Dunne Leads Tide's SEC Honorees
That's what Alabama pitcher Kelsi Dunne did as part of being selected the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year. Moreover, she became the first Bama pitcher to win the award in consecutive seasons.
Dunne was the headliner as the Alabama softball team of Coach Patrick Murphy captured 10 awards as announced by the SEC.
Dunne was joined on the All-SEC first team by sophomore Kayla Braud and senior Whitney Larsen.
Dunne, a senior from Port Orange, Fla., joined Stephanie VanBrakle last year as the only Tiders to be named SEC Pitcher of the Year. Dunne also was named to the first-team and earned all-defensive team honors.
Dunne finished the conference season 13-2 with a 1.65 ERA. She struck out 146 batters in 110 innings and held opposing hitters to a .161 average. She tossed two no-hitters during league play, a seven inning blanking of South Carolina and a five inning affair against Mississippi. The no-hitter against Ole Miss came to start the final series of the season, three games Alabama had to win to take the SEC title for the second year in a row.
Larsen earns first-team accolades for the first time in her career. The senior batted .314 with five home runs and 18 RBI while scoring 19 runs and collecting 22 hits. She added a .571 slugging percentage and a .467 on base percentage. Larsen also was named to the all-defensive team at shortstop.
Braud earns first-team honors for the second straight season. The sophomore batted .337 during league games, adding a team-high 29 hits and 25 runs scored. She also stole nine bases, sported a .441 on base percentage and hit two home runs while adding 11 RBI.
Junior Amanda Locke garnered second-team honors at the designated player/utility position. The Mesquite, Texas, native led Alabama with a .352 average, six home runs and 22 RBI. She also paced the team with a .722 slugging percentage and .514 on base percentage. The selection was a career first for the former SEC Freshman of the Year.
Newcomer Kaila Hunt was named to the All-SEC Freshman team. Hunt batted .286 during league games with four home runs and 11 RBI. The Evans, Ga., native slugged .508, sported an on base percentage of .400 while walking 11 times.
Joining Dunne and Larsen on the SEC All-Defensive team were juniors Kendall Dawson and Jazlyn Lunceford. Both earn the honor for the first time in their careers.
Dawson fielded .991 behind the dish and threw out 67 percent of would-be base stealers. Lunceford fielded a perfect 1.000 in the outfield, making 14 putouts with one assist.
Alabama will open the SEC tournament on Thursday. The Crimson Tide will face the No. 8 seed Mississippi State Bulldogs at 6:30 p.m., with the game slated to air live on ESPN2.
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