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Saturday, June 5

Krueger goes pro     Send a link to a friend

[JUNE 5, 2004]  NORMAL -- Former Illinois State softball player Emily Krueger has signed on to play with the National Pro Fastpitch New England Riptide. The team is based in Lowell, Mass.

"I'm so excited for Emily. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Redbird head coach Melinda Fischer said. "She was one of the leaders on our team this year, and I know she will be successful in this new league."

National Pro Fastpitch is entering its first season, following the success of the 2003 NPF All-Star Tour. The league, which runs from June 1 through the end of August, is comprised of six teams, including the Texas Thunder, Akron Racers, California Sunbirds, Tucson Heat and the New York/New Jersey Juggernaut.

Former Olympic softball coach Ralph Raymond, one of the winningest coaches in fast pitch softball history, is the Riptide's head coach. Team members include players from universities such as Stanford, California and LSU.

Krueger took her game to another level in 2004, leading the Redbirds in nearly every offensive category on her way to becoming one of the top hitters in Illinois State and Missouri Valley Conference history. The Pleasant Plains native broke both the conference and school single-season home run marks during her senior campaign. She finished with 18 on the season. After just two seasons in a Redbird uniform, Krueger finished her collegiate career at No. 2 on the Illinois State career home run list with 24 round-trippers and was tied for third on the Missouri Valley career list.


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Despite playing at Illinois State for just two seasons, Krueger's name peppers the hitting categories in the Redbird record book. She set a new career slugging percentage standard at .656 and tied the record for homers in a game with two against Illinois, while also ranking in the top three for RBIs in a season (43), extra base hits in a season (28) and single-season slugging percentage (.817).

The Lincoln Land Community College transfer was a unanimous all-Valley first team selection and was the runner-up for player of the year in 2004. She led the league in home runs and helped the Redbirds break the Valley's single-season home run record with 45 round-trippers this season. Throughout the 2004 season, Krueger also ranked among the best in the nation in home runs per game, RBIs per game, slugging percentage and batting average.

Krueger's other honors this season include receiving preseason Valley honorable mention accolades, being named to the Western Kentucky all-tournament team, earning Valley Player of the Week on March 16 and Valley all-tournament team honors. She also garnered second-team honors in the Division I Great Lakes Region from the Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association and was a member of the Illinois State Athletics Honor Roll.

[Illinois State Athletics news release]

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