LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech head softball coach Adrian Gregory announced two key additions for the 2016 season Tuesday with the signing of Allison Knopp and Cheyene Powell to athletic scholarship agreements.
Both Knopp and Powell arrive at Texas Tech with three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2016 season, giving Gregory and her staff additional depth in the circle and behind the plate.
“We are extremely excited to add each of these kids to our battery,” Gregory said. “Both of them will directly impact the competition that we put out day-in and day-out. I believe our kids are working hard this summer and these two additions will help our squad continue to move in the right direction.”
Knopp spent the 2015 season at Butler Community College (Kansas) where she hit .305 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI as the Grizzlies’ primary catcher. A patient hitter, Knopp drew a team-high 22 walks at the plate en route to a .407 on-base percentage to go along with a .578 slugging percentage.
A St. Louis native, Knopp signed with Butler out of St. Joe Academy. She will give Texas Tech much-needed depth behind the plate with the departure of senior Kristi Belshe, who hit .325 while appearing in 49 games this past season.
“Ally is a sharp, skilled receiver with a year of experience under her belt,” Gregory said. “She is extremely mindful of the game, loves the strategy of her position and is determined to work hard behind the dish. I am looking forward to getting her on campus and watching her flourish with our pitchers.”
Powell, meanwhile, arrives in Lubbock after spending her 2015 freshman season at the University of Oregon. The Ducks, who were the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship, ended their season 51-8 overall after claiming their third-straight Pac-12 title and advancing to the Women’s College World Series.
Powell, a native of Tuttle, Oklahoma, compiled a 4.67 earned-run average in three total innings on a veteran pitching staff that featured several upperclassmen, including Cheridan Hawkins, a U.S. National Team member and one of three finalists for the USA Softball National Player of the Year award.
“Cheyene is a loaded pistol ready to go to work,” Gregory said. “Her year at Oregon was a well spent learning year and now she is ready to put her knowledge to the test. She is a natural competitor and will add a definite fire to our pitching squad. We are looking forward to the depth that Cheyene will bring to our fervent squad.”
Powell, a right-handed hurler who pitched at Blanchard High School, is the fourth pitcher to sign with the Red Raiders for the 2016 season, joining Dominique Alcocer (Midland Junior College), Halie Vance (Tyler Junior College) and Makenzi Harris (Azle High School).