VIDEO: CHICAGO SELECTS HYLAND WITH NO. 4 SELECTION
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly softball righthander Sierra Hyland became the first Mustang to be selected in the National Pro Fastpitch Draft in eight years on Monday afternoon as the senior was taken with the fourth overall selection by the defending champion Chicago Bandits. The draft was held in Nashville, Tenn.
Hyland is the second highest draftee in any sport in Cal Poly Athletics Department history. Only two-time All-America selection Desarie Knipfer – the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 WPF Draft (the forerunner league of NPF) – was a higher draft selection.
Hyland, currently ranked ninth among NCAA Division I pitchers in ERA (1.02), 11th in strikeouts (219), 13th in hits allowed per seven innings (4.07), 17th in walks allowed per seven innings (0.99), and 42nd in strikeouts per seven innings (8.0), became the first Mustang to be selected by an NPF franchise since three-time All-Big West Conference first team selection and shortstop Melissa Pura was drafted 17th overall in 2009 by the Akron Racers.
Aside from Knipfer, who pitched for the Georgia Pride and Florida Wahoos, the Cal Poly program's other professional at the Division I level is 2007 NFCA All-America first team selection and outfielder Lisa Modglin (2004-07), who enjoyed a six-year career split between the New England Riptide and Akron Racers.
The Big West Conference's all-time strikeout leader (909) and the only player in Cal Poly program history to record three 200-strikeout seasons, Hyland also currently leads Big West pitchers with 17 victories, a .165 opposing batting average and 191.0 innings pitched. A two-time NFCA National Pitcher of the Week selection this year, Hyland features a 8.1.1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, averages 1.15 strikeouts per inning and has produced seven double-digit strikeout games.
A record 16-time Big West Pitcher of the Week selection during her career, Hyland – in 33 years of Big West softball – ranks second with 151 career appearances, fourth with 871.2 innings pitched and eighth with 75 victories.
At the plate, Hyland is batting .311 this season and ranks fifth among Big West hitters with 29 RBI. Her .318 career batting average is the seventh highest mark in program history.
NPF, which composes five franchises, opens the 2017 season on Thursday, June 1.
As a program, Cal Poly (29-15, 5-7) plays two of its final three series of 2017 on the road, beginning with an April 29-30 series at UC Davis. The three-game series gets underway with a 12 noon doubleheader on Saturday, April 29.