Autumn Owen (photo via Gardner-Webb Sports Information)

Former Polk County standout Autumn Owen has been named the Big South Conference Preseason Co-Player of the Year in voting done by the league’s softball coaches.

Owen and Radford senior outfielder Sydney Fisher tied for the preseason honor with 14 points each in the voting. Owen (two first-place votes) started all 29 games last season, hitting .386 (32-83) with four home runs and 22 RBI. The Big South Player of the Week on Feb. 11, Owen was 11-11 in stolen bases, had five triples, slugged .735 and scored 25 runs.

Owen was the 2019 Big South Freshman of the Year and a First-Team All-Conference honoree as well as named to the Schutt Sports/NFCA Freshman of the Year Top 25 list. She started all 52 games as a freshman and led Gardner-Webb with a .384 batting average (56-for-146), 28 extra-base hits, had 13 home runs, 50 RBI and 113 total bases. She ranked in the top 30 nationally in three categories and was second in the Big South in homers, RBI, total bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

League coaches also tabbed Gardner-Webb as the preseason favorite for the Big South regular-season title.