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Softball Canada Joins National Pro Fastpitch

Softball Canada Joins National Pro Fastpitch

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 30, 2018)–National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), in conjunction with Softball Canada, Rent One Park, and presenting sponsor, visitSI, announced the addition of the Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois to the league today.

The Wild becomes the sixth affiliate NPF team set to compete in the 2019 season.

“Obviously, this is a tremendous addition to the league for a number of reasons,” commented NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf. “To add an international team of the quality of Canada, currently ranked third in the world, and to add the operational excellence of the administration at Rent One Park, is a home run for all of us.”

Softball Canada CEO, Hugh Mitchener remarked, “We are delighted to be announcing our entry into the NPF in 2019.  Commissioner Kempf has been incredibly helpful in setting up our partnership with the Miners organization and we can’t wait to get going next year.”

“With the growth and interest in girls’ and women’s softball over the last decade, this is an incredible opportunity for fans to see world-class, best-of-the-best talent right here at Rent One Park,” Miners COO Mike Pinto said. “These women, including former and future Olympians, could be incredible role models for young girls in our area to see what can be achieved with dreams and hard work.”

Softball Canada recently finished third at the 2018 Women’s Softball World Championship in August, and is currently ranked third in the world by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC). They will play a 50-game schedule in National Pro Fastpitch overall, facing off with some of the best players in the world, including current and former Olympians.

National Pro Fastpitch will be entering their 16th season in 2019. Teams currently hail from three continents, with players representing the national teams of six different countries. They include the best of the best softball players in the world, including current and former members of Team USA, Olympians, Women’s College World Series Champions and MVP’s, NCAA record holders, various conference players of the year and many All-Americans.

“We are thrilled that Southern Illinois was chosen as the host region for Team Canada,” Shannon Johnson, CEO of visitSI, said. “visitSI is extremely honored to be the presenting sponsor of the Wild. This gives us an opportunity to showcase our region on an international front. We are also excited about the potential economic impact this could have, both during the season and in the future, as members of the various NPF teams experience beautiful Southern Illinois.”

Fans can follow the Wild on Facebook at Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois, as well as on Twitter and Instagram at CanadianWildSI as they prepare for the 2019 season.

About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)

National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success.  The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Aussie Spirit, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets, and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2018 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.

WCWS Most Outstanding Player Signs Contract with the Pride

WCWS Most Outstanding Player Signs Contract with NPF USSSA Pride

VIERA, FL (June 12, 2018) – Jessie Warren has signed a two-year contract with the USSSA Pride for the 2018 season.

Warren, selected as the 7th overall pick in the second round of the 2018 NPF Draft, joins the team after a phenomenal collegiate career at Florida State University.

“We are very fortunate to land one of the best overall players in the game,” remarked the Pride General Manager Don DeDonatis. “Jessie is a pure, natural and dangerous hitter and her defensive skills, as proven in the FSU Women’s College World Series Championship Win, are second to none.”

Warren was a four-year starter for FSU at third base. During her college career, she was named an All-American twice, 2017 and 2018 ACC Player of Year, the 2018 WCWS Most Outstanding Player along with multiple other ACC and regional honors and helped lead her team to the first ever WCWS National Championship in FSU program history.

In her senior season, Warren led the team on and off the field, posting a .404 batting average, with 21 home runs, a .836 slugging percentage, 70 RBIs and 153 total bases. During FSU’s historic postseason run at the WCWS the country was able to see Warren’s fight and love for the game.

General Manager DeDonatis said Jessie Warren is a gamer and that she can do it all. He stated that he can’t wait to watch her continue her softball career in a Pride uniform.

Warren becomes the third player from FSU to become a member of the Pride, joining Jessica Burroughs (2017) and Alex Powers (2017).

Keep up with your favorite NPF team on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and at profastpitch.com!

About USSSA
USSSA is headquartered in Viera, Florida. USSSA is the world’s largest multi-sport athletic organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 4 million participants, competing in 14 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information about USSSA, visit www.usssa.com and follow USSSA on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Stay up to date on USSSA Pride and NPF news by following  the Pride on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or visiting www.usssapride.com.

About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004 provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Aussie Spirit, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets and USSSA


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Bandits Sign Fico to Bolster Pitching Staff

National Pro Fastpitch Chicago Bandits Sign Fico to Bolster Pitching Staff

ROSEMONT, Ill. (March 15, 2018) — The Chicago Bandits have come to terms with right-handed pitcher Rachele Fico on a one-year contract, team officials announced Thursday.

