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Arizona softball: Danielle O’Toole signs with NPF’s Chicago Bandits

The left-hander will split time between the Bandits and Team USA this summer

Photo by Jason Bartel

Former Arizona Wildcats ace Danielle O’Toole has signed with the Chicago Bandits of National Pro Fastpitch, Bandits general manager Toni Calmeyn announced Saturday.

“We are thrilled to have Danielle join our pitching staff during the back half of this season,” Calmeyn said in a statement. “She’s proven to be an effective arm at the highest level of the game and we’ll look forward to her joining us for the playoff push.”

The left-hander was selected eighth overall by the Bandits in the second round of April’s NPF Draft, but had not signed with the team until Saturday as she’s been spending the summer with USA Softball.

O’Toole tossed 12 scoreless innings, including a one-hit shutout of Japan, in the World Cup of Softball, which ended July 9.

The UA alumna will split time between the Bandits and Team USA in the next two months.

O’Toole will join the Bandits for their games on July 15 and 16 after a doubleheader exhibition with Team USA in Sacramento on July 12-13.

After that brief stint with Chicago, O’Toole will return to Team USA on July 20 for exhibitions in Alabama, and then will re-join the Bandits on July 24 and July 27.

Soon after, she will play for Team USA in the Pan American Women’s Softball Championship on Aug. 4-13 in the Dominican Republic.

Once that ends, O’Toole will briefly return to the Bandits before departing to Japan with Team USA for the Japan Cup, which begins Aug. 25.

“I didn’t even think about it (playing professionally) until probably my last year (at Arizona) because I didn’t think Team USA would be a possibility either,” O’Toole said in April.

“When I got picked for the USA team I was like ‘whoa, now I have two things.”’

O’Toole went 30-5 with a 1.21 ERA in her redshirt senior season at Arizona, becoming UA’s first 30-game winner since 2010.

The Bandits — who were NPF champions the past two seasons and play on 27 Jennie Finch Way — are in fourth place in the six-team league, holding a 14-13 record through 27 games.

“I know a couple people that play for the Bandits right now and as long as I know people and I’m going to a place that is looking forward to having me, that’s pretty cool,” O’Toole said in April.

According to FloSoftball, the salary cap for NPF teams is $175,000, but “the only paid amount that currently applies to the salary cap is the salary itself, eliminating signing bonus's, performance incentives, improved living conditions, et al.”

The minimum salary is $3,000.

Mo Mercado (USSSA Pride), Mandie Perez (USSSA Pride), and Katiyana Mauga (Texas Charge/Scrap Yard Dawgs) — also selected in April — have been with their respective NPF teams from the start of the season.

Mercado is hitting .125/.125/.188 with one RBI in 16 at-bats.

Perez is hitting .222/.300/.333 in nine at-bats.

Mauga is batting .184/.295/.289 with one homer and four RBI in 38 at-bats. The third baseman was traded by the Charge to the Scrap Yard Dawgs on July 6.

Nancy Bowling, who signed with the Beijing Eagles after going undrafted, is hitting .091/.167/.091 in 22 at-bats while compiling a 10.06 ERA in 16 innings of work.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire