(Denver, CO) — Today the six teams of the NPF held a four-round draft of the NCAA elite college softball athletes. Players selected in the NCAA draft will be permitted to pursue any available roster spot on their assigned team after completing their college season.

“The NPF showcases the nation’s best softball players. The NPF Draft gives us the opportunity to tap into the elite softball talent from the college level and bring it to our fans,” said newly appointed NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf. “We are excited at the prospect of adding the hottest college players to our teams and bringing even more electricity to our 2007 season.”

As was announced on February 9th, 2006, 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 who will be operating under new ownership. 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 which would allow 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.

Following is a list of college players in order of selection:

Round One:
Chicago Bandits – Lindsay Schutzler – Tennessee – Shortstop
New England – Eileen Canney – Northwestern – Pitcher
Philadelphia Force – Brianne McGowan – Oregon State – Pitcher
New England – 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

Round Two:
Philadelphia Force – Leslie Klein – LSU – Outfield
Chicago Bandits – Megan, Willis – University of 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

*Pick traded from Chicago Bandits

Round Three:
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

Round Four:
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

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.

National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). The league was acquired by team owners in January of 2005 from the Cowles family, founders of the league.

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