Mississippi State's Kayla Winkfield heard her name called in Thursday night's 2016 National Pro Fastpitch draft when the Pennsylvania Rebellion used the 35th pick in the draft to select the Bulldog shortstop.
"While this is a big day for me, I'm glad I got to share it with my teammates," Winkfield said. "I couldn't be happier and this will just keep pushing me to continue to get better."
Winkfield, who was the first player signed by Coach Vann Stuedemann when she came to Starkville, has started in 157 consecutive games for Mississippi State, and this season, she leads the SEC in triples with four, which is good for 15th nationally.
"I am just so incredibly happy for Wink," Stuedeman said. "She has put in the work since arriving on campus and won't stop here. She has a ‘what got you here, won't take you there' mentality. I look forward to seeing her play more softball."
Winkfield will be the 12th Bulldog to play professionally, joining the likes of Alison Owen, the most recent Bulldog to move to the professional ranks when she was drafted by the Akron Racers in the 2014 draft. The two squads open the 2016 season against each other on May 31.
Created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, NPF has operated since 1997. NPF has been the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women's fastpitch softball since 2002.
Mississippi State hosts No. 11 LSU this weekend as part of the Super Bulldog Weekend festivities. Game one is slated for a 5:34 first pitch. Admission is free to Nusz Park, and those unable to attend can catch the contest on SEC Network+.