Feb. 17, 2003
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Georgia Tech junior All-American shortstop Tara Knudsen was named to the initial 40-player watch list for the second annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, as announced Friday by the Amateur Softball Association.
This award, which is considered the Heisman Trophy in women’s collegiate softball and is the sport’s only national player of the year award, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.
Knudsen earned third-team All-America honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association following a record-setting 2002 season. She tied the school and Atlantic Coast Conference record with 16 home runs last season. Knudsen also batted .374 and drove in 51 runs, while starting all 70 games at shortstop. Additionally, she earned all-region and All-ACC honors.
The 25 finalists for the award will be announced on April 8, with the list being trimmed to 10 on April 29 and then to three on May 13. The winner of the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced at this year’s Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. The honoree will also be recognized during the ASA National Council Meeting in Orlando, Fla., in November.
After a slow start to the 2003 season, Knudsen has hit safely in three of her last four games and walked three times in the other outing. On the season, she is batting .235 with a home run and two RBI. Knudsen is also tied for the team lead with five walks.