Allentown, PA – On Saturday, June 20, the Philadelphia Force will be hosting the 2008 National Pro Fast pitch (NPF) Champion Chicago Bandits at Hoffman Stadium in York, PA.
The Bandits, led by pitcher Jennie Finch, took the 2008 season off to pitch in the Olympics for the United States Softball team in Beijing, China. Pitcher Kristina Thorson has come back to the area to play the Force. The team traded her away in 2007 after posting a 14-5 record, with a 1.22 ERA, which won the NPF Rookie of the Year Award in 2007.
Behind the plate for the Bandits sits 2008 Nokona American Glove Rookie of the Year Rachel Folden. In her rookie season, she hit 11 home runs while tallying 32 RBIs. Outfielder/First Baseman, Nicole Trimboli, the 2008 NFP Championship Series MVP, comes in after tallying 39 hits and 24 RBIs, with a .289 average in the 2008 campaign.
Philadelphia Force pitcher Katie Burkhart, the #1 pick in the 2008 draft, led the NPF with 13 wins. Burkhart completed 15 of the 18 games that she started in 2008, with an impressive 1.87 ERA. She averaged over 11 strike outs per win.
Pitcher Megan Gibson, the #2 overall pick in the 2008 NPF Senior Draft and NPF All Star in 2008, last year went 5-0 before suffering her first defeat. She ended the season with 9 wins in 10 starts. Gibson and Burkhart are poised to once again lead the Force. Gibson is a double threat with a fierce pitching style and fiery bat. She had 3 home runs and 12 RBI’s.
NPF All Star 2nd baseman, Emily Friedman is back along with Team NPF Catcher, Savannah Brown, will be behind the plate.
The York Convention and Visitors Bureau along with the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of PA will host the Force and the Bandits for the fiercely contested game. A great turnout is expected. The last game that the ASA and Force hosted was a near sellout. “This is a great opportunity for our players to experience women’s professional softball while competing for our State title when otherwise they may never have had a chance to see a game of this magnitude” said Stacey Stuck, Junior Olympic Commissioner for the ASA of PA. We are looking forward to a long term partnership with the Force for many years to come.”
Tom Kleinman, General Manager of the Force, explains how important it is to get young girls interested in the sport of softball by traveling to neutral sites close to home where they may not have access to watch top players on a regular basis. Having the league’s most popular players and arguably the two best teams on the same field is a great opportunity for the sport. “The Philadelphia Force and PA ASA are trying to demonstrate to the rest of the Country how important it is to work together in a collaborative nature to insure the success of amateur and professional fast pitch softball in this country.” said Kleinman.
Tickets will go on sale March 1, 2009. Tickets are $10 in advance and $13 at the gate on game day. Tickets may be purchased through the ASA of PA State Office at 1081 Pebble Court, Mechanicsburg, PA, 17050 or on the ASA of PA website at www.paasa.org.
For this and all other Philadelphia Force upcoming events, please visit us at www.philadelphiaforce.com.