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WPSL Conducts "Draft Day 2000" In St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Sixteen future Olympians, 24 of the NCAA's top seniors and 28 of the nation's best fastpitch players all became the property of professional teams on Saturday, December 4, as the Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL) conducted "Draft Day 2000" at the Tradewinds Resort in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The three drafts were held in conjunction with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) National Convention which ran from Tuesday, Nov. 30 through Saturday, Dec. 4.

The Florida Wahoos (formerly the Georgia Pride) selected former Fresno State University shortstop Nina Lindenburg as the first pick in the 2000 WPSL Elite/Supplemental Draft. The Ohio Pride (formerly the Virginia Roadsters) chose Fresno State University pitcher Amanda Scott as the first selection in the 2000 WPSL Senior Draft. The Pride acquired the first overall pick and two additional selections from the Wahoos in exchange for 1999 WPSL Most Valuable Player and two-time WPSL Pitcher of the Year Kaci Clark. The Akron Racers selected 1996 Olympic Gold Medal-winning pitcher Lisa Fernandez as the first overall pick in the 2001 WPSL National Team Draft.

The elite/supplemental draft included 1999 USA Softball Olympic Trial and Olympic Festival invitees that had completed their collegiate eligibility, in addition to rostered players from the Carolina Diamonds and Durham Dragons. Unprotected players from the WPSL’s four current teams were also included in the elite/supplemental draft. The WPSL allowed each team to protect six to eight rostered players in November. Teams protecting more than six players were forced to surrender selections in rounds seven and eight of the elite/supplemental draft. The nation's top collegiate senior fastpitch players were eligible to be selected in the senior draft.

The 2001 WPSL National Team Draft consisted of current "Team USA" players that will compete on tour and at the Olympics this summer. The WPSL hopes that most of the players selected in the national team draft will agree to play with their respective teams after the 2000 season. "WPSL Draft Day 2000" came approximately two months after the league announced a restructuring plan to facilitate a nationwide tour featuring exhibition games between WPSL teams and the USA Softball Women's National Team. "From Central Park to Sydney" will showcase the fast-paced action and excitement of the WPSL, while preparing the women's national team for its defense of the gold medal at 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney,Australia.

The revamped league consists of four teams located in "National Training Centers" planned for Akron, Ohio, and Plant City, Fla. The Akron Racers and the 1999 WPSL Champion Tampa Bay FireStix remain as the foundation for the reformatted league. The Ohio Pride will share Firestone Stadium with the Racers, while the Florida Wahoos will join the FireStix in Plant City Stadium. The WPSL chose to establish Plant City as one of its "National Training Centers" after 4,223 attended the 1999 WPSL All-Star Game at the new home of the International Softball Federation (ISF).

The 2000 WPSL season runs from June through August and includes 64 league games, 12 regular-season exhibitions, a best-of-three WPSL Championship Series and two season-ending all-star exhibitions. ESPN2 has agreed to increase its WPSL television coverage from nine to 10 games for the 2000 season.

2000 WOMEN'S PRO SOFTBALL LEAGUE SENIOR DRAFT

Round 1
1. Ohio Pride (From Florida) - Amanda Scott, P, Fresno State University
| 2. Ohio Pride - Courtney Blades, P, University of Southern Mississippi
3. Akron Racers - Amy Berman, SS, University of Southern Mississippi
4. Tampa Bay FireStix - Audra Thomas, C, Kennesaw State University
Round 2
5. Ohio Pride - Tina Kinney, P, Central Michigan University
6. Akron Racers - Jennifer Lizama, 2B, University of Nebraska
7. Tampa Bay FireStix - Lea Mishlan, SS, University of South Florida
8. Ohio Pride (from Florida)* - Alyson Carter, C/1B, Colorado State Univ.
Round 3
9. Akron Racers - Ashlee Ducote, 3B, Louisiana State University
10. Tampa Bay FireStix - Keri McCallum, UT, Mississippi State University
11. Ohio Pride (from Florida)* - Kaci Coffee, 3B, University of Mississippi
12. Ohio Pride - Jen Collins, OF, University of Southern Mississippi
Round 4
13. Tampa Bay FireStix - Lyndsey Klein, SS/2B, UCLA
14. Florida Wahoos - Julie Marshall, 1B/C, UCLA
| 15. Ohio Pride - Tiffany Clark, OF, University of Louisiana-Lafayette
16. Akron Racers - Melissa Gentile, C, University of Michigan
Round 5
17. Florida Wahoos - Kellie Wiginton, C, Stanford University
18. Ohio Pride - Amanda Michalsky, OF, University of Texas-San Antonio
19. Akron Racers - Jamie Graves, P, University of Washington
20. Tampa Bay FireStix - Jennifer Spediacci, P, University of Washington
Round 6
21. Ohio Pride - Jessica Polo, SS, Iowa State University
22. Akron Racers - Jeanine Giordano, C, University of Washington
23. Tampa Bay FireStix - STacey Phillips, SS/1B/DP, Michigan State Univ.
24. Florida Wahoos - Tarrah Beyster, P, Oregon State University *Compensation for Kaci Clark, P, UCLA (Virginia Roadsters)

