March 21, 2017 - National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) - Akron Racers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - National Pro Fastpitch announced the 2017 NPF Draft Presented by 2XU will take place on Monday, April 24th, at 7:00 pm CT and will be available to fans worldwide via live streaming on NPFTV, the NPF's exclusive digital platform.
The 2017 Draft will feature a new production look and new venue as it is hosted for the first time from Acme Feed & Seed, a multi-tiered, 22,000 square foot entertainment venue located in the heart of Nashville's downtown Broadway district.
All five NPF teams will participate in the five round, 26 selection Draft, with USSSA slated to make the first pick, a position they have enjoyed through trade deals, twice in the last three years. In 2015, USSSA made Oklahoma University's Lauren Chamberlain, the NCAA career home run record holder, the number one pick of the NPF Draft. The heralded slot was also a first in softball for Oklahoma University.
Last season's number one pick was equally historical for the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, as Lexie Elkins became the first ever number one selection for the Ragin' Cajuns, after a stellar career as one of the best offensive power threats in NCAA history.
"We are looking forward to integrating more athlete reaction into this year's Draft," commented NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf. "This is a night for 26 individuals to be honored with the prestigious opportunity of continuing their careers professionally and we look forward to sharing the moment they hear their names called, with viewers throughout the world, on NPFTV."
The five round, 26 pick Draft, positions teams for selection based on the previous regular season finishes, from last to first. Those positions change, however, throughout the year through trades and restricted free agent deals that involve Draft picks. In 2017, at least half the current 26 established positions have been adjusted due to player transactions.
Recently announced Official Performance and Recovery Apparel Partner, 2XU, steps into the presenting sponsor position for 2017. 2XU is an Australian multi-national corporation specializing in sports compression apparel designed to improve sports performance and recovery, and is the leading supplier in this line of high performance sports compression apparel.
After four years at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Acme Feed & Seed steps into the host location in 2017. Acme is a top destination for locals and tourists alike with a uniquely "Nashville" atmosphere that honors the city's unparalleled character.
The 2017 NPF Draft can be viewed via live internet stream on NPFTV. Links will be readily available on NPF league and team websites and through the easily downloadable NPF app. The Draft is a free event for all viewers and will jump-start Version 2.0 of NPF's exclusive digital platform of NPFTV, which initially launched with the 2016 regular season. NPF fans can also follow along in real time on NPF's social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Round sponsors of the Draft include Eye Black, the Official Eyeblack of NPF and First Tennessee Bank.
The 2017 NPF Draft presented by 2XU will be an invitation only event and will not be open to the public.
The 2017 NPF Draft Presented by 2XU currently lays out as follows:
1. USSSA (Texas Charge 1st Round Pick in 2017 traded to USSSA - 1/11/2017) 2. Akron 3. Chicago 4. Chicago (Scrap Yard Forfeit 1st Round Pick in 2017 Draft for Monica Abbott - FPT1 - 2016) 5. Texas (USSSA Forfeit 1st Round Pick 2017 Draft for Jolene Henderson - FPT1 - 2016)
9. USSSA (Scrap Yard 2nd Round Pick in 2017 Draft Traded to USSSA - 4/7/16)
12. Scrap Yard (Chicago 3rd Round Pick in 2017 Draft Traded to Scrap Yard - 1/26/2017)
13. USSSA (Scrap Yard 3rd Round Pick in 2017 Draft Traded to USSSA - 4/7/16)
15. Akron (Texas 3rd Round Pick in 2017 Draft Traded to Akron 1/24/2017)
17. Scrap Yard (Chicago 4th Round Pick in 2017 Draft Traded to Scrap Yard 1/26/2017)
18. Scrap Yard (Texas 4th Round Pick in 2017 Traded to Scrap Yard 1/26/2017)
22. Texas (Chicago 5th Round in 2017 Traded to Texas - 1/26/2017)
23. Akron (Scrap Yard 1st Pick in 5th Round in 2017 Traded to Akron - 1/17/2016)
24. Akron (USSSA 1st Pick in 5th Round in 2017 Traded to Akron - 2/9/2016)
25. Texas (Chicago 5th Round in 2017 Traded to Texas - 1/26/2017)
26. Scrap Yard
About the Akron Racers: The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, is the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. The Racers will celebrate their 16th season of play in 2017. The Akron Racers competed in the Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL) for two seasons in 1999 and 2000 and in the NPF since 2004. Historic Firestone Stadium is home to the Racers and numerous amateur events at all levels of play.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, and Canada, among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women's softball.