Harkins, Beck named SAA Softball Pitcher, Newcomer of the Year

Taylor Harkins (left) and Micaela Beck (right) - photos by Jimmy Mitchell
Taylor Harkins (left) and Micaela Beck (right) - photos by Jimmy Mitchell

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Sophomore Taylor Harkins has been named Southern Athletic Association Softball Pitcher of the Year, and freshman Micaela Beck was voted SAA Softball Newcomer of the Year, the league office announced today.

Beck and Harkins were joined on the All-SAA First Team by senior infielder Alyssa Statham and junior outfielder Maddie Ridgway. Senior Bethany Fronk and sophomore Amanda Ballew earned Second-Team accolades, and senior Taylor Bassett was named Honorable Mention All-Conference.

Harkins, from Mountain Brook, Ala., was also named Pitcher of the Year last season as a freshman. In 2015, she led the league in appearances with 27 and compiled a 17-5 overall record including two saves. Harkins struck out 117 batters, second-most in the league, and posted the second-best ERA overall with 1.42. She tossed 16 complete games and ranks among the nation's leaders in shutouts with eight on the season. Opposing batters only gained hits at an average rate of .202 against this stalwart on the mound for the Panthers.

Beck, from Winfield, Ala., enjoyed a tremendous opening campaign for the Panthers, ranking inside the top five in a bevy of statistical categories, including leading the league in hits (52), home runs (10), and total bases (96) as a freshman. She delivered a league-best five sacrifice flies in 2015 and held a slugging percentage of .701, third-best in the SAA.

The 25th-ranked Birmingham-Southern softball team finished the season at 32-8-1 and second in the SAA standings with a record of 19-2-1. The Panthers lost in the SAA Championship on Sunday to top-seeded eventual champion Berry and Hendrix.

CLICK HERE to view the complete list of winners.