Speed, power and a Naperville native sum up the 2015 NPF Draft for the Chicago Bandits after the team began the Draft by selecting 2014 USA Softball National College Player of the Year Lacey Waldrop of Florida State with the third overall pick.
Holding the 7th overall pick in the draft, Chicago took A.J. Andrews out of LSU. Andrews is a speedy leadoff hitter who led the SEC with six triples last season and was selected to her second All-SECTeam and NFCA All South Region Team. On the base paths last season, she successfully stole 38 bases in 40 attempts to take second in the conference. So far this season she is batting .432 for the 33-3 LSU Tigers.
As a freshman in 2012, Andrews was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team while leading the team her sophomore season with a .359 batting average.
Click here for more information on A.J. Andrews.
Fresno State outfielder Brenna Moss was the next selection by Chicago with the 13th overall pick. The 2014 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, as an outfielder, owns the Fresno State school record for stolen bases with 34 which she set as a junior. Last season she also compiled a .900 fielding mark and as a sophomore she did not commit a single error in 51 starts at centerfield.
For more information on Brenna Moss, click here.
With the 18th pick in the draft, the Bandits took Naperville, Ill. native Sammy Marshall. Marshall is the back-to-back Summit League Player of the Year and entered this season at Western Illinois ranked first in both steals and batting average in the NCAA. She is the third member of the WIU softball family to be drafted and has the opportunity to become the sixth professional softball player in school history.
Click here for more information on Sammy Marshall.
Branndi Melero of Auburn was selected in the fifth round as the 24th overall pick for the Bandits and is anticipated to add a powerful bat to the lineup. Melero led Auburn in single season RBIs with 78 last season good for second overall in the NCAA. She was also named to the 2014 NFCA First Team All-American team, becoming the first Auburn player in school history to make first team.
For more information on Branndi Melero, click here.
Holding the 29th overall pick, their last of the 2015 NPF Draft, Chicago selected Stephany LaRosa out of UCLA. LaRosa is a versatile fielder who plays catcher and first base. She is also a two-time NFCA First Team All-American and All Region.
She has accrued 187 RBIs and 51 home runs in here career as a Bruin. As a freshman, LaRosa was awarded Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and All-Pac-12 First Team after leading the Bruins with a .436 batting average.
Click here for more information on Stephany LaRosa.
The Bandits begin their 2015 season on Sunday, May 24 with an exhibition game against the Pennsylvania Rebellion at 5:05 p.m. The home opener is set for Thursday, June 4 against the Akron Racers and tickets are now available for all 2015 home games.
For more information about the Chicago Bandits, or to purchase tickets for the 2015 season, visit www.chicagobandits.com or call the front office at 877-722-6348.
About Chicago Bandits
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson and Tammy Williams. The two-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women's professional team. The 2015 season will be the Bandits 11th season in the NPF.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. 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.