Following another shutout performance behind the arm of Monica Abbott in the second game of the championship series, the Chicago Bandits were crowned the 2015 NPF Champions after a two-game sweep over the perennial-favorite USSSA Pride.
The game marked the end of the careers of several players, including pitcher Cat Osterman for the Pride and third baseman Amber Patton for the Bandits. Others, including Bandits infielder Tammy Williams and Pride utility player Natasha Watley and catcher Megan Willis, are rumored to have seen their last playing action, as well.
Osterman pitched both games of the championship series and took the loss both days, providing a less-than-stellar end to an otherwise-incredible professional career.
Monica Abbott, equally as legendary, went head-to-head with Osterman in both games and emerged victorious, bringing the Cowles Cup back to Chicago for the first time since 2011. Abbott was named MVP of the championship series, during which she gave up just four hits and no runs in fourteen innings pitched. She struck out thirteen and walked three.
Osterman, for her part, was similarly effective, only giving up seven hits and two runs in the two ball games. The offense behind her just could not get it going and she was the hard-luck loser two nights in a row. Neither of Osterman's runs given-up were earned.
The championship comes just one season after the Bandits didn't even make the championship series, falling in the semifinal round to the Akron Racers in 2014.
The Racers and the Dallas Charge rounded out the championship-contending field in Hoover this year, though both were swept in best-of-three series' by the Bandits and Pride, respectively.