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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Recapping the 2013 NPF Mock Draft

As I mentioned yesterday, last evening was our NPF Mock Draft. We had a few guests tuning in, but for those of you who were unable to, I've written up a recap of the happenings and the full list of players chosen.

We got started around 6:30, and began drafting at 7:00 pm, Central time. Our draft order looked like this:

1. Akron Racers
2. NY/NJ Comets
3. Chicago Bandits
4. USSSA Pride

5. USSSA Pride (via trade w/ Akron)
6. NY/NJ Comets
7. Chicago Bandits
8. Akron Racers (via trade w/ USSSA)

9. Akron Racers
10. NY/NJ Comets
11. Chicago Bandits
12. Akron Racers (via trade w/ Pride)

13. Chicago Bandits (via trade w/ Akron)
14. NY/NJ Comets
15. Chicago Bandits
16. Akron Racers (via trade w/ USSSA)

17. Akron Racers (via trade w/ USSSA)
18. NY/NJ Comets
19. Chicago Bandits
20. USSSA Pride

Rachele Fico
High school coach and longtime season ticket holder Don Martukovich represented the Racers in the draft. Akron had six draft choices, tied for the most of any of the teams thanks to a March 2013 trade with the Pride. With the first overall pick, the Racers went with LSU's Rachele Fico. If the same happens on Monday night, it will be the second consecutive year that a pitcher from the Bayou Bengals was taken as the #1-overall pick.

The Racers other picks included Kayla Braud from Alabama; Mel Dumezich from Texas A&M; Jenna Marston from Missouri; Ivy Renfroe from Tennessee; and Tess Sito from Georgia.

The Comets were represented by Ed White and Jeff Conrad, both Northeasterners who are excited about professional softball coming back to the region! The team holds five picks, the second choice in all five rounds of the draft.

The Comets' choices, in order of selection, included: Olivia Galati of Hofstra; Monica Perry of Florida State; Courtney Liddle of Virginia Tech; Cassidy Bell of Penn State; and Meagan May of Texas A&M.

Our third team, the Bandits, were represented in our mock draft the same way they will be in Nashville on Monday night for the real thing. Real-life owner Bill Sokolis represented his team, and we were honored to have him! The Bandits also had six draft selections, and "Bandit Bill" chose the following players: Jolene Henderson/Cal; Michelle Gascoigne/Oklahoma; Jessica Moore/Oregon; Elizabeth Santana/Oregon State; Kelly Majam/Hawaii; Nicole Hudson/Missouri.

Our final team was the USSSA Pride, considered the Yankees of the league thanks to their star-studded roster. West coaster Melanie Trup represented the Pride in our draft, and I know she did a lot of research and put a lot of work into her picks, since she had the fewest of any team with just three. Her first choice came out of the WAC, as she selected Jessica Iwata from Hawaii. Raven Chavanne from Tennessee and B.B. Bates from UCLA rounded out the Pride's choices.

The complete list of draft selections:
1. Akron Racers - Rachele Fico, P, LSU
2. NY/NJ Comets - Olivia Galati, P/DP, Hofstra
3. Chicago Bandits - Jolene Henderson, P, Cal
4. USSSA Pride - Jessica Iwata, SS, Hawaii

5. USSSA Pride (via trade w/ Akron) - Raven Chavanne, 3B/UT, Tennessee
6. NY/NJ Comets - Monica Perry, P, Florida State
7. Chicago Bandits - Michelle Gascoigne, P, Oklahoma
8. Akron Racers (via trade w/ USSSA) - Kayla Braud, OF, Alabama

9. Akron Racers - Mel Dumezich, P/DP, Texas A&M
10. NY/NJ Comets - Courtney Liddle, 1B, Virginia Tech
11. Chicago Bandits - Jessica Moore, P, Oregon
12. Akron Racers (via trade w/ Pride) - Jenna Marston, C/UT, Missouri

13. Chicago Bandits (via trade w/ Akron) - Elizabeth Santana, SS, Oregon State
14. NY/NJ Comets - Cassidy Bell, OF, Penn State
15. Chicago Bandits - Kelly Majam, OF, Hawaii
16. Akron Racers (via trade w/ USSSA) - Ivy Renfroe, P, Tennessee

17. Akron Racers (via trade w/ USSSA) - Tess Sito, IF/UT, Georgia
18. NY/NJ Comets - Meagan May, C, Texas A&M
19. Chicago Bandits - Nicole Hudson, 3B/P, Missouri
20. USSSA Pride - B.B. Bates, OF, UCLA

Notably missing from the list were any players currently affiliated with Team USA. With a serious doubt about whether Keilani Ricketts, Jessica Shults, Chelsea Thomas, or Lauren Gibson would play in the NPF if drafted, our team owners seemed to shy away from these players.

One thing I also noticed about the selections, especially for the Comets and Racers, was an attention to the team's overall needs. They didn't just select players that were exceptionally talented, they also tried to find players from that same region, who might help bring in fans. That seemed to be a big factor for the Comets, and at least for the Racers in the selection of Tess Sito.

Breaking the picks down by conference, the SEC led the way with 9 total players selected, including the #1 overall choice and all of Akron's picks. The PAC-12 had four players selected, while the ACC & WAC each had two players selected. The Big 12, Big 10, and CAA all had a single player selected from their conference.

Hawaii, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Missouri were the only schools to have more than one player drafted.

Thanks to all of our participants, those who tuned in to our live draft or viewed the recap... everybody seemed to have a lot of fun! Planning has already begun for next year's event!

Be sure to tune into espn3.com on Monday night for the real thing, and see how closely our "mock" picks matchup to the real ones! It starts at 8 ET/7 CT.

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