NPF Softball Championship Series Starts Thursday

NPF Softball Championship Series Starts Thursday
The Chicago Bandits are looking for their next stars at open tryouts on May 29

"As one of five children I remember the struggles and sacrifices my family went through to allow me to live my dream, and I want to remind all of you that you can live your dream, too! This country truly is the land of opportunity for all who are willing to work hard and make the sacrifices it takes for their Dream. So Dream big and "Live2BringIT" to reality. America is waiting, to see your Dream."

Chicago Bandits star pitcher Monica Abbott, in her 4th of July message

Speaking of dreaming big....

Mark my words, there WILL be a "World Series" in Chicago.

But don't look North or South ....try Northwest the Ballpark at Rosemont.

The Chicago Bandits captured the regular season title last weekend at the Ballpark at Rosemont, appropriately, in the most dramatic fashion possible. They waited until the last game of the season, playing against the team that had changed places with them as often as they change dresses in a fashion show.

It was Jennie Finch Weekend at the Ballpark, and as she signed autographs and threw out the first pitch in front of a sold-out crowd Saturday night, the regular season title and an automatic bid to the Championship Series, were up for grabs. The drama was at fever pitch.

Taking the mound were rivals who had battled all season to bring their teams to the top...former Olympic teammates Monica Abbott for the Bandits, and Cat Osterman of the USSSA Pride. The Bandits had been shut down 4-1 Friday night, and the regular season championship's fate lay directly in the hands of their most able pitchers.

May On Saturday, the Pride jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning after Kristyn Sandberg’s line-drive homerun to right-center field.

The comeback rally started in the fourth inning. Alisa Goler drew a two-out walk. Amber Patton’s single brought home pinch runner Danielle Zymkowitz to tie the game and the retiring Vicky Galindo hit the go-ahead single to bring home Patton.

Chicago added an insurance run in the fifth after Megan Wiggins drew a walk on an eight-pitch at-bat and stole second. Nerissa Myers’ groundout advanced her and she scored off a wild pitch to give the Bandits a 3-1 edge.

Abbott closed out the game in the seventh inning by striking out the first two Pride batters and getting a pop up to end the game. She finished the game with eight total strikeouts, while only allowing three hits and one run.

Osterman recorded five strikeouts, allowing six hits and three runs.

And now, the battle for the title begins.

The 2013 Championship Series begins Thursday August 22 at the Ballpark at Rosemont at 7:00 pm CST. That game will pit the #4 Akron Racers against the #3 New York/New Jersey Comets.  The loser of Thursday’s game will be eliminated.

Friday, August 23, the lineup will open at 5:30 pm with the winner of Thursday’s game facing off against the #2 USSSA Pride.

The loser of Friday’s opening game is eliminated. The winner of Game 2 will immediately move into the Championship’s Final Series, a best of 3 series against the Championship’s #1 Chicago Bandits.

Game 1 of the Final Series is slated for an 8:30 start time on Friday night August 23.    The Championship’s Final Series will continue Saturday with Game 2 at 4:00 pm. Game 3 of the Final Series, the “if necessary” game, if needed, is scheduled for 7:00 pm CST.

Sunday will be a provisional rain date in the case of inclement weather throughout the Series.

“We continue to try and perfect the Championship format,” stated NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf, “and this is another version that certainly puts more weight into the seeding. I think that is something our owner’s were really looking for, and at this point, compacting the Series into a 3 day event, also makes good sense for the League.”

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