OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball is well represented among the athletes selected in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) draft, USA Softball announced today. The two USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) draftees include Carley Hoover (Clemson, S.C.) and Jenna Lilley (North Canton, Ohio), who were both drafted by the Cleveland Comets.
“Congratulations to all the women who were given the opportunity to continue their softball careers as a professional athlete last night through the NPF draft,” said USA Softball Director of National Teams Chris Sebren. “They join many great athletes in the league that compete at a high level. It is sure to be an exciting season and we look forward to following their journey in the NPF.”
Hoover, who was selected ninth overall, is in the midst of a stellar senior season at LSU. A 2015 NFCA All-American, Hoover is 15-5 on the year with a 1.16 ERA in 132.1 innings of work. In her career at LSU, Hoover has struck out 732 batters, fifth all-time in LSU program history, and has guided the LSU Tigers to three-consecutive NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) appearances. First competing with the USA Softball Women’s Elite Team in 2016, Hoover will join the WNT this season as part of the Japan All-Star Series roster.
Lilley, an Ohio native, was drafted 22nd overall. The 2015 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, Lilley is currently hitting .376 on the year with 31 RBI and a .556 slugging percentage. A member of the 2015 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team (JWNT) World Championship roster that took home the Gold, Lilley joined the USA Softball WNT in 2017 and will compete as part of the Japan All-Star Series roster this season.
In addition to Hoover and Lilley, four USA Softball alumni were drafted: 2015 JWNT Gold Medalists Nicole DeWitt (Garden Grove, Calif.), Paige Lowary (Dallas Center, Iowa) and DJ Sanders (Columbus, Miss.) and 2016 USA Softball Women’s Elite Team member Gwen Svekis (Davie, Fla.). The Chicago Bandits drafted Lowary, Sanders and Svekis while DeWitt was drafted by the USSSA Pride.
The 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 Aussie Spirit, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets, Shougang Eagles and the USSSA Florida Pride for the 2018 season.
For more information on the USA Softball National Team Program, please visit www.USASoftball.com.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 69 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.