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Meghan Gregg, Kelly Barnhill highlight SEC Softball Players of the Year awards

The awards for the 2017 season were announced on Tuesday.

Adam Lau/News Sentinel

Tuesday morning brought on the reveal of the 2017 SEC Softball awards.

Tennessee Volunteers infielder Meghan Gregg was named the conference’s Player of the Year award after an outstanding season. The junior hit a league-best .448 with an OPS of 1.384, 18 doubles, one triple, 11 HR, 47 R, 71 RBI and just 11 K to 30 BB. The Williamson, Georgia native beat out the likes of Bailey Landry, Nicole DeWitt, Carlee Wallace and Caroline Seitz among others for the award, and for that she should get a heaping of congrats.

Florida Gators pitcher Kelly Barnhill took home the conference’s Pitcher of the Year award. The sophomore hurler was terrific in her first year in the circle, setting the pace and besting some of the best pitchers in the country including teammate Delanie Gourley. The Marietta, Georgia native posted an ERA of just 0.33 in 146.2 innings pitched while striking out 278 batters and walking only 27. Barnhill had a record of 22-1 with an opposing BAA of just .123 as hitters just couldn’t figure her out all season long.

Meanwhile, Tennessee Vols freshman pitcher Caylan Arnold won the SEC Freshman of the Year award. Arnold had an ERA of 1.90 in 143.2 innings pitched. The Maryville, Tennessee native struck out 140 batters while walking only 56 and had an opposing BAA of just .177. Arnold was 19-7 on the year.

Florida coach Tim Walton was the SEC’s Coach of the Year. Walton helped lead UF to a 50-5 record this season with yet another conference title to go along. The Gators won the SEC with ease, posting a four-game lead over Auburn, Tennessee and Texas A&M in the loss column with a conference record of 20-3. UF looks to be the team to beat this season and will likely be the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament assuming they handle their business in the SEC Tournament.

Auburn Tigers infielder Kasey Cooper meanwhile picked up the conference’s Scholar Athlete of the Year award as well.

Gregg and Barnhill both found themselves on the All-SEC First Team. They were joined by Delanie Gourley, Nicole DeWitt, Kayli Kvistad, Amanda Lorenz and Aleshia Ocasio of Florida, Cortni Emanuel of Georgia, Kaylee Carlson and Carlee Wallace of Auburn, Kylan Becker of Ole Miss, Bailey Landry of LSU, Caroline Seitz of Mississippi State and Katie Reed of Kentucky.

Not to be outdone, some of the best players in the conference made the All-SEC Second Team. Stud pitchers Alexis Osorio, Allie Walljasper, Kaitlin Lee and Matty Moss were all part of the group that landed on the second team, which is as stacked a unit as you’ll find. Infielders A.J. Belans, Kasey Cooper, Alyssa DiCarlo, Kristen Cuyos and Riley Sartain are the ones who made the cut, giving the Aggies two in the form of Cuyos and Sartain while Arkansas, Auburn and Georgia hold claim to the others. The outfield sees Alyssa Rivera, Justine McLean, Sydney Emanuel and Regan Nash patrolling, all representing Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Missouri. LSU’s Sahvanna Jaquish was recognized for her catching duties and Tennessee’s Brooke Vines landed on the team as a DP/U.

Caylan Arnold meanwhile made the All-SEC Freshman Team which featured some of the best youngsters in the country. Arnold’s teammate Chelsea Seggern, Autumn Storms of Arkansas, Alyssa Rivera of Auburn, Bailey Hemphill and Elissa Brown of Alabama, Sophia Reynoso of Florida, Alex Martens and Bailey Vick of Kentucky, Braxton Burnside of Missouri, Mackenzie Boesel of South Carolina and Sarah Hudek of Texas A&M were also featured on the team.

The All-Defensive Team saw Carlson, Wallace and Cooper of Auburn, DeWitt of Florida, Vick of Kentucky, Sydni Emanuel of Georgia, and Gregg of Tennessee find their way aboard. In addition, Kaylea Snaer of South Carolina and Amanda Ivy of Mississippi State also made the cut.