Baton Rouge, La. – Veteran star Kelly Kretschman of the USSSA Pride took home her third consecutive Player of the Year honor to top the major awards handed out by National Pro Fastpitch, Wednesday night at the Crowne Plaza.
Kretschman, whose Player of the Year award was presented by Park Planet, also won the Best Offensive Performance honor presented by Louisville Slugger after hitting a league-record .500 during the regular season with six home runs and 19 RBI. She led the league in batting, on-base percentage (.623) and slugging (.793), while finishing second in runs scored with 33.
Scrap Yard Dawgs Monica Abbott was selected Pitcher of the Year presented by Diamond, marking the sixth time she's won the award. The former Lady Vol finished 17-3, posted over 200 strikeouts for the third time in her career with 213 and was second in the league with a 1.09 ERA.
Chelsea Goodacre of the Pride was named the Gold Glove Award winner presented by Rawlings, which is awarded to the league's top defensive player. Shelby Pendley also of the Pride was recognized as Home Run Champion (presented by Wilson/DeMarini), leading the league with 14 round-trippers.
The host for this year’s championship, LSU, saw one of its former players recognized as Bailey Landry of the Texas Charge was named Rookie of the Year presented by 805 Stats and the Jennie Finch Award for success both on and off the field. Landry hit .348 for the season (fourth in the league) with 29 runs scored, five home runs, 11 stolen bases and 18 RBI. The Finch Award was started by the league after the personable star pitcher retired in 2010.
A new award was presented by Crowne Trophy for the umpire of the year, Craig Hyde. Hyde has umpired for 38 years and in July was named named the NCAA national coordinator of softball umpires.
Recently retired Southern University Coach Roger Cador presented the Rally Spikes Award from 3n2 to Texas Charge's Taylor Gadbois, the league’s leader in stolen bases (25).
Four-time regular season champions USSSA Pride, led by the coaching staff of Lonni Alameda, Craig Snider and Travis Wilson boasted a 40-9 mark. The staff and team members were presented their awards by Vaultz.
A video was shown saluting LSU’s Geaux Teal program and Tiger head coach Beth Torina to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, a program that started small and has grown in numbers of participants and money raised. The NPF will be participating as well with events at Tiger Park during the championship series.
Held on the eve of the annual NPF Championship Series that begins Thursday at LSU’s Tiger Park, the action gears up with USSSA Pride versus the Chicago Bandits at 5 p.m. CT and the Scrap Yard Dawgs and Akron Racers in the 8 p.m. CT nightcap in the best-of-3 semifinals. The championship is set to be decided on Sunday.
Catcher - Chelsea Goodacre, USSSA Pride
1B - Hallie Wilson, USSSA Pride
2B - Emily Carosone, Chicago Bandits
3B - Natalie Hernandez, Chicago Bandits
SS - Shelby Pendley, USSSA Pride
OF - Taylor Gadbois, Texas Charge
OF - Kelly Kretschman, USSSA Pride
OF - Bailey Landry, Texas Charge
DP - Lauren Haeger, Texas Charge
At Large - AJ Andrews, Akron Racers
At-Large - Allexis Bennett, Scrap Yard Dawgs
At-Large - Brittany Cervantes, Scrap Yard Dawgs
At-Large - Sahvanna Jaquish, Chicago Bandits
At-Large - Shellie Robinson, Akron Racers
At-Large - Sierra Romero, USSSA Pride
At-Large - Nadia Taylor, Texas Charge
Pitcher - Monica Abbott, Scrap Yard Dawgs
Pitcher - Dallas Escobedo, Texas Charge
Pitcher - Keilani Ricketts, USSSA Pride
Pitcher - Jordan Taylor, USSSA Pride
-- Courtesy of NPF