Robinson drafted by pro league
Kate Robinson remains focused on helping Hawaii build on a strong start to the new season. But she also knows there'll be more softball in her future when the Rainbow Wahine season ends.
Robinson became the first UH player to be selected in the National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft when she was picked by the Akron Racers in the second round Monday. She was the 11th overall selection among 24 seniors picked in the four-round draft.
"It's good to know there's more," Robinson said. "Usually you think softball is done in college, but it's pretty rare to have an opportunity to play professional for our sport so I'm definitely excited and happy that it's not over yet."
Robinson, a pitcher/first baseman, enjoyed a breakout 2007 season in which she set school records with 19 home runs and 72 RBIs while going 17-1 as a pitcher with a 2.01 earned-run average. She hit .358 with a .733 slugging percentage on her way to second-team NFCA All-America honors.
She said Hawaii's run to the NCAA Super Regionals last year also factored into her selection.
"I guess since we had such a good year last year we got some recognition and it opened the doors for new opportunities," Robinson said. "It gave us a spotlight and put us out there."
Robinson was the preseason Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year and is hitting .389 with two home runs for the Rainbow Wahine (5-1) this season. She is among 50 players on the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List.
Robinson said she had been in contact with the Akron general manager for about a month, but getting the call was still a thrill.
Players taken in the draft can't sign contracts until their college seasons are done. The NPF season runs from early June through mid-August. Each team has a salary cap of $100,000 split among 16 to 20 players.
"Kate is a dynamic personality that combines the athleticism necessary to dominate on the mound and deliver at the plate," Racers president/general manager Joey Arrietta said on the team's Web site. "Her ability to play first base and contribute offensively makes her a threat anytime she is in the game,"
Robinson would be the third UH player to participate in the league. Dana Degen was drafted in 2000 by the Women's Pro Softball League and later played two seasons in NPF. Denise Dahlberg played for the Texas Thunder in 2005 and '06.
Iolani graduate Ianeta Lei, who played college ball at BYU, played for Akron last season.