There's Another Cup In Town
By Diane Turner-Hurns
Journal & Topics Reporter
Following the Rosemont-based Chicago Bandits third National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) championship victory Aug. 17, in Hoover, AL, the team continues to be recognized at local events while displaying the coveted NPF 2015 Cowles Cup throughout the village.
The team is made up of 23 players from around the area and nation, most drafted after completing their senior year in college sports programs. Many coach college softball teams and continue to work in the sport in the offseason.
To celebrate the team’s first two NPF national championships the team would have held a celebration event where each player would receive their championship ring just prior to the start of the next season.
“That’s when everyone is in town and we bring in the former players for the event,” Bandits Director of Community Relations Jacquie Boatman told the Journal & Topics Newspapers. However, this year the team was feted with a fan meet-and-greet at the Ballpark in Rosemont when they returned from Alabama on Aug. 19.
The Chicago Sky WNBA team, which plays at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, celebrated the Bandits win during halftime of their Aug. 21 game against the Washington Mystics.
The cup made a trip to Rosemont Village Hall earlier in the day Friday, Aug. 21, when Mayor Brad Stephens met with coaches and players.
“Most of the team members flew home after the championship game,” Boatman said. “But we had a few players here who were able to participate in the events.”
Boatman said about 40 fans showed up for the meet-and-greet at the Ballpark to celebrate the championship with about 15 team members.
“It was a nice crowd of all ages and many families. We had refreshments and everyone got to see the Cowles Cup,” Boatman said.
Chicago Bandits coach Mike Steuerwald, centerfielder Emily Allard and second baseman Daniele Zymkowitz, who works as an assistant softball coach at the University of Toledo, all met with Mayor Stephens Aug. 21.
“The cup indeed made it to Village Hall,” Boatman said.
Zymkowitz, Bandits owner Bill Sokolis, first baseman Brittany Cervantes and shortstop Tammy Williams, who scored the winning run in the championship game, along with Steuerwald were recognized during halftime at the Chicago Sky basketball game. The team hoisted the Cowles Cup to the thrill of the crowd, Boatman said.
Like the NHL’s Stanley Cup won by the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this summer, the Cowles Cup continues to take victory laps. This week some members of the team will take the cup to team sponsors and are expected to make some Rosemont stops as well.
“As soon as we have a schedule for any Rosemont Cowles Cup trips we will let everyone know,” Boatman said.
The Bandits have been members of the NPF league since 2005. The Ballpark at Rosemont is the only stadium in the country built for a women's professional team.
The Bandits also won the championship in 2008 and 2011.
The Cowles Cup will stay in Rosemont until the team leaves for the 2016 Championship Series next summer. Anyone can view the Cup at the Bandits offices at 27 Jennie Finch Way anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.