Fico, entering her sixth season at the professional level, spent her first five years with the Akron Racers. The LSU product has logged 316.2 career innings in the circle, amassing 26 wins and six saves.

“Rachele is a talented pitcher with a history of success in the NPF,” Bandits general manager Toni Calmeyn said. “We’re looking forward to her continued success in Chicago.”

During her final season with the Racers, Fico made 17 appearances, including 10 starts, and recorded a career-best 3.22 ERA. She tossed three complete games and struck out a team-high 53 batters over the course of the campaign.

Fico also added relief efforts in both of Akron’s games against the Scrap Yard Dawgs in the 2017 NPF Championship Series, tossing three innings and fanning three.

Initially drafted with the first overall selection in the 2013 Draft, Fico was a two-time NFCA All-American during her time at LSU. The two-time USA Softball Player of the Year finalist made a career-high 23 appearances during her rookie season. She built off her impressive first season by winning 11 games as a second-year pro.

A native of Oxford, Connecticut, Fico also serves as an assistant softball coach at Georgia.

In a corresponding move, the Bandits released right-handed pitcher Sierra Hyland.

The four-time Cowles Cup champion Chicago Bandits will be back at The Ballpark at Rosemont for the 2018 season. For more information about the Chicago Bandits or to reserve your season tickets, please visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.

About Chicago Bandits

Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch league. Entering their 14th season as a franchise, the Bandits have provided the Chicago area with high-level softball talent and entertainment en route to capturing six regular season titles and four Cowles Cup championships, the most recent coming during the 2016 campaign. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, one of the premier softball facilities in the nation. The Ballpark at Rosemont is the only stadium in the country built exclusively for a women’s professional softball team. The Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch softball players to further their careers at the professional level and has included legendary figures such as Jennie Finch, Tammy Williams and Stacy May-Johnson.

About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)

National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004 provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Aussie Spirit, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2018 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.

2017 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship Series Tickets on Sale

2017 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship Series Tickets on Sale

Nashville, TN (June 23, 2017) –Tickets for the 2017 NPF Championship Series presented by Marucci are on sale now through the NPF website at http://championship.profastpitch.com. The Series will be held at Tiger Park on the campus of Louisiana State University (LSU). Dates for the 2017 NPF Championship Series are August 17-20.

Ticket purchase options range from single session General Admission to Series Pass with Hospitality. Pricing ranges from $7.50 single session general admission daily pass to $210 four-day premium level hospitality pass. Discounts are available for senior citizens, active duty military and students. Group discounts are also available for groups or teams of 10+. Children under age 3 are admitted free of charge.

In addition to the group discounts, corporate ticket and hospitality packages are available as well as charitable ticket giving options.

All competition tickets are available online and will also be available at the Tiger Park ticket office beginning August 15th. Tickets for competition may be purchased on the day of the event.

An add-on feature for the Championship Series is the annual NPF Awards Banquet and Reception presented by Visit Baton Rouge. Fans of the NPF get to mix and mingle with their favorite players. The Championship Banquet includes a catered meal along with the league awards presentation. The individual price for the banquet is $60 with an added pre-banquet reception option of $15. Banquet tickets must be purchased in advance of the event.


The Championship Series ticket packages are listed below:

NPF AWARDS BANQUET presented by Visit Baton Rouge

Banquet Only — $60.00

VIP Reception and Banquet — $75.00

***Must be purchased in advance.


NPF Championship Series Presented by
Marucci

PREMIUM LEVEL TICKETS – Reserved Chair Back Seating (Sections 103,104,105)

Championship 4-Day Package (Thurs – Sun) — $90

Championship Weekend Package (Fri – Sun)—$69

Daily Tickets—(Thurs – Fri) – $25.00

Daily Tickets –  (Sun – Mon) – $12.50

 

RESERVED SEATING TICKETS – Reserved Bleacher Back Seating (Sections 102,106)

Championship 4-Day Package (Thurs – Sun)—$74

Championship Weekend Package (Fri – Sun)—$57

Daily Tickets—$25 per day (Thurs – Fri) – $21.00
Daily Tickets – $12.50 per day (Sun – Mon) – $10.50

 

GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS – Bleacher Seating (Sections 101,107) & Tiger Park Terrace

