Butler sophomore pitcher Regan Mergele has been named as the 2017 Dudley® NJCAA DI Softball Pitcher of the Year, which was announced on Tuesday by the Division I Softball Committee.
Mergele becomes the first Butler softball player to win a national player of the year award in the program's history.
"It is a great honor for being chosen as the NJCAA DI Pitcher of the year," Mergele said. "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."
As one of the top pitchers in the nation, Mergele was a perfect 29-0 with an 0.75 earned-run average, 196 strikeouts in 130 innings pitched and led the team in all four categories. In 31 appearances with 30 starts, Mergele allowed just 14 earned runs on 67 hits, 45 walks and gave up only four home runs on the season. The sophomore finished second among all NJCAA D-I pitchers in strikeouts per 7 innings (10.55), third in ERA and sixth in wins.
Mergele's 0.57 ERA set a Butler record for lowest ERA in a single-season and finished second behind Maggie Ham (30, 2013) for most single-season victories. Signed to play next year with the University of Nebraska, Mergele ends her Butler career as second all-time in wins (53), earned run average (1.15) and strikeouts (330).
At the NJCAA National Tournament, Mergele was named the Most Outstanding Pitcher as she went 3-0 in three starts with a 2.23 ERA, 14 strikeouts and 12 hits allowed in 15 2/3 innings pitched.
Mergele earned All-American first-team honors by both the NJCAA and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) this year. She also was an All-Jayhawk Conference first-team selection at pitcher and was named the conference D-I Pitcher of the Week seven time this season. Mergele earned NJCAA Division I Pitcher of the Week honors (Feb. 13-19) after going 4-0 with 16 2/3 innings pitched, allowing no earned runs on four hits and striking out 30 batters.
Last year, Mergele was an NFCA All-American third-team selection and received first-team All-Jayhawk Conference honors.