It was a good week for several Cleveland Comets draftees. Two Comet draft picks helped lead their college teams to conference championships while two others received league accolades for their performance this season.
Randi Rupp of Texas State University and Kylee Hanson of Florida State were instrumental in leading their respective teams to league titles.
Rupp, who the Comets selected with the fourth pick in the first round, allowed two earned runs on seven hits and struck out three in leading Texas State to a 5-2 win over Louisiana to win the school’s first league championship since 2012 and its first in the Sun Belt Conference. The Bobcats previously won four championships in the Southland Conference.
The 2018 Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year, Rupp improved to 28-10 on the year with a 1.22 earned run average and 325 strikeouts in 264 2/3 innings of work. Rupp earlier this season became Texas State’s all-time leader in career wins and strikeouts.
Hanson, the fifth pick in the first round of the NPF draft, pitched 5 1/3 innings for the Seminoles in their 5-4 win over Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
She allowed two earned runs on four hits and struck out six.
A two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh helped the Seminoles erase a 4-1 deficit and capped a four-run inning to win the league title in dramatic fashion.
Hanson enters the NCAA tournament with a 25-4 record and a 1.06 ERA. She has recorded 202 strikeouts in 171 innings pitched.
Oklahoma State’s Vanessa Shippy, who the Comets selected with the 11th pick overall, went 2-for-3 to lead the Cowboys to a 5-1 win over Iowa State in their Big 12 finale.
Earlier in the weekend, Shippy tied the Big 12 and school record for career doubles. On Saturday, she added three more school records to her collection including tying Chelsea Garcia for the most games played in a career, games started and most consecutive games started. Shippy now holds at least 12 school records.
A two-time All-American, Shippy also was named the 2018 Big 12 Player of the Year. She previously earned the same honor in 2016.
Oregon’s Jenna Lilley, the 22nd overall pick of the Comets, was one of nine Ducks to earn PAC-12 honors.
Lilley, a native of North Canton, Ohio, was named First Team All-PAC-12 and also earned an All-PAC-12 defensive award.
As a senior, Lilley is batting .360 with 11 doubles, five home runs, 45 runs scored and 36 runs batted in. Defensively, she has posted a .969 fielding percentage.
Be sure to follow all of the future Comets in the NCAA tournament.
About the Cleveland Comets
The Cleveland Comets, headquartered in Cleveland, OH, became a new franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) League in 2018. The team became the most recent addition to the NPF and is owned by the former owner of the Akron Racers, a team that existed since the NPF began in 2004. The Cleveland Comets will embrace the Racers’ fan base, while also introducing the attractive and popular product of fastpitch softball to the Greater Cleveland area. For more information on the Cleveland Comets, contact General Manager Stephen Dunn.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Aussie Spirit, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2018 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada, and China, among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.