Virginia Tech senior first basemen Courtney Liddle will embark on the next chapter of her softball career when her days as a Hokie are over.
Liddle, a Haymarket, Va. native, currently holds several school records, including highest career on base percentage at .465, and is second in career home runs with 29.
Her invaluable contributions to the Tech softball team made her the 18th overall pick in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) College Draft by the New York/New Jersey Comets this April.
For Liddle, being drafted was just another achievement in her life.
“I never sat down and thought, what am I going to do to make it to the pros, the Olympics or college,” Liddle said. “I just played the sport, enjoyed it and the Lord took me in those directions.”
When Liddle received the news that she had been drafted, she realized playing softball beyond college was becoming a possibility.
"When they called my name, I jumped up and started screaming and then my mom and dad called me,” Liddle said. “My dad and I have had a bond forever with softball, and this winter we had to realize that it might be ending. Then he said, ‘Hey, we can keep practicing.’”
The Comets have Liddle listed as a first basemen and catcher, so the senior plans to stay versatile and keep her arm strong. She prefers to be behind the plate, though, because of the leadership role a catcher has on the game.
There will be no offseason for Liddle this summer; her professional career will begin as soon as her collegiate one ends. The NPF season runs from June until late August.
The NPF has four teams: the Akron Racers, the New York/New Jersey Comets, the Chicago Bandits and the USSSA Pride. The teams play each other roughly 14 times before the playoffs begin.
Liddle, who has been playing tee-ball since she was five and softball since she was seven, is excited that she has an opportunity to continue to play the game she loves.
“I definitely dreamed about wearing USA across my chest, and playing with the people I will be playing with now,” Liddle said.
Although she hasn’t even started her professional career yet, she has already begun to contemplate what she will do after her playing days are over.
“I want to help (the athletes) make the most out of their four years (in college),” Liddle said. “I see people who have been a positive influence on my life, and I want to be that for someone else.”