ROSEMONT (June 28, 2018)— The Chicago Bandits have agreed to loan USA Softball a pair of pitchers for the International Cup, which is set to take place July 9-15 in Irvine, California.
First-year southpaw Paige Lowary, whom the Bandits selected No. 1 overall in the 2018 NPF Draft, along with veteran right-hander Rachele Fico, will join Team USA for the national team event.
The International Cup will feature a plethora of talent from the United States, Japan, China and Canada, among other nations.
“(Director of national teams) Chris Sebren reached out to me regarding the possibility of borrowing Paige and Rachele for the International Cup,” Bandits general manager Toni Calmeyn said.
“It is clear USA Softball has its eye on the Bandits and the wide selection of elite athletes across the NPF. We provided our explicit permission to USA Softball and are proud to supply the national team with two talented pitchers.”
Lowary, a 2017 national champion at Oklahoma, has made an immediate impact out of the bullpen for the Bandits. The Dallas Center, Iowa, product holds a 2-1 record in her rookie season and her 12.79 strikeouts per game rate is the top mark in the league by a significant margin.
Fico, who holds a comparable 2-1 mark and 1.29 ERA, made her Bandits debut June 17 against the Beijing Shougang Eagles. The former Akron Racers standout continued her early-season success with a recent two-hit performance across six innings Tuesday against the league-leading USSSA Pride.
“Paige and Rachele have been nothing short of stellar to start the 2018 season and we look forward to seeing them compete for a brief stint at the international level,” Calmeyn said.
The Bandits will be back in action at 7:35 p.m. Friday as they begin a three-game series against the Pride at Parkway Bank Sports Complex. All three games will be broadcast live at no cost via NPFTV.
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.
Photo credit: Dina Kwit, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch