Feb. 18, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern senior Tammy Williams (Roscoe, Mo./Osceola) has been drafted by the Chicago Bandits of National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) in the league's senior draft held Tuesday, Feb. 17.
Seniors in college do not declare for the NPF senior draft, but are eligible to be selected by a franchise. That franchise then holds the rights to the player until she has completed her collegiate eligibility, at which point she is able to sign with the team and compete for an available roster spot.
Williams was selected in the second round with the Bandits' second pick, and will join former Northwestern teammate Eileen Canney on the Bandits' roster. Canney was named the 2008 NPF Pitcher of the Year by The Softball Channel as a member of the New England Riptide before joining the Bandits as a free agent prior to 2009. The Chicago Bandits won the 2008 NPF Championship.
Williams is a three-time NFCA All-American, receiving first-team accolades the past two seasons. She is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, was one of 10 finalists for the 2008 USA Softball Player of the Year award and again appears on the watch list for the 2009 USA Softball honor. She helped the Wildcats reach the Women's College World Series in 2006-07, earning WCWS All-Tournament team honors both years.
Williams is the fifth Wildcat to be selected in the NPF senior draft, tying Northwestern with Arizona, Georgia Tech, Oregon State and Baylor for fourth-most of any NCAA program.
Carri Leto Martin was picked in 2004 to become Northwestern's first-ever female student-athlete to be drafted by a professional franchise in any sport. Leto, currently an assistant coach at Harvard, is a three-time NPF All-Star and was named the 2006 NPF Defensive Player of the Year during her five-year career as a part of three different franchises.
-- who served as NU's volunteer assistant coach in 2008 -- was chosen in 2006 but elected not to play in the league, then Canney and Garland Cooper
were taken in the first four overall picks of the 2007 draft. Cooper played one season with the Riptide before taking her skills to Japan to play professionally in 2008. She now is the ESPNRISE softball editor at ESPN.com
. In addition to her NPF career, Canney also is a softball analyst for the Big Ten Network.