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Katie Burkhart goes No. 1 in the 2008 National Pro Fastpitch Draft

February 18, 2008

The National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) and its six-affiliate teams held their annual Senior Draft on Monday to select 24 of the best college players in the four-round draft, which saw Sun Devil Katie Burkhart selected as the number one draft pick overall for the Philadelphia Force.

The No. 1 pick is the first in ASU's history and both ASU and the Force are excited about the selection. According to Force GM Tom Kleinman, "The Force is very excited about adding Katie Burkhart to their pitching rotation, we played against her last year in an exhibition game in Philly and she was awesome. The addition of a lefty to our team will make us so much more competitive."

Burkhart, a First-Team All-American selection, finished the 2007 season with a 35 wins, 517 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.11. Her 517 strikeouts ranks ninth all-time in NCAA history and her three year total of 1,157 is a school record and in the top 20 career records in NCAA history. Some of her 2007 accolades include: 2007 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, USA Player of the Week, Top-10 Finalists for USA Softball National Player, as well as being a member of the 2006 gold-medal winning USA World University Games' team.

Last summer, she pitched against the Force as a member of the ASA's Stratford Brakettes, in which she yielded only two runs, one earned and struck out six while picking up the win.

Burkhart expressed her excitement as well on Monday, stating "It's an amazing honor to go number one in the draft, especially with all the talent in college softball right now. Softball is my passion and it's incredible to realize that I'm going to be able to compete even after college. It is something I've loved through most of my life and the ability to continue on at a higher level is something you dream about, and to have now acquired that dream is wonderful.

"I'm excited and proud to become a member of the Force and look forward to playing with the awesome talent in that organization. Let's bring home a championship!"