Chicago Bandits Clinch NPF's Regular-Season Title
The Chicago Bandits clinched the 2019 National Pro Fastpitch regular-season title on Wednesday night with a 9–1 win over the Beijing Eagles.
Chicago, which currently owns a record of 36–7 for the 2019 NPF campaign, has two games remaining in its regular season before the start of postseason play. The 2019 NPF Championship Series will take place between the Bandits and reigning-champion USSSA Pride Aug. 15–19 at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, Ill. The winner of that best-of-five set, which will be a rematch of last year's championship, will be awarded the Cowles Cup.
The Bandits, who have been members of the NPF since 2005, last won the Cowles Cup in 2016. Overall, the Bandits and Pride each possess four league titles, with Chicago winning in 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2016 and USSSA taking home the hardware in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2018.
This season, the Bandits have been led in the circle by Rachele Fico, Haylie Wagner, Danielle O'Toole, Aleshia Ocasio and Kelly Barnhill. Offensively, they are paced by the bats of Amanda Chidester, Abbey Cheek, Brenna Moss and Emily Crane, among others.
Most recently, the Bandits and Pride met for a doubleheader this past weekend, which saw Chicago take both games from the injury-stricken USSSA squad. With their wins over the weekend, the Bandits snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Pride, which dated back to 2018.
The two teams will meet again this weekend to close out the 2019 NPF regular season.