NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 15, 2019) – Kelly Barnhill, pitcher from the University of Florida, was the first selection by the Chicago Bandits in the 2019 National Pro Fastpitch Draft presented by Park Planet on Monday night.
She followed pitcher Paige Lowary as the No. 1 overall pick for the Bandits, who took the pitcher from the University of Oklahoma with the top pick last year.
Amanda Lorenz, outfielder and first baseman from the University of Florida, was selected second overall by the USSSA Pride, with Sydney Romero, infielder from the University of Oklahoma, Alyssa DiCarlo, shortstop from the University of Georgia and Amanda Sanchez, third baseman from Louisiana State University, rounding out the first round.
“We really had to think about who we just couldn’t stand missing out on, and Kelly Barnhill is a special pitcher. She’s the best pitcher coming out of college,” Bandits head coach Lauren Lappin said. “She’s going to be able to do things in the pro league to really elevate her game. We’re excited about adding her. She’s performed on the highest level of the college game, so when it came down to it, she was a no-brainer for us to grab at No.1.”
“The draft is such a special event for us. It’s our group together in a non-competitive environment in terms of play. I’m also a fan of college softball, so I love knowing these players are thrilled to hear their names called. For all of softball, it’s very special,” NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf said.
Kempf said she expects some amazing performances from this year’s draft class once they settle into the pro league.
“It’s a new road. The pitchers are going to have to learn to pitch against a very dense line-up and experienced line-up,” said Kempf, who said maturity is a strength in the league. “They have to get used to that and settle in. It’s interesting and fun to watch.”
1. Chicago Bandits: Kelly Barnhill, pitcher, University of Florida
2. USSSA Pride: Amanda Lorenz, outfielder/first baseman, University of Florida
3. USSSA Pride: Sydney Romero, infielder, University of Oklahoma
4. Chicago Bandits: Alyssa DiCarlo, shortstop, University of Georgia
5. Cleveland Comets: Amanda Sanchez, third baseman, Louisiana State University
6. Cleveland Comets: Taylor McQuillin, pitcher, University of Arizona
7. Beijing Shougang Eagles: Kendall Veach, infielder/catcher, University of Auburn
8. Aussie Peppers: Taran Alvelo, pitcher, University of Washington
9. Chicago Bandits: Caleigh Clifton, infielder, University of Oklahoma
10. USSSA Pride: Megan Good, pitcher/infielder, James Madison University
11. Cleveland Comets: Meghan King, pitcher, Florida State University
12. Beijing Shougang Eagles: Casey McCrackin, infielder, University of Auburn
13. Aussie Peppers: Nicole Newman, pitcher, Drake University
14. Chicago Bandits: Abbey Cheek, utility, University of Kentucky
15. Cleveland Comets: Lilli Piper, shortstop, Ohio State University
16. Cleveland Comets: Emily Clark, catcher/utility, Ohio State University
17. Beijing Shougang Eagles: Morgan Podany, outfielder, University of Auburn
18. Aussie Peppers: Riley Sartain, infielder, Texas A&M University
19. Chicago Bandits: Katie Reed, shortstop, University of Kentucky
20. USSSA Pride: Shay Knighten, infielder, University of Oklahoma
21. Aussie Peppers: Tara Trainer, pitcher, University of Indiana
22. Beijing Shougang Eagles: Bree Fornis, outfielder, University of Auburn
23. Cleveland Comets: Makayla Martin, pitcher, University of Auburn
24. Chicago Bandits: Savannah Heebner, pitcher/first baseman, University of Houston
25. USSSA Pride: Keeli Milligan, outfielder, University of Louisiana
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Aussie Peppers, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets and USSSA Pride for the 2018 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China; among them are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.