Championship 4-Day Package (Thurs – Sun) — $50
Championship Weekend Package (Fri – Sun)—$37.50
Daily Tickets—(Thurs – Fri) – $15.00
Daily Tickets – (Sun – Mon) – $7.50

 

Hospitality Package (per day) – $30.00 per day per person


The Championship Series competition schedule is as follows:


Thursday – August 17 – Session 1 – Best 2 of 3

5:00 pm CT – Semifinal Game #1

8:00 pm CT – Semifinal Game #2


Friday – August 18 – Session 2

5:00 pm CT – Semifinal Game #3

8:00 pm CT- Semifinal Game #4

 

Saturday – August 19 – Session 3

10:00 am CT Semifinal Game #5 – If Necessary

1:00 pm CT Semifinal Game #6 – If Necessary

 

Saturday – August 19 – Session 4 – Best 2 of 3

7:00 pm CT – NPF Championship Series – Final Series – Game #1 – Best 2 of 3

 

Sunday – August 20 – Session 5

1:00 pm CT – NPF Championship Series – Final Series – Game #2

 

Sunday – August 20 – Session 6

4:00 pm CT – NPF Championship Series – Final Series – Game #3– If Necessary


About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)

National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success.  The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.


Texas Charge Relocation and Name Change

 

10/05/2016 1:00 PM

New Braunfels, TX  (October 5, 2016) – Dallas Charge General Manager Scott Smith announced today the relocation of the Charge to the Central Texas area. A name change will accompany the move, making the new entity known as Texas Charge.
The Charge have played in McKinney, Texas the last two seasons at Craig Ranch Softball complex. Due to challenges associated with the playing facility the Charge were forced to locate a new venue and were unable to do so in the Dallas area, therefore, forcing the move.
In the Central Texas area, Charge management are in negotiations with stadium locations with an announcement coming in the next few weeks.
“This move did not come easily due to the awesome support that the DFW area gave to the Charge during its first two years in the league,” stated recently named GM, Smith. It is our de- sire that we still honor those fans on and off the field. We certainly thank them for their support they gave this team.”
“The Central Texas area is an exciting sports minded region and will be an amazing opportunity to continue to grow the NPF in Texas,” continued Smith. “The fans of Central Texas will love seeing this team play and we cannot wait to become part of that awesome community.”
The 2017 National Pro Fastpitch season schedule will be released during December and is anticipated to provide each team with a 50 game schedule, 25 of which are hosted at their home venue.
The Texas Charge are an affiliate professional fastpitch softball team competing in the National Pro Fastpitch league. The team, headquartered in New Braunfels, TX, began competition in the league in 2015. The Charge provide elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and in- spire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Austin area, the Charge organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and pro- fessionalism. Follow the Texas Charge at www.texascharge.net

nationalprofastpitch

National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season was televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage included the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet in April, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series.  The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, joined the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.

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Chicago Bandits Win 2016 Cowles Cup and NPF Championship

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TUSCALOOSA, AL (August 23, 2016) – Back-to-back home runs and back-to-back upsets led to the Chicago Bandits hoisting the Cowles Cup as back-to-back National Pro Fastpitch Champions.

The Bandits used consecutive solo shots by catcher Taylor Edwards and outfielder Brittany Cervantes and a gritty pitching performance from Angel Bunner to defeat the USSSA Pride 2-1 on Tuesday night in the NPF Championship Series finale at Rhoads Stadium.

Chicago took two out of three games from the Pride after beating Monica Abbott and the Scrap Yard Dawgs in a best-of-three semifinal series, and rode those upsets to their second championship in a row.

A crowd of 457 was on hand to witness Chicago’s triumph, raising the record attendance to 7,408 for the event.

The victory capped an unlikely run by an unlikely third-seeded team that finished 27-27.

“It’s our first winning streak in almost four weeks,” Chicago coach Mike Steuerwald said with a chuckle, “and we got back to .500, a lot of milestones for us.”

Cervantes, who batted over .500 for the playoffs with three home runs, was named Most Valuable Player of the championship series, but the true hero for the Bandits was a player who wasn’t even on the roster until July 1. Left-hander Bunner was a journeyman pitcher who had played for three previous teams and sat out last season and a good portion this one before the Bandits called and signed her.

Bunner (3-3) scattered eight hits, striking out one batter with one walk, and worked her way out of several trouble spots for the win.

“I’m not going to lie: I’m never nervous and today I got here and I was nervous,” Bunner said. “It’s a dream. Of course I imagined it, but living it is a different thing.”

