ATHENS, GA--Tide senior pitcher Stephanie VanBrakle and freshman centerfielder Brittany Rogers were named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher and Freshman of the Year while head coach Patrick Murphy was named the SEC Coach of the Year as announced at the SEC Championship banquet Wednesday night.
VanBrakle has come full circle since starting her career in 2003. She was named the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2003. However, she didn’t stop there being named All-SEC her sophomore and junior seasons. She capped it all off in this, her senior season, being named the SEC Pitcher of the Year.
VanBrakle finished the SEC regular season with a 14-2 record, 1.12 ERA and 165 strikeouts. She ranked in the top five of six pitching categories including the lowest opponent batting average on the season at .149. She ranked second in strikeouts, third in wins, fourth in innings pitched and fifth in ERA.
Rogers finished in the top two of four offensive categories. She finished the regular season with a .441 average, tops in the SEC, while her runs scored (30), hits (41) and stolen bases (14) were all second in the league. Rogers became the fourth player in Tide history to receive the SEC Freshman of the Year award. She follows in the footsteps of Lacy Prejean, who won the inaugural Freshman of the Year award, in 2000, Jackie McClain in 2001 and VanBrakle in 2003.
Murphy was named SEC Coach of the Year for the first time in his career and the first time in the program’s history. He and his staff guided Alabama to its first ever SEC Championship despite not receiving a vote from the other league coaches in the Pre-Season SEC poll.
The honors didn’t stop there though as Alabama had seven players named to various All-SEC teams. VanBrakle, Rogers, Staci Ramsey and Jordan Praytor were all named 1st Team All-SEC while Ashley Holcombe and Dani Woods were named 2nd Team All-SEC. Rogers and Kelley Montalvo were named Freshman All-SEC.
Alabama opens SEC Tournament action on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. CT against the Ole Miss Rebels.