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2014-05-30 Gardner named NAIA Player of the Year
2014-05-30 Gardner named NAIA Player of the Year

Gardner named NAIA Player of the Year

Author: Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Media Relations and Sports Information
Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 at 7:51 AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the 2014 Softball All-America teams, selected by the NAIA All-America committee. Senior second baseman Hannah Gardner of Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) is recognized as the NAIA Player of the Year and sophomore Nicole Nonnemacher of Saint Xavier (Ill.) is honored as the NAIA Pitcher of the Year.

Gardner finished her season ranked first in the NAIA in RBIs per game (1.33), second in total RBIs (73), third in runs scored (74), sixth in total hits (90) and sixth in batting average (.533). On the season, Gardner started in 55 games and tallied 20 doubles, a team-high 12 home runs and only struck out six times in 169 at-bats. The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Player of the Year hit safely in 47 contests and had a season-long 13-game hitting streak. She was part of a team to win the CCAC regular-season and tournament titles, advance to the NAIA Softball World Series and hold a No. 4 ranking in the final Coaches’ Poll.

Nonnemacher, the younger sister and teammate of Megan, was the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year. The native of Bloomington, Ill., led the NAIA in ERA (0.67), ranked third in batters struck out per game (10.68) and was 16th in total wins (21). On the year, she went 21-6 overall, starting 24 games and compiled 16 shutouts. She tossed 189 1/3 innings and had an opponent batting average of .153, which was good for third in the NAIA. Nonnemacher led the Cougars to a No. 8 ranking in the final Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (May 6) and a trip to the National Championship Opening Round.

Since the Player of the Year award inception in 1998, Gardner earns Olivet Nazarene University’s first such honor. Nonnemacher is the first Cougar to become Pitcher of the Year since it began in 1999.