KIMBERLY, Wisc. After 263 regular season games and six post-season games, National Pro Fastpitch has a new champion, as the Washington Glory knocked off the Rockford Thunder 3-1 in Sunday's championship game.
Washington, who was an expansion team in the league, was the top NPF team all season long. The Glory won the regular season title with a record of 34-10 and followed that up by going 3-0 in the postseason.
Oli Keohohou was again the dagger in the side of the Thunder, not with the long ball. Keohohou, who had hit four home runs against Rockford during the regular season, hit a 2-2 pitch from Serena Settlemier just over the outstretched glove of Lindsay Gardner for an RBI single.
Washington wasn't finished scoring in the inning. Nichole Thompson delivered what would be the decisive hit of the game, a long two-RBI double off of the right centerfield fence to score pinch runner Brooke Marnitz and Amber Jackson.
The Thunder didn't go quietly and actually had their best offensive innings after falling behind. They loaded the bases in the sixth inning after consecutive hits by Jackie Wong and Kristen Zaleski and a free pass to catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest. Kim Wendland was next and hit a high fly ball to second base to end the threat.
In the seventh the Thunder would get on the board for the first time. Erin Evans led off the inning with a hit and came around to score on Wong's second hit of the game. She would be stranded at second base when Zaleski hit a smash right to the centerfield Kelly Kretschman to end the inning and game.
Serena Settlemier was the tough-luck loser in the ballgame. She went the distance for the Thunder allowing just three hits in the game, all of which came during the Glory third inning.
Glory and Team USA pitcher Monica Abbott picked up the win for Washington. She pitched the first five innings and didn't allow a run to the Thunder. The win was her second of the weekend over Rockford, the first being a no-hitter on Saturday morning. With her efforts Abbott was named the NPF Championship Series Most Valuable Player.