Bradi Basler has been named to the NJCAA DII All-America first team.
One of 11 athletes named to the first team, Basler led Kansas City Kansas Community College to a 41-15 record in 2021, the second most wins in history. She did it with both her bat and her arm. Only the second player in Jayhawk history to hit for the Triple Crown, she is the only player to lead the conference in batting (.503), home runs (20) and runs-batted-in (80) and in pitching victories (20).
Because of that versatility, Basler was an obvious selection for the Utility position on the All-America first team.
"It was difficult to know how to nominate her – for her offense or for her pitching," said KCKCC Coach Lana Ross. "So, I nominated her for both positions."
A freshman eligible from Lansing, Basler was named Freshman of the Year in the Jayhawk Conference, but was relegated to the All-Jayhawk Conference second team as a pitcher. Winter Snyder of Labette and Paige Hughes of Cowley College were named first team utility players.
The good news is that Basler will be returning for a third season – and the best may be yet to come.
"She definitely wants to get better and is willing to work to get better," Ross said. "There's always things to work on. She knows she has potential and wants a better season next year."
Basler got in only 14 games when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down her first season in 2020. She hit .385 in 39 plate appearances, rapping three home runs and driving in 24 runs. She also made nine appearances on the mound, compiling a 4-4 record with a 5.13 earned run average. She struck out 59 and walked 20 in 43 innings.
In addition to her Triple Crown this spring, the left-hand hitting Basler also led the Blue Devils in hits (85), extra base hits (40), slugging (.988) and walks (33). A righthander on the mound, she was 20-6 with a 3.64 ERA. She had 18 complete games in 26 starts along with a team high four saves. She also struck out 126 and walked 45 in 150 innings and handled 178 fielding chances without an error.
"She's definitely one of the best hitters I've ever coached," said Ross, who coached several All-Americans in her first 14 years at Iowa Western. "She has so many tools from the left side of the box – unbelievable power, and yet she can lay down a bunt. She'll continue to work on her game to be one of the best-ever at KCKCC."
Other past KCKCC All-Americans include Allison Kassick, who holds the Blue Devil record for hitting at .504 in 2017 and Kaleena Micheli and Dana Dunsmore.
Barring injury, Basler will write numerous all-time bests into the record book. Her 20 home runs in a season are already an all-time best, and she is tied for the career lead with 23. Her hits in a season (85) are also a single season best and her .503 batting average is second only to Allison Kassick (.504). Pitching-wise, Basler's next win will tie the career record for wins (21), and it is only a matter of time when she will break several other career records.
Basler is the only Jayhawk Conference player named to the NJCAA DII first team. Pitcher Lilli Weir of Highland and infielder Kaylin Watkins of Johnson County were named to the second team while third team selections include catcher Cheyenne Minnick and infielder Gabby Schultz of Highland and outfielder Paige Hughes of Cowley College.
While Basler was the only Blue Devil named to either the first or second All-Jayhawk team, six Blue Devils earned honorable mention – pitcher Breanna Droge; infielders Savannah Maynard, Alaina Howe and Jenna Daugherty and outfielders Alexis Rymer and Devin Purcell. Droge and Maynard are both first year freshmen.