2019 annual awards marks the second straight year that a Runnin’ Bulldog was named the league’s top freshman.
Owen finished her inaugural campaign in the red and black ranked second among the league leaders in RBI (50), total bases (113), on-base percentage (.469) and slugging percentage (.774). Additionally, she finished tied for third with 13 home runs.
She earned recognition from the Big South as the Freshman of the Week on February 11, March 18, April 15 and April 29. Her March 18 recognition came after she displayed impressive power at the plate during a doubleheader at Appalachian State. The freshman had six at-bats in the twinbill, which the two teams split, and she belted three home runs with an additional base hit. In the nightcap against the Mountaineers, she went 3-for-4 with two dingers and five RBI.