Four seniors from our Pac-12 Champion Arizona Softball team, were drafted to the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) League, and the USSSA Florida Pride team is lucky to have two of them.
It wasn’t only a matter of days before Mo Mercado, Mandie Perez, Katiyana Mauga, and Danielle O’Toole wrapped up their careers at Arizona and left Tucson for new teams and softball opportunities.
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Although Danielle O’Toole was drafted, she instead will be playing for Team USA this summer.
Fellow senior pitcher Nancy Bowling signed a deal on June 5th with the Beijing Shougang Eagles for the 2017 season. Mercado and Perez were drafted by USSSA Pride and flew across the country to join fellow Wildcat alumni Chelsea Goodacre and Hallie Wilson in time for opening day.
Currently there are six teams in the league–Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Shougang Eagles, Scrapyard Dawgs, Texas Charge, and the Pride. The league is hoping to expand in 2018, but the current teams consist of alumni from colleges in the United States, as well as talented players from other countries, and former Olympians.
After working out with the Pride for a few days, Mercado did an interview with the team, that was then published to Twitter. Some thought she may have been in Oklahoma City cheering on her sister, Danica, in the Women’s College World Series, but instead Mercado was preparing for a new softball season.
Sunday was big for Mercado as she got her first start in the pros. Note former Wildcats Chelsea Goodacre and Hallie Wilson rounding out the lineup.
Meanwhile, Mandie Perez is also adjusting to her new role in Florida.
Arizona fans became accustomed to Perez leading off each game and getting on base much of the time. Recently, she got a chance to lead off an inning and not much has changed. Here is her first career hit:
It’s neat to check Twitter and see Arizona softball alumni cheering each other on, especially the recent graduates. They miss each other, but we get to see updates through their social media.
Goodacre was a star catcher at Arizona, and is currently catching for the Pride, while also still hitting a few softballs. Monday night Goodacre got a hit for the walk-off win.
Arizona Softball, we are still watching you. We know many of you will have successful summers on the field. Good luck and as always, Bear Down.