DCCC Softball: Three Conqs Honored as All-KJCCC Selections
The Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference released their All-Conference softball teams on Wednesday and the Conquistadors found themselves with three representatives on the All-KJCCC West division team.
Sophomore outfielder Daysha Mendez and freshman pitcher Danika Utajara were both honored with First Team recognition while freshman catcher Madyson McCage was given Second Team honors.
Mendez and Utajara are the first Conquistador teammates to earn First Team recognition since four Conqs earned the honor in 2013.
"Myself, Katlin [Asst. Coach Katlin Reed], and all of our players are very happy and proud of these three," said Head Coach Howie Smith. "All three of them deserved this recognition for the season that each of them had this year."
Daysha Mendez is a sophomore outfielder from Lakewood, Colorado. She finished the season defensively with a .933 fielding percentage with 41 putouts on 45 total chances and just three errors from centerfield.
Behind the plate, Mendez batted .342 while leading the team with eight home runs. She was a dynamo on the base path with 33 runs scored and 17 stolen bases. The 17 stolen bases in 2021 was good for 10th all-time in a single season for Conquistador softball. Despite two seasons shortened by COVID, Mendez finished her career with 24 stolen bases which was also good for 10th all time. She cracks the Top-10 in career home runs as well, coming in at 10th with nine home runs.
Danika Utajara is a freshman pitcher from Lovington, New Mexico and is second of two Conquistadors to earn First Team All-KJCCC honors. She led the Conquistadors with 104.0 innings pitched going 8-10 over the 21 games played. She ended the season with 77 strikeouts and just 18 walks with a team-low 3.77 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. Utajara was named the KJCCC and NJCAA Pitcher of the Week for February 22-28. She went 2-0 over the course of the week, pitching two complete games (14 innings) with 18 strikeouts and zero earned runs for a 0.00 ERA.
Madyson McCage is a freshman catcher from Lindsay, Texas. She batted .304 on the year, finishing second on the team in triples (3) and slugging percentage (.638). McCage also finished third on the team in both home runs (4) and RBIs (17). Her defense behind the plate helped the Conqs stay in several games as she finished second in fielding percentage (.962) behind first teamer, Danika Utajara.
The Conquistadors finished the season 15-23 and 10-16 in KJCCC play. Coach Smith is looking forward to what his 2021 recruiting class will bring to the table.