NPF Season Reaches Midway Point
NORMAN – Four former Sooners have reached the halfway point of the 2015 National Pro Fastpitch season, and all find themselves in first or second place in the league standings.
Watch NPF on TV
|The NPF and CBS Sports Network have have signed an agreement making CBS Sports Network the exclusive television home of NPF for the second consecutive season and expands the overall coverage package of NPF action. Below is a schedule of all remaining TV games involving former Sooners. A full schedule can be found here.|
|Monday||7/13||6 pm||Chicago at USSSA|
|Tuesday||7/14||6 p.m.||Chicago at USSSA|
|Monday||7/27||7 p.m.||USSSA at Chicago|
|Tuesday||7/28||7 p.m.||USSSA at Chicago|
|Monday||8/3||6 p.m.||Dallas at USSSA|
|Tuesday||8/4||6 p.m.||Dallas at USSSA|
|Friday||8/14||5 p.m.||NPF Semis|
|Friday||8/14||8 p.m.||NPF Semis|
|Saturday||8/15||11 a.m.||NPF Semis|
|Saturday||8/15||2 p.m.||NPF Semis|
|Sunday||8/16||2 p.m.||NPF Championship|
|Monday||8/17||7 p.m.||NPF Championship|
|Tuesday||8/18||7 p.m.||NPF Championship*|
|(CT)||* If Needed|
Pitcher Michelle Gascoigne and her Chicago Bandits enter the weekend with the league’s best record at 20-6, while pitcher Keilani Ricketts and rookie infielders Lauren Chamberlain and Shelby Pendley of the USSSA Pride are three games back with a 15-7 mark.
A two-time All-NPF selection, Gascoigne is in her third season with the Bandits. In a team-high 42.1 inning this year, she’s posted a 1.98 earned run average and 4-1 record with a pair of shutouts. She’s pitched in seven games with five starts, striking out 40 batters and walking 16 while limiting opponents to a .173 batting average.
Within the NPF, Gascoigne has the third-best strikeout total, fourth-lowest opponent’s average and the seventh-lowest ERA.
Gascoigne earned her first win of the season on June 10 with a 5-0 shutout win over the Pennsylvania Rebellion, giving up just two hits while striking out four in seven innings. After striking out eight batters in an 11-3 win over the Akron Racers on June 19, Gascoigne had arguably her best outing of the season on July 2.
Facing the Pride and three of her former teammates, Gascoigne outdueled defending NPF Pitcher of the Year Cat Osterman in a 2-0 victory. Gascoigne struck out seven and gave up just two hits, though one was to Chamberlain.
Like Gascoigne, Ricketts is in her third season in the NPF, all with the USSSA Pride. After being a two-way star at OU as a pitcher and hitter, the two-time USA Softball Player of the Year has been used exclusively in the circle this season.
In 24.1 innings this year, Ricketts has gone 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA (eighth best in the league and right behind Gascoigne) and 25 strikeouts to just three walks for a team-best strikeout-to-walk ratio of 8.3-to-1. She’s started four games with one appearance in relief.
Twice this season Ricketts has notched seven strikeouts in a contest, doing so in wins against Akron on June 21 and July 8. Her other win came in relief during a 3-2, 10-inning win over Chicago on June 29. Ricketts entered in the fifth inning and threw 4.1 scoreless innings while striking out five.
Chamberlain and Pendley are each in their first year with the Pride after immensely successful careers at OU.
Playing in 20 of 22 games this year, Chamberlain has posted a .231 batting average with three home runs and five runs scored. She’s slugging .404 and getting on base at a .355 clip thanks to eight walks, a figure that ranks second on the team.
Chamberlain, who was profiled recently on SI.com, hit her first career homer on June 26 as she launched a two-run shot in the top of the 11th inning to help the Pride beat the Rebellion, 4-2.
Pendley, who has appeared in 21 games for the Pride this season, leads the team with 12 runs scored. She is also second on the squad in doubles (3), third in hits (19), home runs (3), walks (7) and RBI (9), fourth in slugging (.470) and fifth in average (.288) and OBP (.356).
She told the Albuquerque Journal that it has been a “dream come true” to play professionally. She announced her arrival in her NPF debut on June 6, going 4-4 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and three RBI.
The three former Sooners all played a role in the team’s 5-1 win over Akron in game two of a doubleheader on July 8. Ricketts got the win, while Pendley and Chamberlain each homered in the fourth inning.Regular season play in the NPF runs until August 11 before the NPF Championship Series begins August 14 in Hoover, Ala.