Said Steuerwald, “We just trusted her to keep us in the game.”

That’s what she did. The only one to really get through against Bunner was league Player of the Year Kelly Kretschman, the USSSA Pride’s veteran outfielder who was a four-time All-American at the University of Alabama, where the championship was held.

Hobbled throughout the postseason by a calf injury that required a brace on her right leg, Kretschman went 2-for-3 and cracked a solo home run to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut the Chicago lead to 2-1.

She wasn’t going to let the injury stop her with an NPF title on the line.

“At this point, I told (coach Lonni Alameda) I’ll rip it in half if I have to,” Kretschman said.

Bunner got through six innings without allowing the Pride to tie it up or take the lead, and rookie Shelby Turnier came out of the bullpen to retire the final three batters in order for her second save of the season, and her second in as many days.

The game ended with Kretschman on deck.

“I always want to be in that spot,” said the NPF’s first-ever Triple Crown hitter, who led the league in batting average, home runs and RBIs.

The USSSA Pride (40-15) won the regular-season title, only to fall to their rivals in the championship series for the second year in a row.

“This is probably the most fun championship I’ve played in, in all my time,” said Kretschman, an 11-year veteran, explaining that this series was about the teams rather than a showdown between a couple of star-power pitchers.

Jill Barrett went 2-for-3 for the Bandits. Keilani Ricketts (8-6) gave up the two runs on five hits in 4 1/2 innings. Jordan Taylor pitched 2 2/3 innings of no-hit ball in relief for the Pride.

About the Chicago Bandits:
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson, Emily Allard and Tammy Williams. The three-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women’s professional team. The 2016 season will be the Bandits’ 12th season in the NPF.

FOLLOW THE PRIDE
USSSAPRIDE.COM
Facebook
Twitter
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About USSSA Florida Pride
:

The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.

About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success.  The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series.  The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.

Brittany Cervantes (photo by Bill Diehm, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch).


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Chicago Bandits Force Decisive Game Three of Final NPF Series

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(Note: Game 3 will be televised on CBS Sports Network, August 23, 8:00pm Eastern Time)

TUSCALOOSA, AL (August 22, 2016) – The Chicago Bandits never back down from a fight, so when the second game of the NPF Championship Series turned into a slugfest on Monday night. they were in their element.

On the verge of elimination from the best-of-three Cowles Cup series with the USSSA Pride, Chicago banged out an 11-5 victory at Rhoads Stadium to force a winner-take-all game set for Tuesday night at 7 p.m. CT.

A crowd of 881 – driving the record total attendance for the event to 6,951 and virtually assuring a final tally of more than 7,000 after the final game – was on hand to see the Bandits show their fight to stay alive.

It wasn’t the kind of game anyone expected, but when Chicago catcher Taylor Edwards hit a solo home run to right-center field in the bottom of the third inning, it was like igniting a powder keg.

A game that had been shaping up as a pitchers’ duel opened up to become a shootout between two teams that suddenly looked like they were taking batting practice. In all, the teams combined for 24 hits, including three home runs, a triple and a double.

The Pride (40-14) took the lead in the top of the fourth. NPF Player of the Year Kelly Kretschman, hobbled by a calf injury and playing with a brace on her right leg, got it started with her first hit of the tournament, a single to left field. Kirsti Merritt replaced her as a pinch runner, advanced on a single and a fielder’s choice and scored on a wild pitch. Catcher Chelsea Goodacre singled in another run to make it 2-1.

And it was only the beginning.

Chicago (25-27) responded with five runs in the bottom of the fourth, with third baseman Jill Barrett hitting her first home run of the year, a three-run shot, to go up 6-2.

“I thought we were going to have to scratch about three runs across,” Chicago coach Mike Steuerwald said. “That really sparked us.”

Barrett had hit her first batting-practice homer earlier in the week.

“I didn’t want to show them everything I had at the beginning (of the season),” she joked. “I was really just trying to move the runners over.”

The Pride came back with three runs of its own in the top of the fifth, with Goodacre hitting a two-RBI single, to narrow the margin to 6-5, but Chicago wasn’t done. The Bandits plated three runs in the bottom of the inning, with first baseman Megan Blank tripling in a run and scoring on a Brenna Moss single.

“I think we all knew it was going to be tough,” Kretschman said. “They had pretty much battled us for all the year. They battle every inning. It doesn’t really surprise me that our rivalry continues.”

There was still more to come from the Bandits.

