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.
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