ROSEMONT, Ill. - Amanda Chidester of the Chicago Bandits was the unanimous 2019 National Pro Fastpitch Park Planet Player of the Year, announced the league on Wednesday evening from Gene and Georgetti’s Steakhouse. Chidester also took home the Offensive Player of the Year Award presented by Louisville Slugger and the Home Run Award presented by Wilson.
Chidester and the Bandits open play against the USSSA Pride Thursday night, Aug. 15 in game one of the best-of-five 2019 NPF Championship Series at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT. It marks the fourth time in the last five years these two teams will duel for the title with the Pride making their 10th consecutive appearance.
USSSA’s Jolene Henderson earned her second consecutive Diamond Sports Pitcher of the Year Award after the right-hander was 10-4 with 1.99 ERA, 58 strikeouts in a league-high 91.1 innings of work. She tossed two shutouts and one perfect game.
USSSA Pride third baseman, Jessie Warren took home the prestigious Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Warren committed just one error in 102 chances, recording 35 putouts and 66 assists.
Abbey Cheek, of the Chicago Bandits secured the 805Stats Rookie of the Year Award after the third baseman posted exceptional numbers in her first year at the professional level. The 2019 Schutt Sports/NFCA and SEC Player of the Year became the first rookie since 2007 win the batting title, posting a .378 average at the plate.
Softball America presented the inaugural Legacy Award to Pride veteran outfielder, Kelly Kretschman. In accepting the award, Kretschman announced she would retire at the end of the season. She went on to thank everyone for the opportunities she had been given through playing professional softball in the NPF for more than a decade.
Sammy Marshall of the Cleveland Comets took home the Stolen Base Award presented by Crown Trophy of Boulder, with a league leading 22 thefts.
Outfielder, Victoria Hayward, of the Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois, was named the 2019 recipient of the Jennie Finch Award.
The Chicago Bandits coaching staff of Lauren Lappin, Amber Flores, and Lance McMahon, captured the NPF Coaching Staff of the Year honors after the first-year crew guided the Bandits to the NPF’s regular-season title with a record of 38-7. The award marks the first time for a head coach that also played professionally in the NPF.
Scott Mair received the Umpire of the Year honor, presented by ZebraWeb, as a result of his continued excellence behind the plate and supporting roles as a base umpire.
2019 All-NPF Team, presented by Easton
Catcher: Chelsea Goodacre, USSSA Pride
First base: Amanda Chidester, Chicago Bandits
Second base: Abby Ramirez, Chicago Bandits
Third base: Jessie Warren, USSSA Pride
Shortstop: Hannah Flippen, Chicago Bandits
Outfield: Allexis Bennett, USSSA Pride
Outfield: Victoria Hayward, Canadian Wild
Outfield: Brenna Moss, Chicago Bandits
Designated Player: Kelly Kretschman, USSSA Pride
At-large: Sydney Romero, USSSA Pride
At-large: Rachele Fico, Chicago Bandits
At-large: Jennifer Gilbert, Canadian Wild
At-large: Abbey Cheek, Chicago Bandits
At-large: Gwen Svekis, Chicago Bandits
Pitcher: Jolene Henderson, USSSA Pride
Pitcher: Sara Groenewegen, Canadian Wild
Pitcher: Aleshia Ocasio, Chicago Bandits
Pitcher: Taran Alvelo, USSSA Pride
-- Information Courtesy of NPF