WICKLIFFE, Ohio -- It has been a special year for freshman bowler Bea Hernandez, and on Wednesday night, the accolades continued to roll in. At the NCAA Bowling Championship banquet Hernandez was recognized as the Division I Rookie of the Year and second team all-American. 


Hernandez has been racking up the hardware during awards season. She was already named the Southland conference Newcomer of the Year and first team all-Southland. Hernandez was also recognized as the MVP of the Southland Bowling League Championship, leading the Kats to their first SBL title. 


 “When Bea first got here, before we even started the season, she asked what it would take to be rookie of the year and all-American,” said head coach Brad Hagen. “I threw her right in and have had her bowling as our anchor most of the year and she has handled it so well.”


She has been in the anchor position since the beginning of the season. Only two other freshmen in the nation have more than 200 10th frame attempts and Hernandez is tops with a 55 percent strike percentage.


“At the end of the day, coach always tells us we have to do our job and it doesn’t matter where you are bowling in the lineup,” Hernandez said. “It doesn’t matter if you are a freshman or have been here four years. I just try to go out and fill my frames and do what I’m supposed to do.”


Amongst all bowlers, Hernandez is fourth in the nation in baker average and baker doubles and ranks in the top 10 nationally in six statistical categories. 


Hernandez is the sixth Bearkat Bowler to be named a NTCA All-American and the first since Heather Penatzer and Janine Kuwahara were both recognized in the 2017.


At the banquet, teams and bowlers were recognized for leading the nation in several individual and team statistical categories. The Kats were tops in the country in Baker double percentage. 


The NCAA Championships will get underway on Thursday at 8 a.m. at Rollhouse Wickliffe, in Wickliffe, Ohio. The Kats are the No. 3 seed and will face SFA in the opening match.