Catcher Gwen Svekis, short stop DJ Sanders and third baseman Jenna Lilley were all selected in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) draft on Monday. All players will finish their collegiate seasons before joining their professional teams.
Svekis was drafted by the Chicago Bandits as the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, while Sanders followed Svekis to Chicago as the No. 21 pick in the draft. Lilley was picked No. 22 by the Cleveland Comets with the penultimate pick as the Ohio native gets to return to her home state.
Svekis is the highest picked Duck in the NPF draft’s history — the closest to her being Courtney Ceo and Jessica Moore who were each picked sixth in the draft in past drafts.
Through four seasons, Svekis has been a consistent fixture on Oregon’s roster. She batted .427 in 38 games as a freshman and owns a career batting average of .342. Svekis leads the No. 4 Ducks with 13 home runs (a single-season career-high) this season to go along with 42 RBIs.
Sanders joined the Ducks this season from Louisiana Lafayette, where she led the NCAA with 29 home runs and 82 RBIs. This year, she’s hit 11 home runs with 32 RBIs.
Lilley has been an instrumental part of the Ducks during her four years with the program. In her sophomore season, Lilley was hit by a pitch against Stanford and missed just five games despite being hospitalized overnight due to her injuries.
Since then, Lilley has so far rebounded from a disappointing junior season last year to hit five home runs with 26 RBIs this season.
Lilley’s defensive play has arguably been her biggest strength as she continues to represent the United States on the international level.
The No. 4 Ducks travel to Washington this weekend to take on a No. 1 Washington team that was swept by No. 3 UCLA this past weekend.
Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow