Megan Matthews Buning Chosen as South Carolina's 2017 SEC Women's Legend
Jan. 19, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Former Gamecock All-American pitcher Megan Matthews Buning joins a distinguished group this March, as she will be honored as part of the SEC Legends program at the 2017 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, held in Greenville, S.C.
The 1999 NFCA All-American third-team pitcher holds five of South Carolina’s career pitching records, tossing 1,110.1 innings, starting 150 games, completing 122 of those while making 194 appearances. She also struck out 1,090 batters in her career, most ever for a Gamecock. She led South Carolina to four-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, three SEC Eastern Division crowns, two SEC Tournament Championship Game showings, including a win in the 2000 tournament in Columbus, Ga. Matthews won the Tournament MVP honor after tossing an eight-inning shutout in the finals against No. 7 LSU.
A four-time NFCA All-South Region performer, Matthews never posted an ERA higher than 1.50 or a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) over 1.00. She dominated in 2001, posting a 1.06 ERA in 269.2 innings, averaging 8.23 strikeouts per inning while also posting her lowest walk ratio (0.96 per seven innings) in her career. A three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member, Matthews led the team to a regional finals appearance as a senior in 2002. In totals, she tossed six career no-hitters and posted 24 games with 10 or more strikeouts. The Gamecocks won 40 or more games in each of her seasons in one of the more dominant runs in program history.
After her playing career ended, Matthews Buning spent time coaching softball around the southeast, serving stints on staff at Florida State (2004-07), Coastal Carolina (2008-09) and Mississippi (2010-11). After stepping away from the diamond while in Oxford, Buning completed a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration in 2013. She now works at Augusta University as an Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Advanced Studies and Innovation. She also serves as a color commentator for most Gamecock Softball home games on SEC Network + on Watch ESPN.
The class will be honored at the 2017 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, March 1-5 in Greenville, S.C. Each legend will be honored during halftime of their team’s first game of the tournament. All 14 individuals will also be honored as a group, as well as participate in an autograph session during the tournament. Complimentary posters of the Legends will be available at the session.
South Carolina begins the 2017 season on Fri., Feb. 10 hosting the Carolina Classic, with Charlotte, Longwood, Ohio and Presbyterian coming in for the three-day event. The Gamecocks take on the Ohio Bobcats and Presbyterian Blue Hose on the season’s opening day at 3 and 5:30 p.m. EST at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
Season tickets are still available for $25 for adults and $10 for youth 17 and under at GamecocksOnline.com/tickets. The Gamecocks return six starters from last year’s 38-23 team that played in the Tallahassee Regional finals in the program’s fourth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach Beverly Smith.