March 27, 2013
CHICAGO - Brittany Gardner (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg), a junior pitcher on the Loyola University Chicago softball team, and Tricia Stonebraker (Anchorage, Alaska/Service), a junior on the women's soccer team, have been named to the Loyola Maroon & Gold Society for the 2013-14 academic year. The Maroon & Gold Society recognizes 25 rising seniors who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership, academic excellence, and service to others. Members represent a cross-section of undergraduate communities and leadership paths at the University.
Maroon & Gold Society members exemplify holistic development - the fusion of the academic, personal, spiritual, and character dimensions of student development. Society members are living examples of an integrated Jesuit education for leadership. As such, these rising seniors act as a liaison between the student body and the President of the University.
A standout performer on the softball field, Gardner has already made her mark as one of the most accomplished pitchers ever to wear a Loyola uniform. The lefthander, who is a two-time First Team All-Horizon League selection, was the 2012 Horizon League Pitcher of the Year and also garnered National Fastpitch Coaches Association Second Team All-Great Lakes Region accolades to become just the fifth Rambler ever to earn all-region status.
Last spring, Gardner established a Loyola single-season record with 205 strikeouts and 10 shutouts and despite pitching just over two seasons, ranks second on the school's career strikeouts chart with 466, and is tied for third with 36 wins. A proven winner, Gardner helped the Ramblers to the 2011 Horizon League regular-season title and last spring was a key factor as the team reached the Horizon League Championship title game for the first time since 2004.
Off the field, Gardner defines the term "student-athlete." In addition to being a member of the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll, the social work major was named to the Horizon League Softball All-Academic Team last season and is also a member of Loyola's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Gardner complements her excellence on the field and the classroom by being a visible member of the Loyola and Rogers Park/Edgewater communities. As a volunteer at Misericordia, Vanguard MacNeal Hospital, the Special Olympics, and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Gardner has selflessly given of her time to help enrich the lives of other who are less fortunate, never losing sight of what it means to be a person for others.
"I could not be more proud of Brittany for being inducted into the Maroon & Gold Society," Loyola head softball coach Missy Beseres said. "She has worked so hard both on and off the field and has been a tremendous role model for her teammates and young Rambler fans since the day she stepped foot on our campus. Over the past three years, Brittany has come a long way as a team leader and her accomplishments on the field and in the classroom, combined with her selfless actions within the community make her an ideal and most-deserving inductee into the Maroon & Gold Society."
Stonebraker has been a key member of the Ramblers' midfield for the past three seasons and in 2012 notched six points, which ranked second on the team, and recorded a pair of game-winning goals. Last fall, she found the back of the net for the decisive score in Loyola's victories over DePaul and Indiana State, and on September 24 she was named Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week. As a freshman in 2010, Stonebraker was a Horizon League All-Newcomer Team selection after totaling seven points on three goals and an assist.
A psychology major who intends to go to graduate school for physical therapy after graduating next spring, Stonebraker has been a member of the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll each of the past two years, while also maintaining a profile as one of the department's most active community service performers.
In addition to her work at Misericordia, Stonebraker also volunteers at Mather Pavilion, which is a home for people undergoing surgical rehabilitation, treatment for Alzheimer's, and even hospice care.
"Tricia being named to the Maroon & Gold Society is a great honor for her and for the program," Loyola head women's soccer coach Barry Bimbi said. "Being the first-ever women's soccer player to be named to the Maroon & Gold Society and one of only two student-athletes to earn the recognition for 2013-14 is a testament to her hard work and dedication at Loyola."
This is the third Loyola Maroon & Gold Society class and athletics has had at least one representative in that exclusive club each year. New members will be welcomed to The Maroon & Gold Society at a dinner on April 25.