NEB Softball: Former Huskers Meet in NPF Playoffs

Posted By: Sports

sports@klkntv.com

The three former Huskers competing in the National Pro Fastpitch league will meet in the opening round of the 2016 NPF Championship Series this Friday when the Chicago Bandits take on the Scrap Yard Dawgs at 5 p.m. in the first game of a best-of-three series. Every game of the series can be seen on the CBS Sports Network.

Chicago (23-25) is the defending league champion and is led by two-time Husker All-Americans Tatum and Taylor Edwards. The Scrap Yard Dawgs (29-19), an expansion franchise, feature rookie sensation Kiki Stokes, who was also a two-time All-American at Nebraska. The Dawgs earned the No. 2 seed for the Championship Series, while the Bandits are the No. 3 seed. The winner of the Bandits-Dawgs series will face the winner of the series between the No. 1 seed USSSA Pride and the No. 4 seed Akron Racers in the three-game championship series, Aug. 21-23, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Scrap Yard Dawgs vs. Chicago Bandits in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Game 1: Friday, Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
Game 2: Saturday, Aug. 20 at 11 a.m. (CBS Sports Network)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 20 at 5 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)*
*if necessary

Edwards Twins Look to Repeat as NPF Champions
Tatum and Taylor Edwards are looking to repeat as NPF championships after helping the Chicago Bandits to the 2015 title. Taylor Edwards played a leading role in the Bandits’ title last season, hitting a walk-off two-run homer in game one of the semifinal series, which Chicago won 2-0. Then in the championship series, Edwards doubled and walked twice in the Bandits’ two-game sweep of the USSSA Pride.

Taylor Edwards Among NPF’s Top Hitters in Regular Season
Taylor Edwards, a 2015 All-NPF selection, made her case as one of the league’s top hitters again in 2016. In 43 regular-season games, Edwards led the Bandits with a .353 average, nine doubles, 10 homers and 34 RBIs. In the regular season, Edwards ranked second in the league in home runs, third in RBIs, fourth in doubles and fifth in triples (5), while ranking fourth in batting average among players with a minimum of 50 at bats.

While Taylor has an excellent chance to repeat as an All-NPF selection, Tatum was one of the rare league players to contribute both at the plate and in the circle. Tatum hit .212 at the plate with five doubles, six walks and eight RBIs in 33 at bats. In the circle, the 2013 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year compiled an 0-1 record while making eight appearances and one start.

Stokes Puts Together Outstanding Rookie Season
Kiki Stokes became the highest NPF Draft pick in school history this spring, when the Scrap Yard Dawgs made her the first selection in franchise history with the No. 6 overall pick. Stokes proved worthy of her high draft selection, putting up impressive numbers in her rookie season.

Stokes hit .304 with six doubles, one triple, seven homers and 20 RBIs during the regular season. She spent much of the second half of the season as the Dawgs’ leadoff hitter, a role she filled at Nebraska while earning All-America honors in both 2015 and 2016. Stokes totaled 11 multi-hit games and five games with multiple RBIs, including her first professional two-homer game against Akron on July 19.

More information on the 2016 NPF Championship Series (and on the NPF) can be found at: http://championship.profastpitch.com/