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Thunder Acquire Four Players from the BanditsLoyola (Ill.) Assistant to Join Thunder Pitching Staff

ROCKFORD, Ill. – Rockford Thunder Pro Fastpitch has acquired infielder Jessica Williams, outfielder Amanda Williams, pitcher Missy Beseres and catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest from the Chicago Bandits in exchange for a first and second round draft pick, team General Manager Aaron M. Moore announced today.

“This is a great deal for both clubs,” said Moore. “The players we’re acquiring from the Bandits will have an immediate impact with our team for the 2007 season and they help fill some holes and add some depth we were missing last season.”

“Each of these players will make an immediate contribution to the Thunder and will help create a more active rivalry between Chicago and Rockford next season”, said Bandits owner Bill Conroy. “This was one of the most difficult decisions we had to make this off-season and it is never easy to trade such great talent” he added.

Originally the 16th overall pick in the 2006 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Draft out of Marshall (W. Va.) University, Amanda Williams played primarily in centerfield for Chicago during the 2006 season. She collected 23 hits in 90 at-bats to record a .256 batting average. She tied for third on the team with six stolen bases.

Beseres, a graduate of Penn State University and all-time Nittany Lions win leader with 53, was the 26th overall selection made in the 2006 NPF Draft. As a member of the Bandits in 2006, she pitched 16 1/3 innings in the circle, recording a 1.74 earned run average. She finished the season with a 2-1 record and three saves. Beseres was named an assistant coach at Loyola (Ill.) University on August 30.

Drafted as the 30th and final selection of the 2006 NPF Draft, Jessica Williams, recorded 19 at-bats in her rookie season, collecting four hits. Williams attended Marshall with her twin sister Amanda, where they both starred for the Thundering Herd.

Also joining the Thunder for their inaugural season in Rockford will be Vandergeest. Vandergeest was the starting catcher for Jennie Finch at Arizona and was a member of the University of Arizona championship team in 2001. The right-handed hitting catcher recorded 87 at-bats in 2006 and finished with three home runs and 12 runs batted in.

For more information on the Thunder or to purchase season tickets for the 2007 season, contact Aaron M. Moore, general manager, at (815) 965-7000 or amoore@thunderprofastpitch.com. Season ticket purchases made by October 31 will qualify for a $25 discount. For additional information on the team, visit them on the web at www.thunderprofastpitch.com.

For more information about the Chicago Bandits, please contact 877-7BANDIT or go to their website at www.chicagobandits.com. The Bandits are now offering fans the opportunity to purchase full season, half-season and mini-season ticket plans for 50% of regular price from now until December 31, 2006.

About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Denver, Colo. 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 Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).

- THUNDER -