ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Chicago Bandits announced today that catcher Shannon Doepking will retire from National Pro Fastpitch after five seasons.
“This is an announcement we were not looking forward to make,” said Bandits GM Aaron M. Moore. “Doepking came in and managed not only Monica (Abbott), but the entire pitching staff so effectively."
“She is a consummate professional and was a leader in the clubhouse. The intangibles she brought to the team for two seasons will be missed. Shannon was definitely key in our championship run in 2011.”
Drafted by the Akron Racers in 2008 as the 15th overall selection, the University of Tennessee product hit .208 as a rookie for the Racers while recording a .344 on-base percentage along with 15 RBIs.
Following her rookie season, Doepking was traded to the USSSA Pride where she spent one season before being traded to the Tennessee Diamonds in 2010. She finished the season with a .233 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .258.
Doepking signed with the Bandits as a free agent prior to the 2011 season and enjoyed one of her best professional seasons hitting, .263 with a .377 on-base percentage and had six RBIs. Catching Monica Abbott’s perfect game on August 4, Doepking’s presence at and behind the plate helped lead the Bandits to their second NPF Championship in Sulphur, La.
“I never thought I would have the opportunity to play after college and I’m so thankful for those five years,” said Doepking. “I’ve met new people, made amazing friends, won a championship and found a new home in Rosemont.”
“I want to thank Bill Sokolis for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the Bandits organization. It truly has been like my second family for the past two years. Second I would like to thank the Chicago Bandits fans. They are so supportive and loyal and without them we wouldn’t be able to live out our dreams.”
In her final season with the Bandits, Doepking held an eight game hitting streak from August 1 through August 15 which saw her record eight hits, one home run and eight RBIs. She finished the season with a .229 batting average with 13 RBIs and three home runs.
“Last, but not least, thank you to my teammates. It was an honor being able to share a field with all of you and I hope you all continue to pave the way for little girls to dream of becoming professional softball players,” Doepking commented.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch 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 since 2002.