Jan. 19, 2020
Biola made the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics postseason for the first time since 2002, and it would not have been possible without the right arm of Reba DePriest.
Her importance was validated on Thursday evening, when it was announced that she was named to the 2014 NAIA All-American second team. The honor makes her the ninth All-American in Biola softball’s history, and she becomes the first since her teammate CeCe Luster made the second team following her remarkable rookie campaign in 2011.
“I am not surprised that Reba received this award,” said Head Coach Lorie Coleman. “She was by far the best pitcher we saw all season long.”
DePriest took the league by storm in her first season in the NAIA. She was utilized primarily out of the bullpen, and she picked up 182.1 innings pitched while working her way to a 19-4 overall record in a phenomenal season for the Eagles.
She was consistently one of the top pitchers in the NAIA throughout the season, never finding herself outside of the top-15 in the nation in at least eight statistical categories.
She made waves at Biola with her strikeout stuff, breaking Biola’s single-season strikeout record just three-quarters of the way into the season. She ultimately ended the year with 233 Ks, good enough for 10th-most in the nation. She finished second in the NAIA in earned run average, coming in at 0.81 after spending most of the season with a sub-0.50 mark.
“We knew Reba would be most effective if she came in later in the game and faced the lineup just once or twice. She just blew through everyone when she came in. She was the perfect closer,” said Coleman.
DePriest is one of just four student-athletes from the Golden State Athletic Conference to land on the All-American first or second teams. The other three came from Concordia, which was ranked No. 1 in the country throughout the season before meeting a surprising end in the NAIA Softball Championship Opening Round.
When all is said and done DePriest could go down as one of the greatest players to ever don a Biola uniform. She has one season of eligibility left and could become Biola’s first-ever two-time NAIA All-American.
What is even more impressive about her dominance in her first year in a new state, new team and new league is that she did it all while juggling 18 units and a job at Home Depot that had her working at 6 a.m. every morning. That is true dedication.
“I think next year she has a chance to be even better,” said Coleman.
Now that is a scary thought for the rest of the nation.
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