Twelve players were selected in the first-ever Athletes Unlimited Softball College Draft on Monday and a quarter of them are Arizona Wildcats.
Catcher Dejah Mulipola was selected fourth overall, shortstop Jessie Harper went sixth and pitcher Alyssa Denham was chosen 11th.
Arizona’s three selections were the most for any school. No other school produced more than one pick.
Athletes Unlimited was already chock full of Wildcats to begin with. Taylor McQuillin, Mandie Perez, Katiyana Mauga and Danielle O’Toole all played in the inaugural season last summer in Rosemont, Illinois.
There are no teams in Athletes Unlimited—it’s a player-centric league that uses a unique, point-based scoring system—so the draftees were selected by AU’s Executive Committee, which consists of current players and “trailblazers” in the sport like Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng and legendary pitcher Cat Osterman.
Arizona’s players made for pretty easy selections.
A two-time All-American, Harper is hitting .331 with 13 homers and 40 RBI. Her 89 career homers are fourth-most on the NCAA all-time list, six shy of Lauren Chamberlain’s all-time record.
Mulipola, who also plays for Team USA, is hitting .395 with 15 homers and 49 RBI. She’s also regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in college softball.
Denham, who started her career at Louisiana-Lafayette, is 17-6 with a career-best 1.69 ERA.
The senior trio will play its final regular-season home games at Hillenbrand Stadium this weekend when No. 7 Arizona hosts No. 2 UCLA and No. 1 pick Rachel Garcia.
Here’s how the 12 picks went down:
- Rachel Garcia, UCLA
- Shannon Rhodes, Texas
- G Juarez, Oklahoma
- Dejah Mulipola, Arizona
- Amber Fiser, Minnesota
- Jessie Harper, Arizona
- Ciara Bryan, Louisiana-Lafayette
- Sami Williams, Iowa State
- Aliyah Andrews, LSU
- Carrie Eberle, Oklahoma State
- Alyssa Denham, Arizona
- Sis Bates, Washington
The dream continues! So excited for this opportunity @AUProSports https://t.co/H2tSfoQo0M— Jess (@jesss_harperr) May 11, 2021
What an opportunity! I’m so blessed and super excited to be apart of @AUProSports https://t.co/pn95ZJF7hw— Alyssa Denham (@DenhamAlyssa) May 11, 2021