Taylor Edwards Photo by Dina Kwit Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT, Ill. – November 25, 2015 - Chicago Bandits GM, Aaron M. Moore, announced today that All-NPF catcher Taylor Edwards has re-signed with the team for the 2016 season. This will be Edwards third season in the league and second with the Bandits.
“I’m very excited and honored to stay with the Bandit family,” said Edwards. “Last year was incredible and I can’t thank everyone enough for welcoming me with open arms. I’m looking forward to defending our Championship in 2016.”
The battery of Edwards and Monica Abbott posted an impressive list of accomplishments in their first season together, including a perfect game and a no-hitter. Defensively, her 297 putouts led the league and she threw out a total of 11 runners, good for second overall in the NPF.
“Re-signing Taylor was a number one priority for the team this offseason,” stated Moore. “Not only did she provide big hit after big hit, but she was also a stabilizing force behind the plate for us. The work she did with our pitching staff was incredible and that work was a big reason for our success.
“Taylor is going to be a big part of the NPF and the Bandits for a long time, and we’re thrilled she’s going to be back for a second season in Chicago.”
Edwards, who played her first NPF season with the Pennsylvania Rebellion, proved that she not only has the ability to call a solid game behind the plate, but contribute as a powerful force in the batting order as well. While she posted a .242 batting average with 32 hits, 29 RBIs and nine home runs, it was the timing of the hits that was most impressive. In the regular season alone, she contributed to multiple walk-off wins for the Bandits, including a bases loaded walk and a three-run homer in the ninth inning of a thrilling victory over the USSSA Pride.
The Nebraska alumni left her name in the Huskers record books as the all-time leader in home runs (54), walks (150), hit-by-pitches (39) and grand slams (4).
In addition to the signing of Edwards, the Bandits have officially signed infielder Jill Barrett to her contract for the 2016 season. Barrett was recently acquired in a trade with the Akron Racers that sent A.J. Andrews and the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NPF College Draft to Akron.
“The Bandits organization is very happy that we were able to come to terms so quickly with Jill,” said Moore. “We were excited with last week’s trade to acquire Jill and know that excitement has grown even more.
We are looking forward to watching her in a Bandits uniform in 2016 instead of trying to find ways to get her out. This is definitely an important move in the right direction for us.”
Named the 2014 C-USA Player of the Year during her senior season year at the University of Tulsa, Barrett led the NPF in hits (56) last season, finishing third overall with a .339 batting average while picking up All-NPF honors at shortstop.
“I’m so excited to officially sign with the Bandits and be able to call Chicago home,” said Barrett. “I’m eager to start working with the best athletes in the world come summertime.
“My hopes are to help lead the team back to the NPF Championship and bring home another Cowles Cup to the (Bandits) organization. Catch On!”
Season tickets for the 2016 season are on sale now. Don’t miss any of the action as the 2015 Cowles Cup Champions look to defend their title. For more information about becoming a Chicago Bandits season ticket holder visit us on the web at www.chicagobandits.com or call the front office at 877-722-6348.
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson, Monica Abbott and Tammy Williams. The three-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women's professional team. The 2016 season will be the Bandits 12th season in the NPF.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) 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). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball and has been since 2002.