Outfielder Brittany Cervantes, the most consistent Chicago hitter in the tournament, crushed a three-run shot to left field in the sixth to up the lead to 11-5. She enters the final game 8-of-15 for the playoffs.

Left-hander Michelle Gascoigne (6-5) allowed five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings for the win. Shelby Turnier threw 2 2/3 innings of shutout ball, allowing two hits with two strikeouts and no walks, for her first save.

“I keep telling myself I love to be in that situation,” Turnier said. “I think that kind of relates to the way that I pitch.”

Cervantes remembers a situation a few years ago when the bases were loaded and she was in right field. Teammate Danielle Zymkowitz turned to her and said, “Here comes the fun part.”

Cervantes and the Bandits are ready for more.

“I’m just excited to be still playing one more game,” she said. “It’s going to be fun.”

(Note: Game 3 will be televised on CBS Sports Network, August 23, 8:00pm Eastern Time)

About the Chicago Bandits:
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson, Emily Allard and Tammy Williams. The three-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women’s professional team. The 2016 season will be the Bandits’ 12th season in the NPF.

FOLLOW THE PRIDE
USSSAPRIDE.COM
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

About USSSA Florida Pride
:

The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.

About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success.  The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series.  The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.


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USSSA Pride Take Game One of Final NPF Series

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Lauren Chamberlain (photo by Bill Diehm, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch)


Program Note: Game 2 of the NPF Championship Series will be televised on Aug. 22, 8pm Eastern Time on CBS Sports Network.


TUSCALOOSA, AL (August 21, 2016) – The USSSA Pride’s formula for success isn’t fancy: a lot of pitching and some timely hitting.

The regular-season champion Pride stuck to that model to defeat the Chicago Bandits 3-1 on Sunday night at Rhoads Stadium in the opening game of the best-of-three NPF Championship Series.

A crowd of 1,618 for Sunday’s session assured a new playoff attendance record, with 6,070 so far. The previous record of 5,592 for the entire event was set last year in Hoover.

The Pride (40-13) has a chance to claim the Cowles Cup with a second win over defending champion Chicago (24-27) on Monday night at 7 p.m. CT in a rematch of last year’s title series.

“I think that they’re a very scrappy team,” Pride coach Lonni Alameda said of the Bandits, “very powerful but very scrappy.”

Most of the scoring came by way of solo home runs. Megan Wiggins, batting in the leadoff position for the Pride, started the game off with a shot to right-center in the bottom of the first inning. Chelsea Goodacre led off the bottom of the second with a solo blast to nearly the same spot to make it 2-0. After the Pride got an RBI single from Lauren Chamberlain – driving in Wiggins, who had drawn a walk to lead off the bottom of the third – Chicago got in on the action in the top of the fifth inning with a leadoff solo homer from shortstop Kristen Brown, cutting the Pride’s lead to 3-1.

Chicago had its best chance to get back into it after Brown’s shot. Third baseman Jill Barrett beat out an infield single with one out, and outfielder Brittany Cervantes was hit by a pitch with two outs, giving the Bandits two runners on base. USSSA Pride starter Keilani Ricketts coaxed a fly ball to left field for the third out to end the threat.

“Some days for us, our best just isn’t good enough,” Chicago coach Mike Steuerwald said. “Our bench was outstanding: I don’t know if there was one out, hit or pitch that I didn’t hear all 15 in our dugout. Overall, I thought we did a great job of staying in that game.”

The Pride handed the ball to closer Jordan Taylor to bring it home. She earned her 10th save with two innings of no-hit ball.

“I’m still adjusting,” Taylor said. “It’s ironic because in college the seventh inning was my worst inning.

“I still think (the closer role) is being defined in softball. It’s not really a thing yet.”

Ricketts (8-5), a left-hander, gave up one run on five hits in five innings with three strikeouts and no walks.

Morgan Foley (1-5) and Lacey Waldrop held the Pride to just five hits. The difference was that USSSA Pride hit with power, or with people in scoring position.

Goodacre went 2-for-3 with an RBI and one run scored. The second-year player is on a mission.

“I don’t have a championship yet,” she said, “and I don’t have a (collegiate) national championship, so to be with this team fighting to win the last game is incredible.”

Chicago isn’t conceding anything.

“Obviously we don’t like to make it easy,” said Cervantes, who went 2-for-2. “We’ll come back ready to play.”

