Akron, Ohio The No. 2 seed Racers (36-10) meet third seed Texas (35-12) in an NPF Championship tournament semifinal game Saturday at 9 p.m. (central) at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. Top-seed Chicago (41-7) faces #4 New York (31-14) in the other semifinal contest. The winners play Sunday at noon for the NPF Championship.
The NPF All-Star Game will follow at 3 p.m. The East meets the West when all-stars from Akron, New England, and New York team up against Arizona, Chicago and Texas.
NPF Championship Weekend Details
Who: The top four teams in National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) in a single-elimination tournament to determine the 2005 champion.
What: The 2005 National Pro Fastpitch Playoff & All-Star Game
When: Saturday-Sunday, August 27 & 28. (All times Central)
Saturday- #1 vs. #4 at 6 p.m., #2 vs. #3 at 9 p.m.
Sunday- Championship Game at noon. All-Star Game is at 3 p.m.
Where: Benedictine University in the Chicago suburb of Lisle, Ill.
Ticket Info: Single-day box seat is $18 and $14 for reserved grandstand. Weekend pass is $30 for box seat and $20 for reserved grandstand. Call the Bandits box office at 1-877-7BANDIT.
Television: ESPN2 will air the Championship Game and the All-Star on a same-day, delayed basis beginning Sunday at 5 p.m. (Eastern).
Championship Info: The Chicago Bandits (41-7) are the host team, the #1 seed and the newest entry to the NPF having joined this season
In between games on Saturday, NPF awards for Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Most Valuable Player will be presented. Akrons Iyhia McMichael was the MVP in 2004
Between games on Sunday will be a Home Run Derby competition, featuring the NPFs top 10 power hitters. Three Racers have been selected: Crystl Bustos, Iyhia McMichael, and Jenn Poore.
Players To Watch
Akron Racers (36-10)
3b Crystl Bustos (.398-19-57) 2-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist, led the league in HRs and RBI.
Cf Iyhia McMichael (.400-11-35) Led the league in runs scored (56) and ranked second in HRs.
C Jenny Topping (.377-2-16) U.S. Olympic team catcher in 2004, gold medal winner.
P Jamie Southern (6-2, 0.75 ERA) U.S. National Team performer, Fresno State All-American.
P Brandee McArthur (12-4, 1.83 ERA) Led Akrons staff in wins and strikeouts (109).
Chicago Bandits (41-7)
P Jennie Finch (14-0, 0.88 ERA) 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medal winner, 05 U.S. National Team
P Lauren Bay (17-1, 0.89 ERA) Tied for league lead in wins
3b Vicky Galindo (.402-0-11) 2005 U.S. National Team
SS Jaime Clark (.293-7-25) 2005 U.S. National Team
New York Juggernaut (31-14)
P Peaches James (14-5, 1.55 ERA)
SS Natasha Watley (.385-0-5) 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medal winner, 05 U.S. National Team
C Ryan Realmuto (.273-10-27) Ranked third in the league in HRs.
Texas Thunder (35-12)
P Christa Williams (17-5, 0.76 ERA) 1996 & 2000 US Gold Medal Winner, 2004 NPF Pitcher of the Year, Pitching Triple Crown- Led NPF in Wins, ERA, Ks.
Cf Kristen Zaleski (.468-3-37) Led the league in batting & stolen bases.
3b Clare Burnum (.357-0-44)
P/1B Amanda Freed (.279-0-11, 9-4, 1.81 ERA) 2004 US Gold Medal Winner , '05 US National team.