Kirkwood star earns multiple honors following freshman campaign
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA (June 14, 2016)-Kirkwood softball player Taylor Nearad has been named the inaugural Schutt Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Junior College National Player of the Year. The honor follows Nearad being named a first team All-American and the Dudley National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) DII Player of the Year earlier this month.
Nearad, a NJCAA first team All-American, either led the nation or was near the top in every offensive category from a statistical standpoint. She led the nation with 145 hits, 129 RBI, 30 home runs and 114 runs scored. Her .602 batting average and .622 on-base percentage ranked third and fourth in the nation respectively. Nearad’s 31 doubles and 11 triples contributed to her 1.195 slugging percentage, which was good for third in the nation. In addition, she stole 34 bases, putting her among the nation’s elite in that category as well.
A freshman from Solon, Iowa, Nearad continued her stellar play in the national tournament. In four games, she batted .400, hit three home runs, two doubles and had eight RBI. Her efforts earned her a spot on the All-Tournament Team.