Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska’s Mya Felder Bringing Passion off the Field, Consistency on It

April 17, 2022

When Nebraska softball head coach Rhonda Revelle pulls into the Bowlin Stadium parking lot each day, she can predict which spot Mya Felder’s car will be in. 

She knows that the junior infielder will be in the training facility, doing whatever she needs to get done. That type of consistency has helped the transfer succeed in her first year at Nebraska. 

“She’s consistent. She has her own standard of how she’s gonna go about her work. And it’s consistent day in and day out,” Revelle said. “Sometimes I don’t even know what she’s doing because she’s in that hitting facility, but it’s consistent.”

On the field, that consistency takes the form of a team-leading .398 batting average. She also has a .996 fielding percentage, recording just one error through 34 games. 

Felder is one of many players finding success for the Huskers this year, which is why the team sits at 32-9 on the season and 12-0 in conference play. 

“It’s been great,” Felder said. “I think my teammates have had a huge impact on my success, and just how hard we work together and the culture that we’ve built. It makes it a lot easier to come in and be a part of the team. And we’re doing something special. So it’s easier to be a part of that, too.”

A family culture of softball helped Mya get into the sport. Her mom, Christine, played softball at New Mexico State. Felder played multiple sports growing up, but softball was the one she ended up being best at, and it helped that her mom was her coach. 

Her younger sister, Taja, also played growing up, and they first got the chance to compete on the same team in high school. They played at Clovis East in their hometown of Fresno, California, along with doing travel ball together.

Taja is currently at Louisville. In 2020, their teams matched up against each other while Felder was at Oregon. They almost had the chance again this season at the Woo Pig Classic, but it was canceled due to weather. 

“We were supposed to play each other in Arkansas,” Felder said. “But then, weather happened and we weren’t able to see each other. But we’ve had some great opportunities in college even to see each other and play against each other.”

Felder started out her college career at New Mexico State, being named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 2019. She was also an all-conference first team selection, leading the team with a .357 batting average and 46 RBI. 

After that year, she made the move to Oregon. Not only did that transfer bring a change in competition on the field, but she had new adjustments to make off of it. Eugene, Oregon, wasn’t quite as diverse as Fresno or Las Cruces, New Mexico. Felder described it as a “culture shock.”

George Floyd’s death and the summer of 2020 came in the midst of her two years at Oregon. She said that this experience pushed her to use her voice in the environment she was in.  

“We had all these social injustices that were taking place and being one of three Black individuals on my team,” she said. “I had to speak up, I really didn’t have a choice to be honest, in educating my own teammates or my own athletic department, my coaches. And so that’s where I really started to find my voice in being able to advocate for social justice and things like that.”

Felder said that in softball, there’s not all that many African American role models. In recent years, she remembers watching Florida’s Aleshia Ocasio and James Madison’s Odicci Alexander and feeling there should be more Black players. 

“I think that if we can get more African American girls involved in softball, then that gives more encouragement to African American girls,” she said. “That’s what some of the girls did for me that were playing when I was younger, and I was watching TV, and diversifying the sport is something that I think needs to be done.”

All of that ties into Felder’s goals outside of softball as well. She’s currently working on her master’s degree in educational administration, and said she wants to work in diversity, equity and inclusion. 

“I would like to stay in college athletics, but just anywhere in education and helping young people,” she said. “I think it’s something that I’m really passionate about, helping people that look like me, maybe they face different kinds of oppressions, or just, they feel like they need support. I want to be that person.”

Education is part of the reason why Felder chose Nebraska. She said the transfer was an “academic and financial” decision, and that she was impressed with the school’s post-graduation opportunities. 

Outside of that, she was impressed with the team’s coaches and has a strong relationship with Revelle in particular. She’s helped her succeed both on and off of the field.  

As far as the rest of the season goes, Felder and the rest of the team are aiming to make the postseason and advance further from there. However, she isn’t looking too far ahead, knowing what it’ll take to get to that point. 

“Moving forward, taking it day by day and getting better with each day, and just focusing on what you can control, focusing on the present,” she said. “We’ve been doing a great job at that, and just to continue to play for each other. So I’m really excited about our future.”

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