All NPF Photo by Julie Walton - SSG Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Hoover, AL – August 19, 2014 - National Pro Fastpitch kicked off the 2014 Championship Series week Tuesday night to a sold out crowd for the annual league Awards Banquet. The event is designed to celebrate individual player and team accomplishments of regular season competition.
Following dinner along with comments by Director of Operations of the City of Hoover Alan Pate and NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf, the awards kicked off with the announcement of the 18-member All-NPF Team, presented by Combat Sports.
Due to a tie at the position of outfield between Chicago's Megan Wiggins and rookie Emily Allard, the 2014 All NPF squad expanded to 19. A group of veterans along with four rookies peppered this year's All NPF winners. Rookies Emily Allard of the Chicago Bandits won in the category of outfield, while Akron’s Jill Barrett and Ashley Thomas reeled in an At-Large award for Utility and 2nd Base respectively. The fourth rookie on the All NPF squad was USSSA shortstop, Madison Shipman who continued to impress the softball world with her continued success at the next level.
The 2014 Awards Banquet was highlighted by the coveted Player of the Year Award presented by Mizuno, which went to Andrea Duran of the USSSA Pride. Duran, who played in every game this season (48) finished with a.362 batting average, collected 47 hits, 26 RBI’s, 7 doubles, one triple and two homeruns. Along with that, Duran led the league in OBP (.478) and walks (27) and was 2nd in the league with 2out RBI (18). She was top 10 on offense all season long.
Cat Osterman garnered the Diamond Sports Pitcher of the Year honors as she led the league with 160 Ks over a league leading .560 ERA. Osterman finished the regular season undefeated at 16 – 0 and threw a no-hitter on July 5, 2014.
The Rookie of the Year award, presented by Miken, returned to USSSA after a year hiatus as shortstop Madison Shipman was named most outstanding of all newcomers. Shipman played in 44 of 48 games this season hit .344 with 28 RBI’s and 5 homeruns. Shipman led the league in doubles and anchored the USSSA Pride middle infield with a .931 FDPT.
The Defensive Player of the Year, presented by Wilson, went to Chicago's shortstop, Tammy Williams who was a human highlight real this season on defense. Diving catches, double plays and a triple play on August 13, 2014 were some of the most outstanding defensive plays of the season from the veteran out of the University of Northwestern.
Offensive Player of the Year was presented by Louisville Slugger and went to Nerissa Myers of the Akron Racers. Myers who lead the league in the production categories of RBI’s (43), 2 out RBI’s (19), and slugging % (.599), also landed in the top 4 in the league in batting average (.365). Myers collected 50 hits, 5 doubles, 9 homeruns, 6 stolen bases, and was on base all most half of the time (.474).
The objective categories were presented for most home runs and most stolen bases. The Home Run Award Presented by Worth went to the Chicago Bandit's Brittany Cervantes, who had 12 total round-trippers on the season. The Diamond Spike Award presented by Ringor went to rookie, Breja’e Washington of the USSSA Pride, who nabbed 17 successful stolen bases on 21 attempts.
Coaching Staff of the Year presented by Schutt went to the staff of the Akron Racers. The Racers coaching staff were a unanimous selection and finished with a regular season record of 24-24, which were the most wins since 2010 when they equaled that total.
The fourth annual Jennie Finch Award went to Akron's Kelley Montalvo. The Jennie Finch award is given to the player who best exemplifies the character and qualities of its famous namesake, and who is considered to positively impact the game both on and off the field. Montalvo, a fan favorite, was 3rd in the league in 2 out RBI’s (14), had 53 putouts at 3B and was 2nd in the league in assists (98).
The NPF Awards contenders are initially nominated by the four affiliate teams. Once nominations are compiled, a ballot is formed and voted on by an owner representative from each team. Final voting for the awards happens at the conclusion of the regular season.
The league's Championship Series begins Wednesday, August 20 at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, AL.
For more information or to buy tickets, go to www.npfchampionship.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the box office on the day of the game.
2014 All NPF Team C – Kristen Butler – (CH)
1B – Brittany Cervantes – (CH)
2B – Lauren Lappin – (PA)
3B – Andrea Duran – (US)
SS – Tammy Williams – (CH)
OF – Caitlin Lowe – (US)
OF – Natasha Watley – (US)
OF – (Tie) Megan Wiggins – (CB)
OF – (Tie) Emily Allard – (CB)
P – Cat Osterman – (US)
P – Monica Abbott – (CH)
P – Rachele Fico – (AK)
P – Michelle Gascoigne – (CH)
At Large – Nerissa Myers (AK)
At Large – Madison Shipman (US)
At Large – Sara Pauly – (PA)
At Large – Kelley Montalvo – (AK)
At Large – Ashley Thomas – (AK)
At Large – Jill Barrett – (AK)
Jennie Finch Award – Kelley Montalvo (AK)
Sponsored by NPF and presented by Crown Boulder
Diamond Spike Award (Most Stolen Bases) – Breja’e Washington (US)
Presented by Ringor
Rookie of the Year – Madison Shipman (US)
Presented by Miken
Offensive Player of the Year – Nerissa Myers (AK)
Presented by Louisville Slugger
Defensive Player of the Year – Tammy Williams (CH)
Presented by Wilson
Pitcher of the Year – Cat Osterman (US)
Presented by Diamond
Player of the Year – Andrea Duran (US)
Presented by Mizuno
Coaching Staff of the Year – Akron Racers
Presented by Schutt
Regular Season Champions – USSSA Pride
Ringor Cup presented by NPF
About Akron Racers
The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. The Racers competed in the Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL) for two seasons in 1999 and 2000 and in the NPF since 2004. Historic Firestone Stadium is home to the Racers and numerous amateur events at all levels of play. The Racers kick-off their 13th season of play in 2014.
About Chicago Bandits Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of National Pro Fastpitch. Located in the Chicagoland area, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level. The roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May and Monica Abbott. The two-time NPF Champions play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women’s professional team.
About Pennsylvania Rebellion The Rebellion is a professional women's softball team competing as part of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF). Joining the gritty, fast-paced league in 2014, the Rebellion will play head-to-head against the most talented players in the sport. Games are broadcast nationally and draw local fans of all ages to experience the action live. NPF is an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball.
About USSSA Florida Pride
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad!
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquarted in Nashville, TN. 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 name of Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women's fastpitch softball since 2002.