About the Chicago Bandits:
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson, Emily Allard and Tammy Williams. The three-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women’s professional team. The 2016 season will be the Bandits’ 12th season in the NPF.

FOLLOW THE PRIDE
USSSAPRIDE.COM
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

About USSSA Florida Pride
:

The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.

About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success.  The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series.  The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.


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2016 NPF College Draft

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2016 NPF College Draft

April 14, 7pm CT. CMA Theatre, Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville, TN. Live on CBS Sports Network.

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About NPF.

Seventy-mile per hour riseballs, 240-foot frozen ropes, soft hands and lightning-quick reactions all wound into seven feverish innings of gritty, gutsy, fast-paced action. Welcome to hard-hittin’, fast-pitchin’, affordable family fun. Welcome to National Pro Fastpitch! (NPF)

NPF, formerly the Women’s Pro Softball League, is intended to provide family entertainment for people of all ages and to showcase the top talent in fastpitch softball today.  It is the goal of the League to entertain and provide positive role models for young people. NPF demonstrates work ethic, dedication, and love for the sport of fastpitch softball.  NPF athletes exhibit this through their actions, both on-and-off the field.  They are prominent people within their communities and appreciate and embrace the fans that follow their play through NPF action.

Four Teams will compete in 2014 with additional teams expected in 2015 due to on-going expansion efforts.  NPF is committed to building a national television schedule and finding solid partners with whom we share a common audience attraction and reach-ability. In the 2014 season, NPF action will air on television with broadcast schedule TBA.  All regular season games will also be streamed live during the 2014 season and can be connected for free by selecting the link on any Team website or the League website at www.profastpitch.com. TV and live video streaming will provide consistent and measurable return for our sponsors, partners, and suppliers.

NPF is dedicated to working with partners who will commit to the effort of promoting NPF and supporting professional fastpitch softball in the United States and continues to develop and build working relationships with key fastpitch organizations such as the world’s largest amateur sports organization, USSSA. Since 2005, NPF has enjoyed the status of Official Developmental Partner of Major League Baseball.

The development partnership with Major League Baseball, the broadcast support of local and national networks, the support of industry sponsors, the experience and commitment of team owners and the exceptional talent of NPF athletes and coaches combine and point toward a future that is bright and full of promise.


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Chicago Bandits 2015 NPF Champions

Bandits Sweep Series to Win NPF Championship

Chicago Bandits 2015 NPF Champions

Bandits Sweep Series to Win NPF Championship

Hoover, AL. – August 17, 2015 – In two hours and one minute the Chicago Bandits defeated the USSSA Pride 1 to 0 to win the 2015 NPF Championship. Game 2 saw a rematch between Monica Abbott vs. Cat Osterman. For the second straight day it was errors that cost the Pride and Monica Abbott got the complete game shutout.

Abbott received a scare in the second inning when Shelby Pendley just missed a home run off the left field wall. Abbott was able to settle down and get out of the inning.

In the bottom of the second Osterman struck out Megan Blank to start the inning. Tammy Williams got on base after an error by shortstop Madison Shipman. This is when things came unraveled for the Pride as the next batter Danielle Zymkowitz reached base on a catcher’s interference. Vicky Galasso reached on a throwing error by Osterman, scoring Tammy Williams for the game’s only run. Zymkowitz originally scored on the same play but the third base umpire reversed the call. In total the Pride had three errors in the 2nd inning.

Abbott struck out Amanda Kamekona on the 100 pitch to put the final exclamation point on the MVP for the NPF Championship. Her combined line for the championship series was fourteen innings pitched, giving up just four hits with three walks and thirteen strikeouts.

The Pride’s hottest hitters, Shipman and Pendley went a combined 0-6 with three k’s.

Cat Osterman pitched her heart out for the two games giving up zero earned runs for the thirteen innings she pitched. The Pride defensive woes let her down for the second straight game.

The National Pro Fastpitch thanks all the fans and the teams for a successful 2015 season.


 

BOX SCORE: http://ow.ly/R1Dyt

LOCATION: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, Hoover, AL.

 SCORE: Chicago Bandits 1, USSSA Pride 0

 CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RECORDS: Bandits (4-0), Pride (2-2)


 

About Chicago Bandits

Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson and Tammy Williams. The two-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women’s professional team. The 2015 season will be the Bandits 11th season in the NPF.

About USSSA Florida Pride:

The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.

 About National Pro Fastpitch

 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn.  The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).  NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball and has been since 2002.

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