It may have taken her a little longer to get on the field for Reinhardt University, but once Emily Loveless did, there was no holding her back.
Loveless made history for the Eagles last week by being named the 2021 Schutt Sports/National Fastpitch Coach’s Association NAIA National Freshman of the Year for Region II.
The award honors the outstanding athletic achievement among freshman softball student-athletes throughout NAIA.
The 2019 Rockmart High School graduate is the inaugural winner of the freshman honor. She joined Saint Xavier’s (Ill.) Allison Golic (Pitcher of the Year) and McPherson’s (Kan.) Maile Deutsch (Player of the Year) on the national stage.
With the cancellation of last year’s season due to COVID-19, eligible candidates were selected from the 2020 and 2021 freshman classes.
Loveless, who was also named a second team NFCA All-American for her performance this season, played and started every game — leading the Eagles with a .428 average. She collected 80 hits, 52 RBIs, launched 12 homers and registered 15 doubles.
She also scored 62 runs, walked 28 times, posted a .500 on-base percentage and slugged .722.
Loveless’ effort on the field helped guide the team to a 42-15 record and an appearance (at home) in the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round.