Akron, OH- October 30, 2015 - Akron Racers GM, Joey Arrietta has put in motion the 2016 campaign to bring an NPF Championship to Akron with the signing of three key veterans. The 2015 All-NPF trio including Kelley Montalvo (3B), Taylor Schlopy (OF) and Sarah Pauly (P) have all inked two-year deals to return to Akron and challenge for the NPF title in 2016, an effort that has eluded the Racers for ten seasons since winning their first championship in 2005.
Montalvo, received her third consecutive All-NPF honor after clearly establishing herself as one of the best defensive specialists in league history. The Miami, FL native led the league with 100 assists committing only three errors in 159 chances. She snagged 59 putouts posting the NPF’s best defensive average (.981) alongside Chicago’s premier shortstop, Tammy Williams.
Taylor Schlopy had a breakout year. The diminutive former Georgia Bulldog, grabbed her first All-NPF award after etching her name in nearly every offensive category in 2015. She led the league in homeruns (10), runs scored (34) and walks (30). Schlopy’s, keen eye-for-the ball, elevated her to a fourth place finish in the NPF with a .416 on base percentage.
Sarah Pauly’s addition to the Racers in 2015 is just a prelude to the enormously talented veteran’s ability to carve out the road to an NPF title in 2016. Pauly is currently the first player to hit the 100th career win mark in NPF history. She was, indeed, the league workhorse once again. Pauly registered the most innings pitched (108.2), most appearances (22) and most games started (17).
“I am committed to building a championship contender behind these three players,” explains Arrietta. “Veteran leadership is paramount when it comes to the mindset needed to compete against the world’s best players, night after night.”
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 15th season of play in 2016.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered 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 Pro 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