WACO, Texas (July 8, 2019) – The Heartland Conference named Oklahoma Christian softball standout Madison Hagood, Comanche, Texas as its Woman of the Year for 2018-19 on Monday, the first time an OC student-athlete has received that prestigious honor.

Senior woman administrators from the conference’s members voted on the award, which is given to an outstanding graduating female student-athlete who demonstrates excellence in competition, in the classroom and in her community. The Heartland has presented the award annually since the 2005-06 academic year.

“Madison personifies everything we hope a student-athlete at Oklahoma Christian aspires to be,” OC Athletic Director David Lynn said. “We are so proud of Madison and all of her hard work on the softball field and in the classroom. She is an outstanding person who represents her family, her coaches and Oklahoma Christian so well. We are extremely excited to see her receive this honor.”

Added OC softball coach Shanon Hays: “What a great honor for Madison! She has been the epitome of a true student-athlete that has excelled in the field and in the classroom. She will be a true leader professionally as well. She has represented OC and our program well!”

Hagood, a pitcher from Comanche, Texas, played a key role in helping lead OC to its best softball season as an NCAA Division II member. OC finished 40-16 and won a share of the Heartland’s regular-season title – the first conference title in the program’s history – then won the postseason tournament title to earn its first NCAA tournament berth. Once there, the Eagles became the only No. 8 seed in Division II Continued on PG 8A

to advance to a regional championship round.

As outstanding as she was on the field, Hagood was perhaps more prolific off of it. She earned her bachelor’s degree in December 2018 with a 3.98 grade point average as a Mass Communication/Public Relations-Advertising major and is currently pursuing her master’s of business administration degree with a Marketing emphasis from OC.

Last month, she was named as the Heartland’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and she’s a three-time Google Cloud Academic All-District selection by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Both those awards recognized her for her combination of both athletic and academic success.

She soon will be a three-time recipient of both the All-America Scholar-Athlete honor by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and the Academic Achievement Award from the Division II Athletic Directors Association. Hagood also made the Heartland Honor Roll President’s List during every semester of her career.

Across campus, despite her packed schedule as a student-athlete, Hagood played an influential role in many organizations. She served on the editorial staff of the campus newspaper, The Talon, for three years, rising to the rank of editor-in-chief during the 2018-19 academic year after previously serving as features editor and sports editor.

She was the vice president of the OC chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and the personal relations coordinator for OC’s Student Government Association, handing its social media. She served as the campus director of OC’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, coordinating meetings and serving as an FCA camp counselor.

Hagood also was a member of OC’s chapter of Alpha Chi, a national collegiate honor society, and of social service club Theta Theta Theta. She worked on a service committee and as a hub leader for Earn Your Wings, OC’s freshman orientation week.

“Madison has been the most involved student-athlete on campus that I can recall during my time at OC,” said Murray Evans, OC’s assistant athletic director for media relations, who nominated Hagood for the Woman of the Year award. “As much as she did, whatever task she performed, she resolved to do so at a high level. That level of determination clearly was evident in her work.”

During a seven-week mission trip to Vienna, Austria, Hagood helped teach English to refugees as part of the Let’s Start Talking ministry. She was active in Westwood Church of Christ’s college ministry, helping run its social media and serving in charity events. She volunteered at Wings, a community for special needs adults adjacent to the OC campus.

Hagood also participated in charity events for the National Cancer Society, Make A Wish Foundation and Lilyfield adoption and foster care agency and worked as the public relations intern for Caring Hearts for Children, a nonprofit foster care agency.

She also worked as an intern for Saxum, one of Oklahoma’s top public relations firms, and began a full-time job as an account coordinator with that agency last month.

“Madison is one of the hardest workers I know, but more importantly, she is genuinely one of the kindest people I know,” said Teresa DeBoard, OC’s senior woman administrator and assistant athletic director for student-athlete well-being. “She has proven to be a leader in everything she does, on and off the field.”

As the Heartland Woman of the Year, Hagood is eligible to be named the NCAA’s Woman of the Year this fall. Each of Division II’s 24 leagues can nominate up to two women for the honor, and from that pool, the NCAA’s Woman of the Year selection committee will choose 10 as semifinalists for the national honor, along with 10 from Division I and 10 from Division III.

The selection committee will determine the top three honorees from each division from the “Top 30” and announce the nine finalists in September. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then will choose the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.

The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual award ceremony Oct. 20 in Indianapolis.

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