ELGIN, Ill. – The Chicago Bandits and the USSSA Pride are set to square off in a “West Texas Showdown,” live on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. central time on Saturday June 12. The live ESPN2 game is a new step for the NPF and an exciting move for the league and its respective teams. This special event will be game four of a five game series and is expected to showcase a pitching matchup of Jennie Finch (Bandits) versus Cat Osterman (Pride) – two of the game’s most notable players.
“I think it’s a huge deal for the team, the league and the players to get some exposure,” said Aaron Moore the General Manager of the Chicago Bandits. “The success of the Women’s College World Series should help us attract a great audience for the game.”
The Bandits, who ended the 2009 season with a 27-12 record, fell at the hands of the USSSA Pride in the first round of last year’s National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) playoffs.
While the Bandits have yet to match up against anyone this season, the Pride recently completed a five game sweep of the Venezuela National Team in exhibition play. In a come-from-behind win the Pride defeated Venezuela 4-2 last Sunday, June 6 to win all five of their exhibition games heading into their season opener.
The Pride ended last season fourth in the NPF with a 16-24 record and were the eventual runner-up in the 2009 NPF Championship Series, losing to the Rockford Thunder in a best of three game series.
The season opening series will be highlighted by an All-Star pitching match-up between Jennie Finch of the Bandits and Cat Osterman of the Pride.
“It’s an opportunity to showcase two of the games greatest pitchers,” said Moore, “And it’s something that will excite the fans.”
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. 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 of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).