THE WOODLANDS, TX – March 17th, 2017 – Scrap Yard Dawgs General Manager, Connie May, announced today the signing of Nebraska Husker, MJ Knighten. The Big 10 standout infielder was the Dawgs 25th over pick in the 2017 NPF Draft and was a NFCA First-Team All-American. Knighten’s contract with the Scrap Yard Dawgs will extend through the 2019 Season.
A Buena Park, California native, MJ Knighten will bring consistency and make a noticeable impact to the Dawgs line-up in 2017. During her time at Nebraska, she was the only Husker to start every game. At the plate, she had a .360 career batting average, 251 hits, 33 doubles, 7 triples, 41 home runs and a .449 on base percentage. In addition, she had 31 stolen bases in 44 attempts, 186 RBI’s, 98 walks, and a .603 slugging percentage.
Knighten was nominated as the 4th best player in the nation by ESPN this year, and was also named to the 2017 USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.
During her senior season in 2017, Knighten was not only team captain, but she became the first four-time, All-Big Ten selection in the program’s history. She is one of 10 finalists for the nationwide Senior CLASS Award and one of the first players to be nominated in Huskers history. In addition to her many accolades, Knighten was ranked fifth in the nation for home runs with a total of 21.
Knighten’s standout season as a Husker came in 2015 during her sophomore campaign where she posted a .412 batting average, 53 runs, 60 runs batted in, .466 on-base percentage, and a .608 slugging percentage. She was named First-Team All-Big Ten and was a First-Team All-Region Selection. She started all 58 games and was the third Husker to produce 60 RBI’s. She became the third-fastest Husker to reach 100 hits while producing the fifth highest batting average in school history. Continuing her record year, Knighten scored the eighth-most runs in school history, as well as recorded the 10th-most triples in school history, and ranked second in the Big Ten in hits. Her 21-game hitting streak from March 11 through April 12 was the third-longest in Nebraska history.
During her Freshman and Junior seasons she continued to produce for Nebraska, posting a .311 batting average in 2014, which helped her become the only freshman to be an All-Big Ten Selection. Knighten’s continued prowess on the field and a .376 batting average in 2016 also earned her First-Team All-Conference, All-Region and All-American Honors her junior year.
MJ Knighten was born in Buena Park, California and attended Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, California, where she earned Max Preps Second-Team All-American honors as a senior. She was also named one of Orange County’s Top 25 players, was named a three-time Sunny Hills Player of the Year, and and awarded a Two-time Freeway League Player of the Year with a .456 career average.
"I am beyond excited and grateful to be a part of the Scrap Yard Dawgs! I am still in shock knowing I get to continue my softball career professionally,” said Knighten.
When asked her thoughts on the former Husker, GM Connie May said, “We are really excited to get MJ in a Dawgs uniform! Her quick glove and strong arm make her a formidable force in the field and her knowledge of the game, combined with her innate ability to read the opposing defense, make her a serious threat on offense as well.”
What’s New with the Scrap Yard Dawgs?
You can now get your very own Dawgs Gear! The online store is up and running on the Dawgs Site at www.ScrapYardDawgs.com/store/
About the Scrap Yard Dawgs
The Scrap Yard Dawgs began competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2016. The Dawgs provides elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Houston area, the Dawgs organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dawgs at www.scrapyarddawgs.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About the NPF
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball and has been since 2002.