May 26, 2004
ATLANTA – Former All-American shortstop Tara Knudsen signed a professional contract with the New England Riptide on Tuesday afternoon, after being the first pick by the Riptide in the supplemental draft. Knudsen was the 24th overall pick in last year’s senior draft by the now-defunct San Antonio Armadillos.
“It’s a great honor to be the No. 1 overall pick of the supplemental draft,” said Knudsen. “I’m excited about starting a professional career in softball.”
Knudsen finished her career at Tech as the home run champion of the ACC with 46 bombs. The Thornton, Colo., native ranks No. 1 at Tech in slugging percentage (.612), games played (246), games started (245), at bats (711), doubles (45), total bases (435) and walks (119). Knudsen ranks second all-time at Tech in career on base percentage (.440), runs batted in (144), hits (242) and third in batting average (.340).
“I really believe Tara is going to be one of the most feared hitters in the pro league,” said softball head coach Ehren Earleywine. “She is without a doubt one of the best all-around players I have seen in all of softball and I think she will prove that she can stack up against anyone in the country. Everyone involved with Georgia Tech softball is proud of Tara and this great accomplishment.”
The infielder broke Tech single-season records this past season in walks (39) and on base percentage (.507). Knudsen finished 29th in the nation with a .392 batting average, fifth best in school history. The shortstop still holds single-season records at Tech for runs scored (46-2002), home runs (16-’02), total bases (142-’02) and intentional walks (17-’02).
The New England Riptide will open up play on June 1 at N.Y. Juggernaut. The Riptide will have their home opener at Martin Field in Lowell on June 16. The National Pro Fastpitch league is comprised of six teams; Akron Racers, Arizona Heat, California Sunbirds, N.Y. Juggernaut, Texas Thunder and N.E. Riptide.
For more information about the league, please go to National Pro Fastpitch Home Page.