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NSU freshman named MIAA AstroTurf Softball Hitter of the Week Ashley Duke TNE writer

Ashley Duke/TNE - Lauren Flanary, Henryetta freshman, anticipates a hit to right field. Flanary was named the MIAA AstroTurf Softball Hitter of the Week. Ethen Herrington/TNE - NSU rugby players practice in wake of game verses the University of Arkansas Feb. 22. The game is in Fayetteville, Ark. and will be the first game of their spring season.

The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association announced Lauren Flanary named MIAA AstroTurf Softball Hitter of the Week. Flanary, NSU’s leadoff hitter, is a freshman from Henryetta. “It is a minority feat for a freshman to win this honor especially a leadoff hitter,” said Clay Davis, head softball coach. “Usually that award is reserved for your three hole, four hole or five hole hitters. Lauren just had an unbelievable week for us out of the leadoff spot. She is what we call a dual threat, someone that can run well but can also hit the ball to the gaps for power. This brings a different dynamic to the leadoff spot.” Flanary accumulated a .467 batting average with two doubles, three runs scored and three RBI. She never struck out or committed an error in the field while attaining a .800 slugging percentage. “She is a very adaptable player and a quick learner,” said Alex Ramirez, assistant softball coach. “She is the only freshman to receive this award, which is so exciting. She is only going to get better from here on out.” Flanary went through numerous injuries before receiving this title. She had two ACL knee surgeries, a broken leg from a car wreck in the fall of 2012 and a meniscus surgery last fall. “I have gone through a lot of injuries to get to play and it has been hard,” said Flanary. “Every week I try and work hard for another honor and to be recognized for working hard and all the effort I put into the sport.” Flanary won NSU the title of having back-to-back hitters of the week. Alyssa Aguilar, a shortstop junior, also received AstroTurf Softball Hitter of the Week on February 25. “It was a compliment to our entire team for Flanary to receive this award, but she was actually the second NSU player to receive this,” said Davis. “To follow up with a freshman receiving the award shows how well our athletes are putting in the time and the effort. It is paying off not only in our program but others are starting to notice as well.” The NSU softball team has won the last 13 out of 14 games and has a 10 game winning streak. Davis said a youth movement is occurring this year. He said the freshmen and sophomores have been carrying the load pitching wise and with the experience and leadership of the upperclassmen, the program is on the raise. “I love the team,” said Flanary. “All the girls are my sisters and we all work hard and are pushing to win a championship.” For more information, click here. http://www.goriverhawksgo.com/schedule.aspx?path=softball&tab=softball2 Published 3/25/14