Wyatt becomes two-time NFCA Golden Shoe Award winner
Sophomore OF becomes first in history of Arizona to receive prestigious national honor twice
Phoenix, Arizona – August 1, 2014 -- Phoenix College is proud to announce that for the second straight year, PC Softball Player Rebecca Wyatt has been named as the 2014 Golden Shoe Award winner by the National Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association (NFCA). Last year, Wyatt became not only the first Bears’ Softball player in the 10-year history of the award to win it, but also just the 2ndsoftball player ever to represent the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference and NJCAA Region I in receiving the accolade. Today, she becomes the first-ever two-time winner in the history of the Grand Canyon State. The award will be officially presented during ceremonies at the NFCA’s National Convention this coming December.
The NFCA Golden Shoe Award is an annual award that the NFCA presents to the top base stealer. There are a total of 10 different awards handed out each year, since the NFCA honors all three levels of the NCAA & NJCAA as well as the NAIA, COA (California’s juco association) and the NWAACC (the association that governs two-year colleges in the Pacific Northwest). The recipients are determined by a national 10-person committee that is comprised of a head coach from each of the aforementioned 10 levels.
Ever since she took home the first award last winter, Wyatt has officially been the NJCAA’s worst-kept base-stealing secret. Not that that fact mattered, since opposing catchers had even less success throwing Wyatt out in 2014 than they did during her freshman campaign. Ever since graduating from Independence High School in Glendale in the spring of 2012, Wyatt has done nothing but combine the main talents that she learned at IHS from the softball field, track (she ran the 100 & 200 meter dashes), and classroom and turn them into a historically successful athletic and academic brew. As a freshman for the Bears, Wyatt hit a blistering .481 from the leadoff spot (despite overhauling her entire hitting regimen over the summer to learn to hit as a lefthander instead of a righty), and when she got on base, it was automatic that she would advance at least one base with her feet. Her 65 stolen bases was nearly double the amount of the next closest base stealer in the ACCAC and 10 more than anyone else in the nation in NJCAA Division II in 2013.
With opposing coaches even more aware of her prowess in 2014, her closing act as a Bear was inexplicably even more impressive. Other teams’ coaches, catchers and pitchers tried everything they could to prevent Wyatt from advancing on the basepaths, and all continued to fail miserably. With teammate Courtney Geith nipping at her heels all year along in the NJCAA Stolen Base race (they finished 1stand 2nd), Wyatt usurped her freshman campaign as she stole a whopping 72 bases as a sophomore, and upped her batting average to .494 (2nd-best in the ACCAC). Her 137 stolen bases easily place her atop a distinguished all-time career list of Bears’ baserunners for the most of the program’s history, and rank her as one of the most potent basestealers in NJCAA history. Her list of awards reflects that, since in addition to the two Golden Shoe Awards, Wyatt has been bestowed with such national accolades as NFCA All-American, NJCAA All-American and the 2014 NJCAA Marucci Softball Elite Hitters’ Award in the last three months.
Now the outfielder sets her sights on the Cornhusker State as she joins four of her Bears’ teammates at the University of Nebraska-Kearney for the next part of her collegiate journey, and her now ex-head coach doesn’t envision anything from stopping Wyatt from breaking more records. “Rebecca is a quiet leader on our team,” remarked Mueller. “She also has a 3.9 grade point average in the classroom, so she shows her versatility everywhere. I am very proud of Rebecca and what accomplishments she has achieved. Rebecca is an All-American-on and off the field-and is quite a special person.”