Wyatt, Roessing named NJCAA All-Americans
NJCAA Stolen Base Champ named to 1st Team; sophomore hurler gets 2nd Team nod
Phoenix, Arizona – May 21, 2014 -- Phoenix College is proud to announce that two members of the PC Softball team have been named to the NJCAA Division II Softball All-American teams. Sophomore outfielder Rebecca Wyatt earned 1st Team honors, while sophomore pitcher Cassie Roessing (RESS-ing) was named to the 2nd Team as a utility player. It’s the second straight year that Wyatt has been named an NJCAA All-American, and it’s the seventh consecutive year that the Bears have had at least two representatives on the All-American squads. The announcements come less than two weeks after the two played their final game as a member of the blue and gold in the Region I Division II Championship Game.
There has never been a better ‘table-setter’ in the storied history of the Bears’ Softball program than Rebecca Wyatt, and she will also go down as one of the best basestealers in the history of softball in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC). Recruited by Bears’ Head Softball Coach Heinz Mueller after a stellar varsity career both on the softball field and on the track at Independence High School, Wyatt figured out very quickly how to use her balance of speed and cunning from both playing surfaces to make her a historic college softball player. Her maturity at the plate (a team-leading 101 hits to go along with a .481 batting average) and on the basepaths (65 stolen bases, which placed her 2nd all-time in PC Softball history for most stolen bases in a season) earned Wyatt 1st Team All-ACCAC & All-Region I Division II honors, NJCAA 3rd Team All-American honors, and finally make history as the first-ever community college player from Maricopa County to win the National Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association’s coveted Golden Shoe Award (awarded to the nation’s top base stealer). Yet she knew there were still ways for her to improve, and she and Mueller worked on making her more than just a ‘slap-hitter’ at the plate; while improving her already-stellar ability to read opposing pitchers and catchers for extra stolen bases. The tweaks resulted in more extra-base hits for Wyatt in 2014, as well as a 2nd-place finish in the conference in batting average at .494. The piece de resistance for Wyatt, though, came in her outlasting not just fellow teammate Courtney Geith (who finished 2nd in the NJCAA in stolen bases) but the rest of the nation by stealing 72 bases (while playing four less games) as a sophomore. Her 137 stolen bases for her career places her atop the PC Career Stolen Bases list, as well as leaves a legacy as one of the most adept in the history of the NJCAA in that department.
While the difference between Wyatt’s freshman and sophomore years were subtle, the transformation of Cassie Roessing from one of the top 20 pitchers in the conference as a freshman to one of the top Region I pitching representatives in the nation as a sophomore was a strong improvement. In 2013, Roessing used her guile in the pitching circle to win 13 games for the Region I Champs and earn All-Region I Division II honors while working her way out of several jams with 79 strikeouts. At the plate, Roessing used a free-swinging, powerful style to belt out 17 homers while hitting over .400. They were numbers that could’ve easily been left alone, but the determined Roessing saw immediate ways to improve in both areas, and spent the summer of 2014 working on all of them. The difference was immediate this past February as on the bump, Roessing would keep her record unblemished until the final week of the regular season, winning her first 16 decisions while gradually lowering her earned run average to the league’s best at 1.50, finishing with a 17-2 overall mark. In the batter’s box, Roessing was the Bears’ biggest power threat from start to finish, rapping out another 14 homers (2nd-best in the conference), but this time, she showed the discipline she’d worked on but cutting her strikeouts by more than half from her freshman year, and raising her batting average over 60 points to finish with a .470 BA. She also finished among the ACCAC’s elite in slugging percentage (.813, 2nd ACCAC) and runs batted in (76, 4th).
The two will continue to be teammates next year as they head to the University of Nebraska-Kearney this coming fall, and their now-ex-head coach envisions that the continued determination of both to improve on their craft will get more and more obvious as they move on. “Rebecca and Cassie are both amazing stories of what dedication to improvement can do,” remarked Mueller. “Going to the next level as teammates is only going to help them more. They’re going to both represent PC extremely well, and should do great things in the conference that they’re heading to.”