Wyatt named 2014 NJCAA Marucci Softball Elite Hitters’ Award winner
Sophomore All-American OF adds new honor to growing resume’
Phoenix, Arizona – May 22, 2014 -- Phoenix College is proud to announce that PC Softball player Rebecca Wyatt has been named to the 2014 NJCAA Softball Elite Hitters list, sponsored by Marucci. It’s the second NJCAA award that Wyatt has won in as many days after earning her second straight NJCAA All-American nod Wednesday. Wyatt is also one of only two softball players from NJCAA District A (which encompasses all of the Arizona teams) to be named to this year’s list. The announcement comes just two weeks after Wyatt walked off the field at Bears’ Softball Stadium for the final time after the Region I Division II Championship Game.
While yesterday’s honor of being named 1st Team NJCAA All-American is the more well-known accolade, and is awarded for a wide variety of skills, today’s award definitely shows what a multi-pronged threat Wyatt has been this season. Since she first hit campus in the summer of 2013, the buzz about the Independence High School alum has been almost exclusively about her ability to steal bases like no other NJCAA player. That’s not an understatement, either, since her totals of 65 in 2013 and 72 this past season led the nation each year, and earned her the distinction of being the first community college softball player to win the award handed out by the National Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association for the nation’s best base stealer, the Golden Shoe Award, last fall.
Today’s trophy, though, goes to the All-America nominee from each of the NJCAA’s 16 districts in each division with the highest batting average, which shows that Wyatt’s game was much more than walks and steals, and that a major transformation in Wyatt’s game made an amazing difference. When Wyatt arrived at PC, her head coach, NJCAA Hall of Famer Heinz Mueller, realized what great athletic gifts she had, but also saw the possibility of changing one major thing to open up a host of new successes. So Wyatt was transformed from a right-handed hitter to a left-handed hitter before her freshman year at PC to give her a better chance to use her speed to get to first base for infield (and outfield) hits. While a potentially dangerous thing to do before a student-athlete makes the transition from high school to college ball, both Mueller and Wyatt felt she was mature enough to handle it, and the rest is history. Wyatt led the Bears’ team that reached the 2013 NJCAA Championship Game with 101 hits, and this past year, improved her stellar freshman batting average of .481 by 25 points during the 2014 regular season (to .506, which was 2nd-best in the ACCAC). Overall, Wyatt finished with a .494 batting average with 4 doubles, 14 runs batted in, and-oh, by the way-a stunning 72 stolen bases to lead the nation.
Wyatt will join four of her current Bears’ teammates at their new four-year home of the University of Nebraska-Kearney this coming fall.