2001 WOMEN'S PRO SOFTBALL LEAGUE NATIONAL TEAM DRAFT

Round 1
1. Akron - Lisa Fernandez, P, UCLA
2. Florida - Michelle Smith, P, Oklahoma State University
3. Tampa Bay - Dot Richardson, SS, UCLA
4. Ohio - Danielle Henderson, P, University of Massachusetts
Round 2
5. Florida - Sheila Douty, 1B, UCLA
6. Tampa Bay - LoriHarrigan, P, UNLV
7. Ohio - Laura Berg, OF, Fresno State University
8. Akron - Jennifer Brundage, 3B, UCLA
Round 3
9. Tampa Bay - Jennifer McFalls, SS, Texas A&M University
10. Ohio - Christa Williams, P, University of Texas
11. Akron - Christie Ambrosi, OF, UCLA
12. Florida - Leah O'Brien-Amico, OF, University of Arizona
Round 4
13. Ohio - Michelle Venturella, C, Indiana University
14. Akron - Crystl Bustos, SS, Palm Beach Community College
15. Florida - Teri Klement, SS, Colorado State University
16. Tampa Bay - Shelly Stokes, C, Fresno State University

2000 WOMEN'S PRO SOFTBALL LEAGUE ELITE/SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT
Round 1
1. Florida - Nina Lindenburg, SS, Fresno State University
2. Ohio - Julie Smith, 2B, Fresno State University (1996 US Olympic Team)
3. Akron - Monica Armendarez, 3B, Indiana University (Carolina)
4. Tampa Bay - Holly Aprile, OF, University of Msssachusetts
Round 2
5. Ohio - Stephanie Little, C, Cal State Fullerton (Durham)
6. Akron Racers - Jen Smith, C, University of Nebraska (Durham)
7. Tampa Bay - Jen Cline, C, University of Washington (Virginia)
8. Florida - Kim Maher, 3B/OF/DP, Fresno State (1996 Olympic Team)
Round 3
9. Akron - Andrea D'Innocenzo, OF, University of Connecticut (Carolina)
10. Tampa Bay - Barbara Jordan, OF, Cal State Northridge (Virginia)
11. Florida - DAwn Wuthrich, OF, Texas A&M University (Carolina)
12. Ohio - Jamie Foutch, 1B, Oklahoma State University
Round 4
13. Tampa Bay - Jodi Chmielewski, OF, Oregon State University (Tampa Bay)
14. Florida - Keri Lemasters, 2B, Michigan State University (Durham)
15. Ohio - Patti Raduenz, SS, Michigan State Univesity (Durham)
16. Akron - Danielle Cox, OF, Florida State University (Georgia)
Round 5
17. Florida - Lynette Velazquez, 1B, University of Oklahoma (Georgia)
18. Ohio - Catherine Davie, OF, University of Michigan
19. Akron - Jane Teixeira, OF, University of Texas
20. Tampa Bay - Amber Wright, OF, University of South Florida (Tampa Bay)
Round 6
21. Ohio - Brandee McArthur, P, University of the Pacific (Carolina)
22. Akron - Kelli Metzger, C, University of Akron (Akron)
23. Tampa Bay - Christy Hebert, SS, University of Iowa (Carolina)
24. Florida - Jen Buford, 2B, Colorado State University (Carolina)
Round 7
25. Florida Wahoos - Jodi Otten, OF (Durham)
26. Ohio - Alison Johnsen, OF, University of Arizona
Round 8
27. Florida - Scia Maumausolo, DP/C, Cal State Northridge (Virginia)
28. Ohio - Mandy Galas, OF, University of Massachusetts (Georgia)