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August 12, 2020

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ONU softball: Loughman, Stewart earn NFCA All-Central Region

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) has named senior infielder Hailee Loughman(Brookville) and junior catcher Gabby Stewart (Union, Ky./St. Henry) to the 2019 NFCA All-Central Region squads for their on-field performance this season, the national office announced Wednesday.

Loughman was named First-Team All-Central Region at third base, while Stewart garnered Second-Team All-Central Region honors as a catcher. The duo was listed among 364 total players recognized in the NCAA's eight regions across the country this year.

Loughman and Stewart both received their first career All-Central Region nod with the announcement.

All NFCA member coaches in each NCAA Division III region nominate and vote upon players for their performance during the season. The NFCA then creates three 15-player teams in each region for their annual awards list.

With her First-Team selection, Loughman automatically advances to the NFCA All-America ballot. The All-America teams are expected to be announced on May 22.

Loughman led the Polar Bears and ranked fifth in the conference with a .433 batting average this season. She also led ONU with 55 hits, 14 doubles, a .493 on-base percentage, and a .630 slugging percentage while ranking second on the team with 34 RBI during her senior season.

The Brookville native is currently tied for seventh in program history with 14 career home runs and ranks eighth all-time with 35 career doubles. She stands 15th all-time at Ohio Northern with 143 career base hits.

Loughman has also been named a CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-District 7 recipient, First-Team All-OAC honoree, an OAC All-Tournament Team selection, and an OAC Hitter of the Week this season. She graduates from ONU as a three-time All-OAC honoree and a two-time Academic All-OAC selection.

Stewart led ONU and finished fifth in the OAC with 36 RBI in 2019. She additionally ranked second on the team in hits (53), runs (28), doubles (10), home runs (4), and slugging percentage (.556) and ended third with a .393 batting average.

The junior currently owns 145 career hits through her first three seasons, which ties for 13th-most in program history. Stewart is also tied for eighth all-time with 103 RBI, tied for ninth with 33 career doubles, tied for tenth with 11 home runs, and ranks 15th with a .372 batting average.

Additionally, she has been named a 2019 First-Team All-OAC honoree and a 2018 OAC All-Tournament Team and Academic All-OAC selection during her career.

The Polar Bears concluded the season with a 23-19 overall record and a 14-4 mark in the OAC, which finished second in the final regular season standings. ONU then made its 24th appearance in the OAC Tournament, ending the season against Otterbein in the championship series.