WACO, Texas – Baylor's Heather Stearns earned 2016 Senior CLASS Award Second-Team All-America honors Wednesday after she was a top-10 finalist for Senior CLASS Player of the Year this season.
Alabama's Haylie McCleney was the overall award winner, joined by UAB’s Caitlin Attfield, James Madison’s Jailyn Ford, Kentucky’s Kelsey Nunley, and Michigan’s Kelsey Susalla as First-Team honorees.
Stearns landed on the Second-Team with Manhattan College’s Elena Bowman, Boston College’s Megan Cooley, Army’s Kasey McCravey, and Oklahoma’s Erin Miller.
Stearns was among 30 candidates for the award that honored NCAA Division I softball seniors that are chosen for achievements in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. In April, she was announced as one of 10 finalists for the award. The Senior CLASS award stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. The award is in its 11th year of existence, with Premier Sports Management overseeing the award out of Overland Park, Kan.
Stearns and the 2016 Lady Bears finished the season as the NCAA Eugene Regional runner up in Baylor's 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, earning a program-record sixth-straight postseason berth. Stearns closed out her Baylor career in the top 10 of all 19 of Baylor’s career pitching records, including second in saves, strikeouts-per-7-innings pitched, and strikeout-to-walk ratio, third in strikeouts, and fifth in wins and shutouts.
Stearns earned NFCA All-Region and All-Big 12 in each of the last two seasons. She was the ninth player in program history to be drafted professionally, earning a fifth round selection by the USSSA Pride in the NFP College Draft in April. She helped Baylor to its third Women's College World Series appearance as a sophomore in 2014.
Following Kaitlyn Thumann’s selection as a Senior CLASS All-American in 2015, Stearns gives Baylor its second-straight honoree, one of just three schools in the country to place a student-athlete among the top 10 in each of the last two seasons.
2016 Senior CLASS Award Honorees
Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-Americans
Caitlin Attfield, UAB
Jailyn Ford, James Madison University
Haylie McCleney, Alabama*
Kelsey Nunley, University of Kentucky
Kelsey Susalla, University of Michigan
Senior CLASS Award Second-Team All-Americans
Elena Bowman, Manhattan College
Megan Cooley, Boston College
Kasey McCravey. Army West Point
Erin Miller, University of Oklahoma
Heather Stearns, Baylor University