‘Cheetah’ Bassett is freshman of the year as DSU opens national tourney tonight

Dixie State at the NCAA Division II Championships.

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Dixie State softball team resumes its quest for a National Championship at 5 p.m. today against California University of Pennsylvania.

While in Oklahoma City, the NFCA sponsored an awards banquet for the Division II players. Four Red Storm softball players received All-American honors on Wednesday night. In addition, Dixie State outfielder Janessa Bassett was voted the winner of the inaugural NFCA Division II National Freshman of the Year Award.

Dixie State's Janessa Bassett slaps for a hit, Dixie State University vs. Azusa Pacific University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 25, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie State’s Janessa Bassett slaps for a hit, Dixie State University vs. Azusa Pacific University, Softball, St. George, Utah, Apr. 25, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The speedy Bassett led the fourth-ranked Red Storm and the PacWest this year in batting average (.468), runs (78), triples (11) and stolen bases (44). Nicknamed “Cheetah” by her teammates, Bassett has been clocked running from home to home in under 11 seconds. Bassett has used that 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.

Bassett joined senior catcher Marla Reiter on the NCFA Division II All-American first team. Reiter, known for her strong arm behind the plate, caught seven of 11 runners stealing. Teams rarely attempt to steal against Dixie State due to her reputation. At the plate, she batted .381 with 12 doubles, 10 home runs, 39 RBIs and 28 runs scored. Her slugging percentage was .695 this year.

Marla Reiter
Marla Reiter

Joining Reiter and Bassett as NFCA All-Americans for the Red Storm were pitcher Michelle Duncan on the second team and second baseman Nicole Chavez on the Third Team.

Duncan comes into the National Tournament undefeated with a 29-0 record. She also has one save and sports a 1.24 earned run average.

Chavez, the team MVP from last year’s national semifinals team, is hitting .399 for the season and leads the Red Storm in slugging percentage (.707) and in home runs with 12.

The Red Storm are the top-ranked team remaining in the field of eight and the sole returning team from last year’s tournament.

Fans can watch the game online here.

The full list of NFCA All-American selections is here.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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