Libertyville softball pitching sensation Michaela Mooney, at 12 years of age, has more than a rising fast ball and a sneaky sinker, she’s got a unique teammate. It’s a shelter rescued dog named Miley and together, they currently lead the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) online competition for the Top Dog in softball.
As the current leading vote getter in the national contest, Michaela and Miley will be featured LIVE during on-line NPF broadcast of games . Michaela knows she needs to keep the votes coming if she’s going to Akron for the NPF Championships to claim the first place prize, which includes a VIP clinic hosted by an NPF player.
Entering 7th grade this fall, Michaela has played softball for the Libertyville Girls Softball Association (www.libertyvillesoftball.org) for 6 years. She has also been an all-star team selection for the past 4 years. She considers her favorite pitchers to be Kristina Thorson, Cat Osterman, Angela Tincher, Katie Burkhart, Jennie Finch, Megan Gibson, Eileen Canney, and Monica Abbott.
“That’s the great thing about the NPF Top Dog network,” said Michaela. “I have players like Cat and Kristina and Eileen who have posted their own pets online. They are friends with me and Miley and they send me messages. They are great players and they take time to interact with me. I know I want to be like them. I want to be a pro someday.”
Michaela will be eligible for the 2019 NPF Draft.
While her primary allegiance is to the Chicago Bandits, she loves interacting with all the NPF players. They sometimes pose the tough question of who's her favorite player or team, which gets a little uncomfortable in "enemy" territory but she thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to interface with players during autograph sessions, clinics, etc.
“She's been fortunate to serve as bat girl at several NPF games, throw out a first pitch, and even was Bandit for a Day where she was allowed to help the team during pre-game warm-ups and watch the game from the bench,” said Michaela’s dad, Kevin. “Her room is adorned with dozens of autographed softballs, signed 8x10 photos of her with many of her favorite players. She can’t always get to the games. That’s why we are so appreciative of the Top Dog concept. It allows her to get up close and personal with the NPF players from our home. ”
There’s still time for players and fans to enter new pets and chat online with NPF pros like Osterman and Gibson. Top Dog top vote getters will win NPF gear and equipment prizes. Top Dog contestants should continue to vote often to collect points and win valuable prizes like the new WORTH TITAN Bat, the only fastpitch bat licensed by NPF. Little leaguers and youth players may be featured, like Michaela and Miley, on the NPF website and during on-line broadcasts of NPF games at www.profastpitch.com.
Vote for your favorite pets and invite your friends to vote…send messages and post comments to each other and to NPF players! If you are a fan of NPF, but don’t have a pet, you can still vote without entering a pet.
According to NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf, “We have combined the passion for playing softball and baseball with the passion for pets into a fun and safe new social networking website called NPF Top Dog. Now youth softball players like Michaela and her friends and families can communicate with each other and their favorite NPF players through their pets! We are looking forward to seeing if Michaela can go the distance and win this year’s Top Dog.”