March 16, 2005
ATLANTA – Senior Jessica Sallinger was drafted 22nd overall in the inaugural LPFA [Ladies Professional Fastpitch Association] College Senior Draft, announced by the league on Wednesday afternoon. Sallinger was the second Atlantic Coast Conference player selected in the draft (Casey Hunter-Florida State).
“It’s an honor,” said Sallinger. “It’s refreshing to know that I will have the ability to play professional softball at the end of my collegiate career.”
Sallinger, a native of Kennesaw, Ga., is currently 12-4 this season with a 1.17 earned run average. She has 161 strikeouts in 2005 and currently stands 12th all-time in the NCAA with 1,186 career strikeouts and is the all-time leader in the ACC. Sallinger has tossed six complete-game shutouts and one no-hitter in 18 appearances this year.
“I’m happy for Jessica,” said head coach Ehren Earleywine. “It’s a great honor to be mentioned with the names that she is keeping company with in this draft.
“In general, I think having two women’s pro leagues is a mistake. It’s been a struggle for one league to be successful, due to financial constraints, and these two leagues would be smart to combine their efforts to make one strong league, instead of two weaker ones. Either way, Jessica is going to get a chance to pitch professionally and that’s great. For now, I know she is excited, but her focus is on making pitches and winning games for her team this season.”
The LPFA Tour was created by USA softball pitching standout Lisa Fernandez. Sallinger was selected ninth overall in the National Pro Fastpitch Draft back in February by the NY/NJ Juggernaut. She is unable to sign a pro contract until the conclusion of her senior college season, due to NCAA rules and regulations.
For the entire list of the draft, please go to 2005 LPFA College Senior Draft.