KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Leading into the program’s return to the SEC Tournament, A.J. Belans and Autumn Storms collected All-SEC accolades Tuesday as announced by the league office. Recognized for their respective performances during league play, Belans earned a spot on the All-SEC Second Team while Storms pitched her way onto the SEC All-Freshman Team. The Razorbacks play Alabama on Wednesday in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Knoxville, Tenn.
With Tuesday’s release, Belans and Storms are the 14th and 15th all-conference performers in program history, and the first selections for second-year head coach Courtney Deifel. Belans becomes just the third Razorback infielder to be named to the All-SEC Second Team, and the first since 2000 (Brett Erickson). Storms is the seventh all-freshman pick for Arkansas, and just the second freshman pitcher to earn a spot on the all-conference team.
2017 SEC Tournament | Tournament Central
Game 1 – Wednesday, May 9 at 11 a.m. CT
No. 12 seed Arkansas (31-21, 7-17 SEC) vs No. 5 seed Alabama (40-15, 12-11 SEC)
How to Follow: SEC Network | SEC Network+ | Live Stats
In her first season wearing an Arkansas jersey, Belans hit five of her eight home runs during conference play and tallied 13 RBI against SEC opposition. She reached base safely in the final 13 SEC games during the regular season with hits in nine of those games including multi-hit efforts at Missouri and Mississippi State. Belans hit a grand slam in a win over 14th-ranked Tennessee and tallied two home runs in a road win at Missouri. Defensively, she had 62 assists from her shortstop position.
Storms accounted for five of the Razorbacks’ seven conference wins with her efforts in the circle. She allowed two or fewer earned runs in 10 of her 16 conference starts and registered seven complete games. Storms made 19 appearances during SEC play and walked just 20 hitters in 89.1 innings of work. The Temecula, Calif., native also notched a pair of top-15 wins against No. 14 Tennessee (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 K) and No. 5 Texas A&M (5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 5K).
The Razorbacks are making their 10th overall appearance at the SEC Tournament, and the program’s first since 2013. The team secured its spot in the conference tournament with a 6-2 win over Georgia (May 5) at Bogle Park. Wednesday’s game will be the sixth SEC Tournament matchup between Arkansas and Alabama.
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