ROSEMONT — The Chicago Bandits bolstered their pitching staff by signing No. 1 overall selection Paige Lowary to a one-year deal, team officials announced Tuesday.
Lowary, a standout left-hander from Oklahoma, owns the Sooners’ single-season saves mark (11) and career saves (24), and helped the program capture the 2017 national title.
Lowary became the franchise’s first top overall pick since the 2007 NPF Draft, in which Tennessee’s Lindsay Schutzler earned the distinction.
“We are thrilled to add a pitcher of Paige’s ability and character to our roster,” Bandits general manager Toni Calmeyn said. “She’s a tremendous talent and should be a welcome addition to our pitching staff in 2018.”
During Oklahoma’s run to the national championship in 2017, Lowary paced the Sooners in a plethora of pitching categories, including opponent batting average, relief appearances and saves. Her dominance continued into her senior season in Norman as she owned a 0.98 ERA through 93 innings of work while amassing a 10-1 record. Lowary’s seven saves ranked atop the Big 12 Conference.
The Dallas Center, Iowa, product began her collegiate career at Missouri before opting to transfer to Oklahoma. A starter for the Tigers, Lowary recorded a 43-15 mark in the circle, struck out 315 batters across two seasons, and helped guide the program to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
Lowary joins an impressive repertoire of arms in Rosemont, highlighted by Team USA pitchers Danielle O’Toole and Ally Carda, as well as NPF veterans Haylie Wagner, Rachele Fico, Shelby Turnier, Lacey Waldrop and Coley Ries.
Florida two-way star Aleshia Ocasio joined the pitching core as well after the second-round pick signed a three-year deal with the Bandits on Monday.
For more information about the Chicago Bandits or to purchase tickets to any remaining home game during the 2018 season, please visitchicagobandits.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 Fast pitch 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 Parkway Bank Sports Complex, one of the premier softball facilities in the nation. Parkway Bank Sports Complex 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.
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.