LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Dixie State outfielder Janessa Bassett has been voted the winner of the inaugural Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Freshman of the Year award, the Association announced.

The National Freshman of the Year trophy was presented to Bassett on Wednesday evening at the Division II Championship/All-American banquet at the Will Rogers Theatre.

"I feel incredibly blessed," Bassett said. "I know that there are many Division II schools across the country with freshman on their roster and it feels amazing to be honored as the top one.”

The PacWest Freshman of the Year has used her speed to lead the NCAA in triples, rank third in runs scored and is tied for ninth in stolen bases per game (.81). She also is fourth in the NCAA in runs per game (1.44), ninth in batting average, and 13th in on-base percentage. In addition, Bassett has collected 81 hits, 13 doubles, two home runs and 28 RBI and has been named a NFCA First Team All-American in her rookie campaign.

"Janessa is someone who can completely change the game with her speed," DSU head coach Randy Simpkins said. "She routinely takes away base hits in the outfield and offensively is a true triple threat. She can bunt, slap and hit for power. She's such a joy to coach because she is always striving to perfect what she's working on.”

Anderson (S.C) catcher Cailah Niles and Pittsburg State pitcher Emmie Roberson joined Bassett as the prestigious award’s first finalists.

The Division II National Freshman of the Year award is voted on by the members of the NFCA’s Division II All-American & Coaching Staff of the Year Committee.

Behind the collaboration between the NFCA, Schutt Sports and its Division II Head Coaches Committee, the award was created to honor the outstanding athletic achievement among freshman softball student-athletes throughout Division II.

About the NFCA

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is the professional growth organization for fastpitch softball coaches for all competitive levels of play. Founded in the early 1980s by collegiate softball coaches, today the organization also includes high school coaches, travel ball/club coaches and individuals who support the sport. Founded by coaches for coaches, the Association is built on strong values and continually instills within its members a deep sense of responsibility for developing programs that enrich the lives of all those involved.

In addition, the Association provides educational training; encourages sportsmanship and high standards of competition; promotes the sport both nationally and internationally; identifies and pursues issues relevant to the fastpitch coaching profession and provides a forum to discuss those issues; honors excellence through awards programs for coaches and players, and keeps members informed of current coaching techniques, equipment innovations and fastpitch news.

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