- The National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) held a national tryout on Sunday, Dec. 6 at the Collins Park Softball Complex, 6727 Cypresswood Drive, in Spring-Klein, Texas for more than 100 individuals.
"Our coaches looked for players who possess the combination of speed, power and athleticism needed to compete at the professional level," NPF Director of Game Operations Danielle Cox said. "This was an excellent opportunity for amateur players to showcase their fastpitch softball abilities."
The tryout was held in conjunction with the 2003 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Convention, which ran from Wednesday, Dec. 3 - Sunday, Dec. 6 at the Del Lago Resort, 600 Del Lago Blvd., in Montgomery, Texas. The NFCA Convention will also hosted the 2004 NPF Draft on Saturday, Dec. 6.
All interested women's fastpitch players who have completed their collegiate softball eligibility were invited to participate in the tryout. Several years of fastpitch softball experience are recommended. Players were asked to demonstrate a wide variety of skills including, but not limited to, hitting, fielding and base-running.
Prospective players will be coming to Texas from 34 different states and four different countries, including Canada, Belgium and France, to participate in the open tryouts. Ninety-two possible NPF athletes pre-registered for the tryout, with an additional 22 registering on-site in Spring-Klein.
At the 2004 NPF Draft, the eight NPF teams selected players in a four-round Elite Draft and a six-round College Senior Draft. San Antonio selected former Michigan State standout first basemen, and current Indiana University assistant coach Stacey Phillips with the first overall selection in the Elite Draft. With the first selection in the College Senior Draft the Akron frachise for NPF selected Iyhia McMichael from Mississippi State.
The NPF consists of eight teams located in Akron, Ohio, Denver, Colo., Houston and San Antonio, Texas, Sacramento, Calif., Tucson, Ariz., Lowell, Mass., and Parsippany, NJ. The eight NPF franchises will play a 56-game regular-season schedule that begins June 2001. The 2004 NPF season runs from June 1 through August 31 and includes an all-star game, a best-of-three Division Playoff and a best-of-five Championship Series, as well as the 56 regular season games.
National Pro Fastpitch is the only professional women's fastpitch softball league in the United States. The league is headquartered in Denver, and has been in operation since 1997 under the names Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women's Professional Softball League (WPSL).