Nichols Selected In NPF Draft

Feb. 19, 2008

IOWA CITY – Senior Emily Nichols was selected by the Chicago Bandits in Monday’s National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) Draft. Nichols was the third pick in the second round and the ninth overall selection.

Nichols, a native of Portland, OR, was the second of three players drafted by the Bandits. Chicago drafted Rachel Folden from Marshall with its first selection (first pick – second round, seventh overall), Nichols with its second selection (third pick – second round, ninth overall) and Aileen Morales from Georgia Tech with its final choice (fourth pick – second round, 10th overall).

“I’ve known Emily for a number of years,” Bandits owner Bill Conroy said. “Head Coach Gayle Blevins and Associate Head Coach Michelle Venturella as well as Hawkeye teammate and former Beverly Bandit Erin Riemersma spoke highly of her and her ability to play three positions (catcher, third base and first base) along with her consistent stick, hitting for both power and average. These skills have made her a USA Top 50 Player of the Year candidate and a welcome addition to our lineup.”

Nichols has enjoyed a successful career at Iowa. She holds the career home record (33) and earned five postseason honors. In 2007, Nichols maintained a 28-game hitting streak, which is the longest in Big Ten history and seventh longest in NCAA history. Her batting average never dropped below .400 during the season and was one of 50 players named to the 2008 USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.

“I’m thrilled about the chance to play professional softball for the Chicago Bandits,” Nichols said. “I would like to thank the organization and owner Bill Conroy for this opportunity. We have a lot to accomplish as a team at Iowa this season, but I am looking forward to playing in Chicago for the Bandits this summer.”

“We are very excited for Emily and proud of this accomplishment,” Head Coach Gayle Blevins said. “This is a wonderful statement about Emily and our program. We are happy that the Chicago Bandits recognize Emily’s talent on and off the field. The Bandits are getting both a great softball player and an exceptional person.”

Nichols will join former Hawkeye Stacy May, who was Chicago’s first pick in the 2005 NPF Draft. May was the fourth pick in the second round. She was named the Nokona Rookie of the Year along with all-NPF in 2006. She is also the third Hawkeye to play in the NPF. Former all-American Kristin Johnson is currently a member of the Akron Racers.

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