After a record-shattering season resulted in a fifth-place finish at the NJCAA Division I Softball Championship, the 2022 Yavapai College softball team has been racking up the postseason awards. This time, the Roughriders led all NJCAA Division I programs with seven NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) All-Region honorees and six NFCA All-Americans.
Of the All-Americans, freshman infielder Yaya Kaaialii was named NFCA Player of the Year while freshman catcher Jasmine Moreno was named NFCA Catcher of the Year. Both student-athletes also earned NFCA First-Team All-American honors and were joined by sophomore outfielders Mia Weckel and Kayla Rodgers and freshman infielder Lovey Kepa’a. In addition, sophomore pitcher Emily Dix earned NFCA Second-Team All-American honors.
All six of the above student-athletes were also named to the First-Team for the West Region while freshman pitcher Emily Darwin earned Second-Team West Region honors.
Yavapai’s second baseman and No. 3 hitter also earned First-Team All-Conference, NJCAA All-Region and ACCAC Player of the Week honors (once) during the season.
In the country, Kaaialii was third in runs scored (99), sixth in doubles (25), seventh in homers (26), fifth in RBIs (89), first in walks (56), eighth in batting average (.530), third in OBP% (.639) and fourth in SLG% (1.133).
The Roughrider backstop earned Second-Team All-Conference, NJCAA All-Region and ACCAC Player of the Week honors (twice) during the season as well.
Moreno hit .473 on the year with 63 runs scored, 88 hits, 21 doubles, 21 homers, 77 RBIs and 19 walks. Behind the plate, Moreno was nearly perfect with a .997 fielding percentage, committing just one error in 354 total chances. She also gunned down 13 would-be basestealers in 37 attempts for a caught-stealing percentage of .351.
YC’s leadoff hitter and centerfielder was also a First-Team All-Conference and NJCAA All-Region honoree in 2022. She also earned All-Tournament Team honors at the NJCAA DI Softball Championship Tournament.
Weckel hit .455 out of the leadoff spot with 101 runs scored (second in the country), 92 hits, 20 doubles, 19 homers, 71 RBIs, 37 walks and 18 stolen bases (led the team).
The Roughrider leftfielder and No. 2 hitter earned First-Team All-Conference, NJCAA All-Region and ACCAC Player of the Week honors (three times) during the season as well.
In the country, Rodgers was first in runs scored (108), first in hits (105), sixth in doubles (25), seventh in homers (26), seventh in RBIs (87), sixth in batting average (.544), sixth in OBP% (.607) and fifth in SLG% (1.130).
YC’s shortstop also earned ACCAC Player of the Year, First-Team All-Conference, NJCAA All-Region and ACCAC Player of the Week honors (once) during the 2022 season.
In the country, she was sixth in runs scored (93), first in home runs (34), first in RBIs (104) and seventh in SLG% (1.068).
YC’s ace inside the circle earned ACCAC Pitcher of the Year, First-Team All-Conference, NJCAA All-Region and ACCAC Player of the Week honors (eight times) during the 2022 season as well.
In the country, Dix was second in wins (27), third in strikeouts (285) and third in strikeouts-per-seven innings (12.02).
The second part of YC’s one-two punch inside the circle in 2022, Darwin dominated when it mattered the most in 2022. She earned NJCAA Division I Region I Tournament MVP, First-Team All-Conference, NJCAA All-Region and ACCAC Pitcher of the Week honors (twice) during the season.
She went 25-3 (fifth in the country in wins) with a 1.92 ERA and 163 strikeouts in 149.2 innings pitched.
– D.J. Irwin