Dustin Combs (left) and Brian Levin (right) Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
Levin and Combs set to lead Racers back to the NPF Championship in 2015
Akron, OH – January 12, 2015 - Akron Racers, GM, Joey Arrietta announced today that the 2014 NPF Coaching Staff of the Year including Field Manager, Brian Levin and Assistant Field Manager, Dustin Combs will return to coach the Racers in 2015.
“This was our top priority,” comment Arrietta. “Even before signing any players, it was important to have our coaching staff in place. It was a critical piece in determining the direction of our program last year and I wanted to continue to develop our program with the right people. Brian and Dustin made that an easy decision.”
Levin and Combs did an incredible job blending the talents of 14 rookies with seven of the league’s finest veteran players whose commitment to the Racers future was rock solid. The duo led the 2014 team to a 24-24 regular season finish; the best finish since 2009 when the team posted a 26-14 record.
“I am really thankful to Joey Arrietta, Craig Stout and the Racer organization for giving me the opportunity to return to the Racers next season,” noted Levin. “We have a tremendous group of players that have embraced a new culture. I am excited to get back to Akron to continue building what has been established. The present administration along with the return of Dustin Combs as the assistant coach has placed a solid foundation of leadership on and off the field for next season. The Akron community has demonstrated tremendous support for Racer softball, and produces a game day environment that is second to none in the NPF. It is our mission to help bring a championship to Akron and continue to promote the great game of softball.”
In addition to coaching award, the Racers racked up numerous accolades at the 2014 NPF Championship in Hoover, AL. Kelley Montalvo grabbed the league’s highest honor, the Jennie Finch Award and a spot on the All-NPF Team. Newcomer, Nerissa Myers hauled in the Offensive Player of the Year Award after a blistering performance (.400) at the plate for the Racers. Akron’s Rachele Fico posted a perfect 11-0 home record finishing the regular season with an 11-6 mark earning her All-NPF honors alongside Cat Osterman (Pride), Monica Abbott (Bandits), and Sarah Pauly (Rebellion). Joining Montalvo, Myers and Fico on the All-NPF Team was rookies Jill Barrett (Tulsa) and Ashley Thomas (Georgia Tech).
“I am truly excited to have them back,” remarked Montalvo. “Our team has the upmost confidence in their plans and goals for our team.”
The 2014 NPF Championship Series was a crowning moment for the Racers as they defeated the Chicago Bandits in the best of three series to move on to face the defending NPF Champions, the USSSA Pride. The Pride edged the Racers 1-0 in eight innings and then sealed their back-to-back championship with an 8-3 final game.
About the 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 14th season of play in 2015.
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquarted in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fast pitch 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 o Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women's fast pitch softball since 2002. www.profastpitch.com