Thursday, June 1, 2017
2017 JWOS Award Winners Named
Megan Good of James Madison has been named the 2017 JWOS Player of the Year, leading the pack of award winners in the first full set of postseason honors that we at JWOS have given out.
Voted on by a panel comprised of media members and active and former coaches, Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Freshman of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year are among the honors doled out.
Good, a junior, compiled a 38-3 record in the circle for the Dukes in 2017, a number of victories that set the program's single-season record. Her fourteen shutouts led the nation, while her 0.63 ERA was a program-best single-season mark and ranked third in the nation in that category. During the course of the year, Good enjoyed a streak of 70.1 consecutive innings of holding opponents scoreless, the longest such streak by any pitcher since 2009.
Not just stellar in the circle, Good also served as a two-way player, taking 180 at-bats and posting a batting average of .383, a mark that led her team. Her sixty-nine hits on the year were a career high, while her fifty-eight RBIs led the Colonial Athletic conference. She posted twelve home runs, as well as a .644 slugging percentage and a .464 on-base percentage.
Due to her dominance both in the circle and at the plate, Megan Good is the 2017 JWOS Player of the Year.
Ole Miss head coach Mike Smith was named Coach of the Year after leading his Rebels team to an SEC tournament championship, hosting a regional, and heading to Super regionals, all program firsts. Smith led the Rebels to forty-three victories, including a sweep of conference for LSU, as well as his program's first-ever series win at Alabama. Under Smith's guidance, the Rebels posted a team batting average of .294 and were led on offense by Elantra Cox (.429) and Kylan Becker (.375). In the circle, junior college transfer Kaitlin Lee assembled a stellar 1.83 ERA and twenty-three wins in just under 250 innings of work. Smith led his squad to victories over Mississippi State, Florida, Alabama, and LSU in the SEC tournament, the first four-win tournament showing that the Rebels softball program has ever seen.
Florida's Kelly Barnhill earned Pitcher of the Year honors following her stellar sophomore season that saw her post a nation-topping 0.36 ERA and 333 strikeouts in 173.2 innings of work. The sophomore stud averaged nearly ten strikeouts per game through the course of the year and held opposing hitters to a stellar .117 batting average. Barnhill allowed just nine earned runs all season long and gave up just sixteen extra-base hits.
Rachel Garcia of UCLA has been named Freshman of the Year after leading the Bruins pitching staff and helping the squad to their third-consecutive Women's College World Series appearance. After taking a redshirt season in 2016, Garcia entered 2017 like a hot rod and never cooled down, posting a 1.92 ERA on the season with nearly 200 strikeouts in 182.2 innings of work. She held opponents to a .203 batting average and averaged a nearly 4/1 strikeout/walk ratio.
Another award is destined for Oxford as Ole Miss pitcher Kaitlin Lee was chosen as the Breakout Star of the Year. Lee pitched every inning for the Rebels in the SEC tournament, earning wins over top-ranked Florida, as well as Alabama in the tournament semifinals and LSU in the winner-take-all title game. In her first year of Division 1 and SEC play, Lee finished the year with a 1.82 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 249.2 innings pitched. She limited opponents to just nine home runs through the course of the year and opponents batted just .232 all season againts the former JuCo all-American.
Marshall assistant coach Chanda Bell earned the title of Assistant Coach of the Year after helping lead the Thundering Herd pitching staff to new heights and coaching senior ace Jordan Dixon to an all-American nod. Led by Dixon, Bell's Herd pitching staff assembled a 2.32 staff ERA and 343 strikeouts. 294 of those KOs belonged to Dixon. Bell helped her pitchers limit opponents to a .226 batting average and a 42-12 record, as well as lead their team to a regular-season conference championship.
In the final category, SIU-Edwardsville star Haley Chambers-Book earned Comeback Player of the Year honors after returning from a year away from the game and putting up career-best numbers in the circle for the Cougars. After giving birth to her son in 2016, Chambers-Book elected to return for her senior season in 2017, and was rewarded for her efforts as she posted a 1.42 ERA on the year, good for a top-25 spot in the nationwide statistical rankings. Chambers-Book gathered 256 strikeouts and enjoyed a 5/1 strikeout/walk ratio, averaging just over eight strikeouts per game. Never just a hurler, Chambers-Book hit .307 on the year in 150 at-bats, inculding four home runs and twenty-nine RBI, as well as a .447 slugging percentage.