Nashville, TN - February 17, 2015 - National Pro Fastpitch announced today the 2015 NPF College Draft presented by Bownet will take place on Wednesday, April 1 at 5:30 pm CST in Nashville. For the third year in a row, the NPF College Draft will be held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
With the addition of the Dallas Charge, a league expansion team in 2015, the Draft has added a 6th round and four additional bonus selections for Dallas. Dallas will make bonus selections in the fourth and sixth rounds for a total of 10 selections. The additional round and selections will total 34 overall picks in the 2015 Draft.
Last season’s Ringor Cup and Cowles Cup Champions, the USSSA Pride will lead the Draft, having acquired the #1 and #2 overall picks from the PA Rebellion and the Akron Racers respectively. The Pride also holds the fourth selection, due to their overall finish from 2014, ultimately giving them three of the first four selections. Only the Chicago Bandits and the Dallas Charge will join the Pride in making first round selections.
PA will make their appearance in the Draft in the first pick of the second round as a result of an early 2015 trade with USSSA. The Rebellion will dominate the second round of selections owning three of the five placements.
Akron will not debut until the third round with the 12th overall selection. Chicago is the only team with unaltered Draft positions due to trading. Chicago and Dallas are the only two teams with at least one selection in every round. In total, seven trades will currently impact the overall 2015 Draft order.
The 2015 Draft is moving this year from the 250 seat Ford Theatre to the brand new 800 seat CMA Theatre inside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The event took place in the Ford Theatre in 2013 and 2014, with the 2014 event enjoying sold out attendance.
Last year's Women's College World Series Most Outstanding Player, Hannah Rogers, will be on hand to watch the Draft unfold. Rogers will be joined by her USSSA teammates, NPF Rookie of the Year, 2014 Honda Award winner, and former University of Tennessee shortstop, Madison Shipman; NPF champion and former WCWS Champion with the UCLA Bruins, GiOnna DiSalvatore; and NPF veteran and 4-time NPF Champion, Megan Willis. Other NPF players are expected to attend and will be announced in the near future.
Drafting an athlete gives an NPF affiliate team the rights to that athlete for two full seasons. For four consecutive years, 2010 through 2013 the #1 draft pick came out of the Southeastern Conference. That streak was broken last season when the PA Rebellion selected ASU’s Dallas Escobedo as the #1 overall draftee.
Fans will be able to follow along with the event through league and team’s Facebook and Twitter sites. The event has also been live-streamed since 2010 and an announcement will be forthcoming regarding a live media outlet.
The 2015 Draft order currently is as follows:
1. USSSA Pride (Trade with PA Rebellion – 3/10/14)
2. USSSA Pride (Trade with Akron Racers - 3/18/2014)
3. Chicago Bandits
4. USSSA Pride
5. Dallas Charge
6. PA Rebellion (Trade with USSSA Pride – 1/19/15)
7. Chicago Bandits
8. PA Rebellion (Trade with Akron Racers - 1/27/15)
9. PA Rebellion
10. Dallas Charge
11. USSSA Pride (Trade with PA Rebellion – 1/19/15)
12. Akron Racers
13. Chicago Bandits
14. PA Rebellion (Trade with USSSA Pride – 1/19/15)
15. Dallas Charge
16. Dallas Charge
17. USSSA Pride
18. Chicago Bandits
19. Akron Racers
20. PA Rebellion
21. Dallas Charge
22. PA Rebellion
23. Akron Racers
24. Chicago Bandits
25. PA Rebellion (Trade with USSSA Pride - 1/27/15)
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. 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 of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.