ROSEMONT, Il. (August 14, 2019) — “Unanimous” was the word used to describe the selection of Amanda Chidester of the Chicago Bandits as the Park Planet Player of the Year. Chidester wrapped up the 2019 NPF regular season Wednesday night racking up four total awards, including the Park Planet Player of the Year Award, the Offensive Player of the Year Award presented by Louisville Slugger, and the Home Run Award presented by Wilson.
Gene and Georgetti’s Steakhouse in Rosemont, hosted the annual event, which took place one day before the start of the 2019 NPF Championship Series set to kick off Thursday night at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont. Chidester and the Bandits will square off against their long time rivals, the USSSA Pride, in a best-of-five series. First pitch in Game 1 of the Championship Series is set for 7:00 pm.
The annual awards banquet honors outstanding performances by individuals, teams and coaches throughout the season and is always a lead-in the league’s Championship.
USSSA’s Jolene Henderson earned her second consecutive Diamond Sports Pitcher of the Year Award after the right-hander led the League in Innings Pitched, and Starts while going 10-4 during the regular season with two complete game shutouts and a Perfect Game.
USSSA Pride third baseman, Jessie Warren took home the prestigious Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Warren committed just one error while delivering 35 Put Outs and 66 Assists.
Abbey Cheek, of the Chicago Bandits secured the 805Stats Rookie of the Year Award after the Bandits third baseman posted exceptional numbers in her first year at the professional level. The former SEC Player of the Year and standout from Kentucky, whom the Bandits selected 14th overall in the third round of the 2019 NPF Draft, became the first rookie since 2007 to lead the league on offense, posting a .378 mark at the plate.
Softball America presented the inaugural Legacy Award to Pride veteran outfielder, Kelly Kretschman. In accepting the award, Kretschman surprised the audience when she announced this would be her final season of competition. She went on to thank everyone for the opportunities she had been given through playing professional softball in the NPF for more than a decade.
Sammy Marshall of the Cleveland Comets took home the Stolen Base Award presented by Crown Trophy of Boulder, with a league leading 22 stolen bases.
Outfielder, Victoria Hayward, of the Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois, was named the 2019 recipient of the Jennie Finch Award.
The Chicago Bandits coaching staff of Lauren Lappin, Amber Flores, and Lance McMahon, captured the NPF Coaching Staff of the Year honors after the first-year crew guided the Bandits to the NPF’s regular season title with a record of 38-7. The award marks the first time for a Head Coach that also played professionally in the NPF.
Umpire Scott Mair received the Umpire of the Year honor, presented by ZebraWeb, as a result of his continued excellence behind the plate and supporting roles as a base umpire.
For more information about National Pro Fastpitch or to purchase tickets to the 2019 Championship Series, please visit profastpitch.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.
2019 All-NPF Team, presented by Easton
Position Name Team
Catcher Chelsea Goodacre USSSA Pride
First base Amanda Chidester Chicago Bandits
Second base Abby Ramirez Chicago Bandits
Third base Jessie Warren USSSA Pride
Shortstop Hannah Flippen Chicago Bandits
Outfield Allexis Bennett USSSA Pride
Outfield Victoria Hayward Canadian Wild
Outfield Brenna Moss Chicago Bandits
Designated Player Kelly Kretschman USSSA Pride
At-large Sydney Romero USSSA Pride
At-large Rachele Fico Chicago Bandits
At-large Jennifer Gilbert Canadian Wild
At-large Abbey Cheek Chicago Bandits
At-large Gwen Svekis Chicago Bandits
Pitcher Jolene Henderson USSSA Pride
Pitcher Sara Groenewegen Canadian Wild
Pitcher Aleshia Ocasio Chicago Bandits
Pitcher Taran Alvelo USSSA Pride
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
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 Peppers of Minnesota, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets, and USSSA Pride. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada, China, and Mexico, and represent the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.