Loch-ten loaded

While only a freshman, Emily Lochten is proving that age does not define skill on the field

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Loch-ten loaded

Photo by Ryan Lynch | Contributing Photographer

Photo by Ryan Lynch | Contributing Photographer

Photo by Ryan Lynch | Contributing Photographer

Photo by Ryan Lynch | Contributing Photographer

Ryan Lynch, Contributing Writer

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While most freshmen would be trying to work their way into a starting lineup at the start of the year, Emily Lochten has established herself as a standout shortstop in her first season with the Florida Atlantic softball team.

The Lake Worth, Florida native has started in all 25 games for the Owls, batting .370 with 1 home run and 17 RBIs. She ranks 22nd out of all players in Conference USA for batting average.

Photo by Ryan Lynch | Contributing Photographer

Photo by Ryan Lynch | Contributing Photographer

Lochten also leads all four  FAU freshmen fielders in other offensive categories, including home runs, RBIs, and slugging percentage. She honed  her  skill set  at Park Vista High School, where she was an all-state, all-conference, and all-area player of the year last season. She led her team within two games of the state championship in her senior year.

“It’s not necessarily nerve wracking,” Lochten said on starting as a freshman for the Owls. “It’s a good experience. I love it, and I wouldn’t want to play anywhere else.”

Lochten was also a basketball standout in high school. She scored over 1,100 points and 800 rebounds in her four-year varsity career with Park Vista. She led the team to the state finals for the first time in the school’s history. But Lochten always knew she belonged on the diamond.

“Softball was always my favorite sport,” Lochten said. “Basketball just got me into shape and I enjoyed the game, so I stuck with it through high school.”

Besides a strong bat, Lochten brings a strong arm and the ability to play several positions to the Owls, originally  recruited to play catcher by head coach Joan Joyce. She is a threat on the basepaths, stealing 18 bases  (first out of all players on the team, tied for second in Conference USA) and scoring 28 runs — which is the most on the team and tied for first in Conference USA.

Off of the field, Lochten enjoys the company of her teammates. “Outside of softball, we hang out and bond a lot,” she said. “We get to know each other more, we learn something new about each other every day.”

With a 19-5-1 start, Lochten believes that she and her teammates can continue to win with hard work and perseverance.

“We’ve had a great start,” she said. “We keep pushing more and more in every practice, we get better every day. Hopefully we’ll continue the streak.”