(NJCAA Office) Sophomore Brynn Minor of Butler Community College (KS) has been named the 2017 Dudley® NJCAA DI Player of the Year after posting some of the top marks in the nation. Minor propelled the Grizzlies to their second consecutive national championship.
A force at both the plate and in the circle, Minor led the nation in slugging percentage with a 1.158 mark and went a perfect 13-0 with a 1.07 earned run average. Minor ranked second in the NJCAA with 30 home runs, 18 of those coming during a 30-game hitting streak midway through the season.
The Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Most Valuable Player of the year, Minor was named to the NJCAA All-Tournament team for the second consecutive season after hitting a record three home runs in the championship game.
The player of the year accolade adds on to a growing list of feats for Minor throughout her career at Butler. "Honestly, it still hasn't hit me that we just won our second national championship," Minor stated. "The fact that I received this award gives me reassurance that I chose the right school. I could not have been blessed with a better school, teammates, or coaches these past two years that put me in a phenomenal position to succeed."
"It honestly doesn't feel real that these past two years happened," Minor added. "I never would have dreamed of only losing five games in two years with two national championships."
Butler head coach Doug Chance applauded Minor's contributions over the past two seasons that led to this year's honor. "Brynn Minor is a coach's dream. Not only does she drive in runs and give you clutch hits, but she is also the absolute best closer in the country. When we gave her the ball late in the game, we knew it was game over. Her smooth delivery deceived a lot of hitters as her explosive fastball and sweeping curve balls were on them quicker than they could expect."
"Whether with her bat or in the circle, Brynn was always the one we wanted with the game on the line."
Minor, who graduated from Butler with a Liberal Arts degree, has committed to the University of Kansas, and intends to study nutrition and dietetics at the next level/
Building off of a dominant freshman season, sophomore Regan Mergele of Butler Community College (KS) has been named the 2017 Dudley® NJCAA DI Softball Pitcher of the Year as announced by the Division I Softball Committee. Mergele propelled the Grizzlies to their second consecutive national championship.
One year removed from a 24-3 season in the circle, Mergele limited her losses this year, going a perfect 29-0 with her final victory giving Butler the 2017 national title. Mergele ranked third in the nation with a 0.75 earned run average and second in the NJCAA with 10.55 strikeouts per nine innings.
Mergele allowed more than one run in a game just three times in 31 appearances on the year as the sophomore held opposing batters to a .153 batting average.
"It is a great honor for being chosen as the NJCAA DI Pitcher of the year," Mergele stated. "It is great to see that all of the hard work that I have been putting in is being recognized, but of course I could not have excelled to the level of ability I have gained without the help and support of my coaches and teammates. I have been very blessed these last two years to play along some truly gifted athletes. Without them there is no way I could have made it this far in my career."
Mergele finished her stellar career at Butler with 53 career wins which ranks second in school history. The San Antonio, TX native was named the Most Outstanding Pitcher of the national tournament.
Butler head coach Doug Chance discussed Mergele's ability to will her team to victory over the past two seasons. "Regan is a tough competitor. When she is on, she is unhittable. However, what sets her apart is that even when she doesn't have her best stuff, she will find a way to win. She always seems to find that extra gear when she is backed against a wall. That bulldog mentality will carry her at the next level."
A NJCAA and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) First Team All-American in 2017, Mergele will continue her career at the University of Nebraska next season and intends to study Youth and Family Studies.