Senior Julie Kernen and sophomore Maddie Withee were named to the All-American Athletic Conference First Team, leading a group of nine Tulsa softball players that earned all-conference honors in a vote by the league's head coaches, the conference office announced Wednesday.
Seniors Bailey Erwin and Erica Sampson, juniors Jodi Edmiston, Catherine Horner and Caitlin Sill, and sophomores Brittany Walker and Maggie Withee were all named to the All-American Conference second team. The total of nine all-conference selections is the most in program history.
Kernen was the first-team selection at first base, while Maddie Withee was an outfield selection. Erwin and Sill were the two second-team pitchers, Edmiston and Sampson were second-team outfield selections, Maggie Withee was a second-team infielder, and Walker was the second-team designated player.
Kernen, a native of St. Louis, Mo., is having her best season at TU, leading the Golden Hurricane with 27 extra base hits and a school-record 58 RBI. She racked up 12 home runs and 15 doubles, as half of her 54 hits on the season went for extra bases and she compiled a team-leading .669 slugging percentage. She added 22 walks and a .436 on-base percentage. In conference play, she led The American in runs scored and doubles, and ranked among the top-10 in: RBI (16), runs (18), home runs (3), slugging percentage (.544), on-base percentage (.406), hits (17), doubles (5), total bases (31) and walks (9). She was named American Conference Player of the Week on Feb. 16 and Feb. 23. This is her second first-team all-conference selection, as she earned first-team All-Conference USA honors in 2014.
Maddie Withee, a native of Arlington, Texas, earned her first career all-conference honor in her initial season as a lineup regular. She led the Hurricane in hitting in conference play with a .360 batting average, and tallied 10 RBI, six runs scored and a .433 on-base percentage. She hit .322 with nine extra base hits, 21 RBI and 19 runs in 48 games and 40 starts in center field, including each of the last 26 games.
Erwin, who hails from Claremore, Okla., leads the Golden Hurricane with a 17-3 record, including a perfect 5-0 record in conference play. In conference games, she had a 1.67 ERA, totaling 22 strikeouts and just five walks in 37.2 innings. Overall, she has posted a 2.41 ERA with 107 strikeouts in 128.0 innings. This is Erwin's first career all-conference honor at Tulsa.
Sampson, a native of Tahlequah, Okla., leads the Hurricane with 56 runs scored, and is hitting .331 with eight home runs, eight doubles, four triples, 28 RBI, a .564 slugging percentage and a .418 on-base percentage. In league play, she compiled 16 runs, 10 RBI, six extra base hits and a .516 slugging percentage. This is Sampson's first career all-conference honor at Tulsa.
Edmiston, a Haskell, Okla., native, started 20 games in center field before moving over to left field for the last 46 games. In her first season as a full-time starter, she hit .333 in conference play with a .382 on-base percentage, seven RBI, five runs scored and three doubles. Overall this season, she has hit .311 with 23 RBI, 24 runs scored, nine doubles and two home runs. This is Edmiston's first career all-conference honor.
Horner, who hails from La Canada, Calif., hit .333 in conference play with 12 runs scored, 10 RBI, five doubles, two triples, 11 walks, a .500 slugging percentage and a .446 on-base percentage. Overall, she scored 36 runs, drove in 27 runs, totaled 18 extra base hits, including 12 doubles, and batted .280. She caught 14 runners stealing in 34 attempts, including four caught stealing in nine attempts in league play. She was named American Conference Player of the Week on May 4, and this is her first career all-conference honor.
Sill, a native of Tuttle, Okla., led Tulsa with a 1.07 ERA in conference play. She had her best season thus far in the circle, tallying a career-low 2.40 ERA, and highs with 75 strikeouts, nine complete games, five shutouts and six saves in 119.2 innings. In conference play, she went 4-4 with three shutouts, 27 strikeouts, 12 runs allowed, and just eight earned runs allowed in 52.1 innings over nine appearances and six starts. Her six saves tie the single season school record, and she matched the TU career record with nine saves.
Walker, a native of Mansfield, Texas, is Tulsa's leading hitter with a .364 batting average. In her first season seeing significant playing time, she broke into the lineup in mid-February, and has totaled 26 RBI, 25 RBI, five home runs, six doubles, two triples, a .598 slugging percentage and a .44 on-base percentage. She hit .239 in conference play with eight runs, three RBI, four extra base hits and a .364 on-base percentage. Walker was named the American Conference Player of the Week on March 23. This is her first career all-conference honor.
Maggie Withee, who hails from Arlington, Texas, is in her second season as Tulsa's third baseman. She earned Conference USA All-Freshman Team honors last season, and was selected to the American Conference second team this season. She is hitting .320 with 37 runs scored, 17 RBI, nine extra base hits and a .399 on-base percentage. In league play, she hit .265 and scored 10 runs, ranking among the top-10 in the league in runs and fielding assists.
The Golden Hurricane (34-17, 12-6 American) opens the American Conference Championship against UConn (18-34, 4-13 American) at 12:30 p.m. CT Thursday at the UCF Softball Complex.