Dezirae Leonard

Dezirae Leonard
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FYI - RLC'S Cooper named to preseason All-American team

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

INA--Rend Lake College softball slugger Breya Cooper, of McLeansboro, just keeps knocking them out of the park. Her latest honor comes at the hands of Fastpitch News (FPN) who named her to their 2017 FPN Preseason National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American Softball Team.
 

This new honor comes on the heels of Cooper signing with Eastern Illinois University (EIU) in November to continue her education and softball career with the Panthers next fall.
Cooper, who plans to graduate in May with an associate degree and work on a Kinesiology degree at EIU to go into athletic training, said the decision to attend the Division I school wasn’t too hard to make. She was also being pursued by three other universities across the country, with EIU being the only institution in Illinois.
24 Breya Cooper sq w
Breya Cooper
As for her latest honor, the Warrior slugger was chosen by FPN as one of 15 from the hundreds of NJCAA colleges.
This distinction adds to an already impressive list of accolades. Last year, Cooper was acknowledged with the 2016 NJCAA Division I Softball Marucci Elite Hitter Award, which is presented to the All-America nominee with the highest batting average from each district. Cooper represented District P and Region 24 on the list with a batting average of .489, ranked 14th in the nation.
Earlier in the season, the left-handed outfielder was ranked fifth in the nation in April for her batting average - then at .524 after a three-homerun doubleheader against Kaskaskia College. Cooper also ranked nationally in on-base percentage (15th at .551) and slugging percentage (16th at .891).
During her debut season, she also logged 72 runs in 174 at-bats. She added 85 hits, 13 doubles, three triples, 68 RBIs, and 17 homeruns (28th in the nation) to her name. She also broke RLC's previous homerun record of 15, though it was reset at the end of the season by teammate Jordan Lodge (Campbell Hill) who knocked out 23.
Despite all the recognition, Cooper is still motivated to improve.
“I’m trying to do better than I did last year, hopefully. It will be difficult and I’ll have to challenge myself, but I can do it,” she said.
Warrior Softball opens its season on March 4 at home against Kankakee. First pitch is scheduled for noon. A complete roster and schedule may be found at https://www.rlc.edu/athletics/softball.

 
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