Feb. 15, 2007
DENVER, Colo. - All three senior members of the top-ranked Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (4-0) have been chosen in the annual National Pro Fastpitch Draft according to a recent release from the organization. Center fielder Lindsay Schutzler went No. 1 overall to the Chicago Bandits, pitcher Monica Abbott was chosen as the fourth pick in the second round by the Washington Glory, dropping that low mainly due to concerns that she will instead be a member of the U.S. National Team during the upcoming pro season. The Akron Racers also selected left fielder India Chiles with the fourth pick of the third round.
The trio joins former Lady Vols Sarah Fekete (Philadelphia Force) and Kristi Durant (New England Riptide) as NPF pro draft picks following that pair's selections in 2006. Fekete, an '06 first-team Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American, led the Force during the last pro campaign with a .366 average on 30-of-82 hitting at the dish with 11 runs scored, two doubles and five RBI despite missing much of the season as a member of USA Softball's gold medal-winning World University Games squad that competed in T'ai-nan City, Taiwan.
Both Schutzler and Abbott remain a part of the U.S. National Team final selection pool. That factor places their pro participation for the upcoming campaign in jeopardy due to their obligations to USA Softball.
Players selected in the NPF NCAA draft will be permitted to pursue any available roster spot on their assigned team after completing their college season.
The six NPF teams competing in 2007 include the 2006 Defending Champions, the New England Riptide, the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Rockford Thunder, the Washington Glory, the league's newest team and the Philadelphia Force. The Michigan Ice will fill-in on a limited basis as the seventh team in 2007 with hopes of getting qualified investors to support the team allowing them to join the league on a full-time basis in 2008. The Arizona Heat intend on returning to the mix with new team owners in 2008.
Due to NCAA regulations, an active college senior-athlete is not eligible to sign with her respective franchise until her 2007 college season is finished.
Major League Baseball is the Official Development Partner of National Professional Fastpitch in the category of women's professional fastpitch softball. The partnership, which began the fall of 2002, is part of The Commissioner's Initiative on Women and Baseball, a league-wide effort to help Major League Baseball and the 30 Major League Clubs build stronger relationships with female audiences.
Following is a list of college players in order of selection:
|Chicago Bandits||Lindsay Schutzler||Tennessee||Shortstop|
|New England||Eileen Canney||Northwestern||Pitcher|
|Philadelphia Force||Brianne McGowan||Oregon State||Pitcher|
|New England Riptide||Garland Cooper||Northwestern||First Base|
|Chicago Bandits||Kristie Fox||Arizona||Shortstop|
|Akron Racers||Norrelle Dickson||Oklahoma||Utility|
|Akron Racers||Kellie Middleton||Georgia||Outfield|
|Philadelphia Force||Ashley DeBuhr||Nebraska||Pitcher|
|Philadelphia Force||Leslie Klein||LSU||Outfield|
|Chicago Bandits||Megan, Willis||Texas||C/Utility|
|Chicago Bandits||Stephanie Brown||Notre Dame||Outfield|
|*Washington Glory||Monica Abbott||Tennessee||Pitcher|
|Akron Racers||Kasi Carroll||Georgia||Pitcher|
|Washington Glory||Amber Jackson||Univ. of Maryland||Utility|
|Washington Glory||Lisa Ferguson||Baylor||Pitcher|
|Rockford Thunder||Abbie Sims||North Carolina State||Pitcher|
|Rockford Thunder||Audrey Rendon||Louisville||3B|
|New England Riptide||Alex Sutton||California||Outfield|
|Akron Racers||India Chiles||Tennessee||Outfield|
|Washington Glory||Chelsi Lake||Baylor||Infield|
|Philadelphia Force||Emily Turner||LSU||Pitcher|
|Philadelphia Force||Megan McAllister||Georgia||Infield|
|Rockford Thunder||Cassidy Scoggins||Southern Illinois||Pitcher|
|Philadelphia Force||Sharonda McDonald||Texas A & M||Outfield|
|Akron Racers||Britteny Robinson||Kent State||Pitcher|
|Washington Glory||Ashley Monceaux||Baylor||1B|
|Philadelphia Force||Mia Longfellow||Oregon State||Utility|
*Pick traded from Chicago Bandits