Senior Taylor Edwards was taken in the second round of the 2014 National Pro Fastpitch League Draft on Monday in Nashville, as she was selected with the eighth overall pick by the Pennsylvania Rebellion. Edwards is the first Husker to be drafted since Ashley DeBuhr was selected eighth overall in the 2006 NPF Draft.
The Rebellion are an expansion franchise that will play their first season in the NPF this summer. The team chose Edwards with their second of six picks in the draft. Edwards was one of three players from the Big Ten Conference chosen among the 20 players drafted Monday.
"I'm really happy and excited for what's to come," Edwards said shortly after the draft, which was streamed live on the NPF's website. "I've always wanted to play softball for as long as I could and this is an amazing opportunity. It's very humbling."
While excited to begin her professional career in a few months, Edwards said her focus remains on helping Nebraska make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament again this spring.
"I'm very excited for the future, but I can't look past my senior year here at Nebraska," she said. "I love this team and still want to wear 'Nebraska' on my chest for as long as I can."
A 2011 third-team All-American and finalist for the 2011 USA Softball Player of the Year award, Edwards has put together one of the most decorated careers in school history. The only All-America catcher in program history, Edwards owns 14 Husker records and is on pace to challenge several more halfway through her senior season. Edwards also owns a share of two NCAA records, and she ranks in the top 10 among all active Division I players in walks, RBIs and home runs.
A native of Murrieta, Calif., Edwards is batting .429 this season with 10 homers and 20 RBIs. The Big Ten home run leader, Edwards joined a pair of elite groups last weekend in Nebraska's series win at No. 23 Northwestern. Edwards hit her 10th home run of the season in game two of the series, joining three-time All-Americans Ali Viola and Jennifer Lizama as the only Huskers to post three seasons with 10-or-more home runs. In the series finale with the Wildcats, Edwards scored the 150th run of her career, as she joined Viola as the only players in school history to total 150 career hits, runs and RBIs.
Edwards has excelled in her time at Nebraska, and Husker Head Coach Rhonda Revelle said everyone associated with the program is proud of Edwards' accomplishments.
"The Nebraska softball team could not be more happy and proud of Taylor for being selected in the 2014 NPF Draft," Revelle said. "Along with her twin sister Tatum, Taylor is an impact player in our program and has earned this opportunity. The entire Husker Nation looks forward to cheering Taylor on when she begins her professional career this summer.
"Nebraska softball is grateful to the Rebellion organization for making Taylor the first catcher drafted. I know Coach Rick Bertagnolli, and I believe Taylor will be a great fit with the Pennsylvania Rebellion."