The University of Tulsa Softball team picked up two specialty awards as Emily Watson earned the American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year while the Tulsa coaching staff was named Coaching Staff of the Year. Watson was also named to The American First-Team along with Maggie Withee's first-team honors and Haley Meinen's second-team nod.
Watson (Edmond, Okla.) posted a 10-1 mark in league play while ranking second nationally on the season in strikeouts and shutouts along with top-10 marks in ERA, wins and strikeouts per seven innings. The junior was unanimously named to the first-team for the first time in her career after leading the league in wins, strikeouts, shutouts and opposing batting average. On the year, Watson's season ranks among one of the best by a Tulsa pitcher as she ranks second in ERA (1.03), third in opposing batting average (.168), second in strikeouts per seven innings (10.55), second in wins (26), second in shutouts (12), sixth in innings pitched (203.2), second in strikeouts (307) and third in strikeouts looking (83).
Withee (Arlington, Texas) received her second consecutive first team all-conference honors as she was also unanimously selected after posting the ninth-highest batting average in league play while committing just one error at third base all season. The senior led Tulsa in hits this season with 64 while ranking second on the team in batting average with a .372 mark, total bases with 70 and on-base percentage at .422. Withee was also named second-team all-conference in 2015 in addition to her C-USA All-Freshman Team nod in 2014.
Meinen (Houston, Texas) was selected to the second-team as a pitcher/utility after holding conference opponents scoreless with a league-leading 0.00 ERA and a 4-0 record. Meinen also posted the 12th-highest batting average in the conference with a .350 mark to go along with a .475 slugging percentage in her first season as a member of the Golden Hurricane. The redshirt sophomore put together a streak of four straight relief appearances where she tossed 4.0 or more innings of scoreless softball from April 14-30.
Head Coach John Bargfeldt, Associate Head Coach Crissy Strimple and Assistant Coaches Kendra Cullum and Julana Shrum received Tulsa's first Coaching Staff of the Year Award since entering the conference and first since Bargfeldt was named the Conference-USA Coach of the Year in 2014. As a team, the Hurricane led the league in team pitching and fielding while posting the fourth-highest batting average en route to claiming the regular season crown with a 15-3 mark in league competition.
Tulsa returns to the diamond on Friday for The American Softball Championships semifinal matchup against the winner of Thursday's contest between USF and Memphis.
First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. CT and 1 p.m. local time in Greenville, N.C.