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updated: 4/2/2013 2:29 PM

Bandits take pitcher with No. 3 pick in draft

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By Daily Herald News Services

Jolene Henderson, Michelle Gascoigne, Maggie Hull, Raven Chavanne, Mel Dumezich and Jenna Marston were selected by the Chicago Bandits in the 2013 NPF Draft held in Nashville.

Henderson, a University of California standout, was the top pick by the Bandits and third overall in the 2013 NPF Draft.

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With a last place finish in the 2012 standings, the Akron Racers got the first selection of the draft and took Rachel Fico from LSU. The NY/NJ Comets, the newest team to the League, drafted Olivia Galati from Hofstra. The Bandits then took Henderson third and the USSSA Pride drafted Kellani Ricketts from Oklahoma to round out the first round.

Henderson had an impressive junior season, finishing with numerous awards, including: NFCA First Team all-American, NFCA All-Pacific Region First Team, Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, All-Pac-12 First Team, and pitcher of the week five times throughout the 2012 season. She also earned Chevron Spring Fling Most Valuable Pitcher, and was a USA Softball Player of the Year Top-11 Finalist.

The Bandits selected another pitcher, Michelle Gascoigne from Oklahoma, for their second pick, and seventh overall, of the draft. The senior has spent most of her career as the Sooners number two pitcher behind fellow senior Keilani Ricketts, who is a three-time all-American. Gascoigne is the school's all-time leader in career winning percentage at .889 with a record of 40-5.

Maggie Hull was Chicago's third pick. Hull, a senior outfielder at the University of Kansas, is expected to bring both offensive and defensive power to the Bandits in 2013. She is an All-Big 12 Conference First Team honoree after leading the league with a .409 batting average.

Speedy outfielder Raven Chavanne was selected fourth by the Bandits. She is a three-time Louisville Slugger/NFCA all-American, a two-time top 10 finalist for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year and a three-time All-SEC selection. Entering the 2013 season, Chavanne's career batting average of .444 and career on-base percentage of .507 rank first in UT's record books. She has stolen at least 32 bases in each of her three seasons and her career total of 102 is just 18 away from tying the school record.

With the fifth pick, the Bandit's chose Mel Dumezich from Texas A&M. The right-handed pitcher was recently named preseason All-SEC for the Aggies' first year in the Southeastern Conference. She was also a three-time All-Big 12 performer. Dumezich recorded a 2.01 ERA in 59 starts with eight shutouts and 307 strikeouts last season. In addition, she also brings offensive power to the Bandit's lineup, ranking 10th in the country last season with 20 home runs.

Jenna Marston was the final pick for the Bandits. Marston is a strong utility player who will be able to come in and play several positions. Last season at Mizzou, she batted .295 and had 10 multihit games.

The Bandits open the regular season at home on June 5 against the Akron Racers.

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