By Maren Angus
The 2018 NPF College Draft is now complete and 23 student-athletes will have the opportunity to continue playing competitively at the next level following graduation.
We aren’t going to discuss each draft pick and if she is the right fit or how she can help her next team but we will discuss our top three picks of the night and why we think they are so important.
The senior flamethrower from Oklahoma makes perfect sense for a Chicago Bandits team that needs a left-handed pitcher. The Bandits currently have seven pitchers but all of them are starters or situational pitchers. Lowary will immediately insert herself as the team’s closer, a role she is no stranger to and a role that Chicago wants her in.
I am so honored and grateful for this opportunity @Chicago_Bandits!!! So excited to get to Chicago, but first, I have a couple things to do in Norman/OKC with my Sooner girls 💪🏼✨ pic.twitter.com/sZZtnhiQKB
— Paige Lowary (@PAIGELOWARY) April 24, 2018
After transferring to Oklahoma from Missouri, Lowary has become the game’s most feared reliever. In 73 games played, she has started 18 and only twice in 2018. The most important stat that the Bandits really looked at was her innings pitched. Over the past two years, she has pitched 201.2 innings with only 55 in 2018. Why is that important? That means her arm is fresh and can be a force in the circle for years to come.
Kaitlin Lee was the smartest pick for the Aussie Spirit as it enters its first full season in the NPF. The Spirit will play home games across the Midwest and brought in the perfect person to gain a loyal fan base and connect Americans with predominately Australian roster.
Lee burst onto the scene in 2017 as she led the Ole Miss Rebels to their first SEC Tournament Championship, through Regionals and into the Super Regionals. She set six single-season school records, including wins, complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, appearances and starts.
It’s only a matter of time before Softball Australia jumps on the “Ooo-Ahhh!” train.
— Mike Smith (@msmithsb16) April 24, 2018
Jenna Lilley is one of the most prolific players to ever come out of the state of Ohio. Raised in North Canton, Lilley will be playing her professional home games about an hour away in Cleveland.
She has hit .348 for her career at Oregon and has a .952 fielding percentage while playing the hot corner.
Lilley was an important pick for the Comets to make because she immediately brings in a fan base that is local and eager to join the NPF family.
— Jenna Lilley (@jenna_kate00) April 24, 2018
|Paige Lowary||Chicago Bandits|
|Allie Walljasper||Beijing Shougang Eagles|
|Gwen Svekis||Chicago Bandits|
|Randi Rupp||Cleveland Comets|
|Kylee Hanson||Cleveland Comets|
|Paige Parker||USSSA Pride|
|Jessie Warren||USSSA Pride|
|Emily Watson||Beijing Shougang Eagles|
|Carley Hoover||USSSA Pride|
|Aleshia Ocasio||Chicago Bandits|
|Vanessa Shippy||Cleveland Comets|
|Nicole Pendley||USSSA Pride|
|Kaylee Carlson||Aussie Spirit|
|Brittany Gray||Beijing Shougang Eagles|
|Jessie Scroggins||Chicago Bandits|
|Alexis Osorio||Cleveland Comets|
|Nicole DeWitt||USSSA Pride|
|Kaitlin Lee||Aussie Spirit|
|Victoria Draper||Beijing Shougang Eagles|
|Devin Brown||Cleveland Comets|
|DJ Sanders||Chicago Bandits|
|Jenna Lilley||Cleveland Comets|
|Cortni Emanuel||USSSA Pride|
To abide by NCAA compliance rules, the players cannot communicate directly with their NPF team until their season is over. Players can decide not to sign a contract but the team that drafted them owns their rights for two years. Congrats again to all the ladies who were drafted!