The Chicago Bandits, part of the women’s National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, kickoff their 2015 season with a home opener Thursday, June 4 against the Akron Racers at The Ballpark at Rosemont, 27 Jennie Finch Way.
New top players, returning stars and a new mascot will greet fans as the team begins its 11th season, which runs from June through August. Pre-season games begin May 24 with a matchup against the Pennsylvania Rebellion at 6 p.m. also in Rosemont.
One of the new members of the team includes Sammy Marshall, of the Western Illinois University softball team, who was drafted by the Bandits recently.
Also new to the team are twins Tatum and Taylor Edwards who played at the University of Nebraska before making their NPF debuts last season with the Pennsylvania Rebellion. Taylor, a catcher, had a .241 batting average in 32 games last year and Tatum pitched in 30 innings to earn a 1-3 record.
For the 2015 season, the Bandits look to improve their 30-18 record from last year placing them second overall in the NPF.
Returning players include pitchers Sara Moulton, Kirsten Verdun and All-NPF Team honoree Michelle Gascoigne. Infield returning veterans include Brittany Cervantes at first base, Tammy Williams at shortstop, Danielle Zymkowitz at second base and Amber Patton at third. In the outfield will be Emily Allard, RT Cantillo and Alex Booker.
Former Bandits players include celebrated NPF stars Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson and Tammy Williams.
The team is owned by Bill Sokolis.
The Ballpark at Rosemont is the only stadium in the U.S. built for a female professional team, according to team officials. The NPF is headquartered in Nashville, TN.
At the June 4 home opener the Bandits will introduce their new mascot who will be named May 1 to the public. The mascot can be seen on the team’s website.