KIMBERLY, Wis. – Entering the finals of the Battle of the Bats competition seven players were within two home runs of each other and when it was all said and done it was an at-large alternate that took home the prize.
The Rockford Thunder’s Lindsay Gardner, filling in for Tonya Callahan who was unable to attend due to the start of school, entered the night with 18 home runs on the season. After a solid first round in which she hit five home runs, she trailed Washington’s Oli Keohohou by just one. In the second round, Keohohou who was swinging the DeMarini Phenix, clubbed four home runs to take her season total to 28. This set the stage for Gardner. Gardner, who used a Worth Mutant in the competition, needed six home runs to win and she did one better with seven to win 30-28.
The most impressive rounds of the night were put in by 2008 Offensive Player of the Year Jaime Clark who hit seven with the Mizuno bat, Keohohou who hit 11 and Akron’s Kate Robinson who also hit seven.
Wilson, maker of the DeMarini bat line, was awarded the manufacturers trophy after its players hit 104 total home runs on the season. Worth players hit 93 to finish second and Mizuno and Combat finished third and fourth with 60 and 58 home runs, respectively.
Individual Top 5
Tonya Callahan, Rockford Thunder, 30
Oli Keohohou, Washington Glory, 28
Jaime Clark, Chicago Bandits, 26
Samantha Findlay, Chicago Bandits, 25
Kate Robinson, Akron Racers, 24
Wilson (DeMarini), 104
The top four teams will begin postseason play on Friday evening in Kimberly, Wis. The first seed Chicago Bandits will take on the No. 4 seed New England Riptide in game one at 6 p.m. Game two of the night will be No. 2 seed Philadelphia Force and the No. 3 seed Washington Glory scheduled to start at approximately 8:45 p.m. CDT.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.cardinalyouthsoftball.com. A series pass is just $35. Passes for only Friday or Saturday action is $15. Sunday passes are $25.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).