NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 24, 2018) – Paige Lowary, pitcher from the University of Oklahoma, was the first selection by the Chicago Bandits in the 2018 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Draft Presented by BLAST on Monday night as the league prepares for its 15th anniversary.
Allie Walljasper, pitcher from Louisiana State University, was selected second overall by the Beijing Shougang Eagles, with Gwen Svekis, catcher from the University of Oregon, Randi Rupp, pitcher from Texas State University, Kylee Hanson, pitcher from Florida State University, and Paige Parker, pitcher from University of Oklahoma, rounding out the first round.
“We couldn’t be happier with the selection of Paige Lowary, and we welcome her to the Bandits family,” said Toni Calmeyn, Chicago Bandits general manager. “She’s a hugely talented pitcher, and her history with Oklahoma shows she can compete at a high level consistently. We’re looking to the future and know she’ll play an important part in our success.”
“As NPF kicks off its 15th season, I’m excited by the support we’ve seen across the country, and across the globe, for our league and sport,” said Cheri Kempf, NPF commissioner. “This year’s selections will play a massive role in the growth of professional fastpitch softball, and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the years to come.”
Aussie Spirit, taking part in the NPF draft for the first time, selected Kaylee Carlson, pitcher from Auburn University, with their historic first draft pick as a member of NPF.
“Being NPF’s partner for the 2018 Draft is a great honor, something we’re all extremely proud of, and also just a fun time,” said Michael Fitzpatrick, CEO, Blast Motion. “Our partnership has been extremely rewarding so far, and I have no doubt the women selected here tonight will continue that success for the league. Our goal is to aid them in that success, help them be the best softball players they can, and realize their dreams.”
1. Chicago Bandits: Paige Lowary, pitcher, University of Oklahoma
2. Beijing Shougang Eagles: Allie Walljasper, pitcher, Louisiana State University
3. Chicago Bandits: Gwen Svekis, catcher, University of Oregon
4. Cleveland Comets: Randi Rupp, pitcher, Texas State University
5. Cleveland Comets: Kylee Hanson, pitcher, Florida State University
6. USSSA Pride: Paige Parker, pitcher, University of Oklahoma
7. USSSA Pride: Jessie Warren, infielder, Florida State University
8. Beijing Shougang Eagles: Emily Watson, pitcher, University of Tulsa
9. Cleveland Comets: Carley Hoover, pitcher, Louisiana State University
10. Chicago Bandits: Aleshia Ocasio, pitcher/utility player, University of Florida
11. Cleveland Comets: Vanessa Shippy, utility player, Oklahoma State
12. USSSA Pride: Nicole Pendley, outfielder, University of Oklahoma
13. Aussie Spirit: Kaylee Carlson, pitcher, Auburn University
14. Beijing Shougang Eagles: Brittany Gray, pitcher, University of Georgia
15. Chicago Bandits: Jessie Scroggins, outfielder, Baylor University
16. Cleveland Comets: Alexis Osorio, pitcher, University of Alabama
17. USSSA Pride: Nicole DeWitt, infielder, University of Florida
18. Aussie Spirit: Kaitlin Lee, pitcher, Ole Miss
19. Beijing Shougang Eagles: Victoria Draper, outfielder, Auburn University
20. Cleveland Comets: Devin Brown, pitcher, University of South Alabama
21. Chicago Bandits: DJ Sanders, infielder, University of Oregon
22. Cleveland Comets: Jenna Lilley, infielder, University of Oregon
23. USSSA Pride: Cortni Emanuel, outfielder, University of Georgia
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 Spirit, 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.