Three Sooners Taken In NPF Senior Draft
NORMAN, Okla. Three Oklahoma softball players were taken in the 2005 National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft, which took place on Monday evening at the NPF headquarters in Denver, Colo. All-American Heather Scaglione was the fist catcher taken with the No. 4 pick by the 2004 NPF Champion NY/NJ Juggernauts. Lefty hurler Kami Keiter was selected in the second round with the 11th overall selection by the Akron Racers, while first baseman Christina Enea went as the first pick of the third round (13th overall) to the Chicago Bandits.
“This is great opportunity for these players to continue their careers after OU,” said OU head coach Patty Gasso. “All three of the them have USA National Team aspirations and competing in this league will keep their skills finely tuned.”
Oklahoma led all programs with three players selected among the 24 draftees. Texas A&M and Cal, who had two draftees each, were the only other program’s with multiple selections. Aside from A&M, the only other Big 12 school to have a player drafted was Nebraska (Anne Steffan - 4th round/19th pick).
Sooners In The Pros | Complete Draft Results
“These players have earned this honor and their efforts over three-plus seasons have shined a very positive light on this program,” said Gasso, when asked about the significance of leading all programs in draftees. “I think it illustrates that this senior class is one of, if not the best in the country. They are a determined group that has major goals before they begin their professional careers.”
In the inaugural NPF draft prior to the 2004 season, OU had alums Erin Evans, Christy Ring and Leah Gulla drafted. Evans was an All-Star in her first professional season. Ring and Gulla were drafted by the Colorado organization, which folded before the season began.
In prior years, OU alums Lynette Velasquez, Lana Moran and Jennifer Jaime competed in the now defunct Women’s Pro Fastpitch and Women’s Professional Softball leagues.
Due to NCAA regulations, an active college senior-athlete may not sign with her respective franchise until their 2005 college season is finished. Senior selection rights expire July 15, 2005.
The 2005 NPF season will run from June 2nd through August 28th and will consist of a 48-game regular season schedule for each team, an all-star game, play-offs and Championship Series. NPF continues to be the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball and has recently developed a new alliance with ASA/USA Softball and the International Softball Federation (ISF). This alliance will help promote international play by inviting teams from China, China Taipei, Japan, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia and Venezuela to play against NPF teams. A finalized schedule will be released in March.
OU will return to non-conference action next weekend when they enter the Houston Hilton Classic. The 12th-ranked Sooners begin play Friday, Feb. 11, against No. 12 Alabama at Noon (CST) from the Cougar Softball Complex.