Kissimmee, FL- April 25, 2017-The USSSA Pride selected five new draftees in the 2017 National Pro Fastpitch College Draft last night in Nashville Tennessee, presented by 2XU.
USSSA kicked off the draft with the number one pick from Florida State, right handed pitcher Jessica Burroughs from Warner Robbins, GA, making Burroughs the first player from the ACC to be named the first overall selection in the NPF Draft.
Burroughs joins FSU athletes Paul Wilson (1994-MLB) and Jameis Winston (2015-NFL) as the only Seminole athletes to be drafted number one overall. The 2016 ACC Pitcher of the Year has four career no-hitters and ranks top 10 in FSU history in appearances, wins, strikeouts and saves.
In round two of the NPF draft, USSSA selected infielder Mo Mercado out of Arizona as the 9th overall selection followed by first baseman Alex Powers from Florida State, as the 10th overall selection.
Alexis “Mo” Mercado has started every game of her Wildcat career (231) and is the team's active leader in career hits with 254 and a .407 batting average. One of the best defensive shortstops in college softball, Mercado, a 2016 Pac-12 all-defensive team selection, has just six errors in 142 chances this season.
The 10th overall selection, Alex Powers, joins her teammate Jessica Burroughs under head coach Lonni Alameda who has led the Seminoles softball program to become one of the nation’s best since 2009.
“Lonni’s a tremendous person and a tremendous coach, it’s all about family, it’s all about chemistry and it’s all about the right reasons and we couldn’t have played it any better this year,” commented USSSA Pride General Manager Don DeDonatis on the 2017 draft and what’s to come with these new draftees.
Powers, the 2016 ACC Player of the Year, ranks top 5 in FSU career categories including doubles, home runs, RBI, walks and slugging percentage.
In the fourth and final round for the Pride, USSSA selected outfielder Mandie Perez out of Arizona as the 19th overall selection followed by outfielder Kelly Christener out of Michigan as the 20th overall selection.
Perez leads the Pac-12 and is second in the NCAA in runs scored with 58. She has drawn 31 walks and has an OBP of .513, the best on the team. Arizona's leadoff hitter is hitting .396 on the season and is tied for the team lead with 59 hits.
Kelly Christener currently leads Michigan with a .408 average, .608 slugging percentage and .526 on-base percentage. The wolverine will be joining fellow Wolverines Sierra Romero and Jordan Taylor if she continues her career with the NPF this summer.
During the draft, 2016 NPF triple crown winner, Kelly Kretschman, caught up with Barb Jordan and Eric Collins to voice some advice for the incoming draftees.
“Enjoy every single day. I think it could be a little overwhelming when you first step into the league, it’s hard, it’s not what you’re used to coming out of college and everyone that you’re playing against is top caliber. The adjustment of coming from college and the pro league and facing some great pitchers day in and day out and that grind is something to get used to.”
For full draft results go to profastpitch.com
USSSA begins the 2017 season on June 8 in Viera, FL against the Akron Racers at USSSA Space Coast Complex.
For tickets to any of the 2017 season games visit usssapride.com.
About USSSA Florida Pride: The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
About USSSA: USSSA is headquartered in Osceola County, Florida. USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA.
About National Pro Fastpitch: National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fast pitch 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 fast pitch softball since 2002 www.profastpitch.com.