Sunday, Mar. 3 - Saturday, Mar. 9, 2019 — Sunkissed Games, Plant City, Florida
Spring Break Preview: The Ohio Northern softball program will open its 2019 campaign with a southward journey to Plant City, Fla. for the week-long Sunkissed Games ... The Polar Bears are slated to kick off the season against St. John Fisher (N.Y.) and Aurora (Ill.) Sunday, March 3 at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., respectively ... ONU will also match up against Saint Joseph's (Me.), Randolph (Va.), Hood (Md.), Illinois College, Penn St.-Behrend, Bluffton, Simmons (Mass.), No. 22-ranked St. Benedict (Minn.), and WPI (Mass.) twice to round out their first week of competition ... The Polar Bears are coming off a 32-11 overall record and a 13-5 Ohio Athletic Conference mark in the 2018 season ... Northern went on to defeat Heidelberg and No. 21-ranked Otterbein in the OAC Tournament, claiming the program's sixth postseason title and secure the OAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament ... ONU reached the seventh and final game in the regional round before concluding the season with a 5-1 loss to Case Western Reserve ... This season, third-year head coach Jackie Price and her staff welcome back six letterwinners and four All-OAC honorees ... Eleven freshmen student-athletes will round out the 2019 roster ... The Ohio Northern infield unit will be the deepest, most experienced group for Price and her staff this season, returning four letterwinners and three All-Conference selections ... Junior Brady Guest will return after garnering First-Team All-OAC honors in 2018 ... She appeared in 35 total games, led the team with five home runs, and ranked second on the team with a .371 batting average and 28 RBI ... Meanwhile, senior Hailee Loughman and junior Gabby Stewart received Second-Team All-OAC kudos last season ... Loughman started 32 games at the corner infield positions and produced a .302 batting average, 32 base hits, 22 RBI, and four home runs ... Stewart started 41 games as a catcher and designated player, leading the team with 16 doubles and 38 RBI ... She enters the season needing just eight hits to join Ohio Northern's 100-Hit Club ... Junior shortstop Jordan Cloonan also returns to the team, having started 48 games in two seasons at ONU ... The outfield unit will be led by two-time letterwinner junior Alicia Swierz ... She started 38 games in the outfield during the 2018 campaign to post a .296 batting average, 19 RBI, and a home run ... Additonally, Swierz was named to the NCAA Division III Notre Dame All-Regional Tournament Team and the Academic All-OAC honors list ... Senior pitcher Kaitlin Surdej is the lone returner in the ring for the Polar Bears ... She received All-OAC Honorable Mention honors after recording a 12-7 overall record, 75 strikeouts, and a 2.73 ERA in 20 appearances.
Returning Batting Leaders (2018 Stats)
Returning Pitching Leaders (2018 Stats)
Series Notes: Ohio Northern will be competing in the Sunkissed Games for the second consecutive season ... Last year, the Polar Bears posted a 10-2 overall record during the 12-game stretch.
ONU head coach Jackie Price: Price is entering her third season as the Polar Bears' head coach ... She owns a 57-24 overall record through two seasons, a .704 win percentage.