Chicago Bandits History
October 14, 2004 – The Chicago Bandits are created by Bill Conroy and Bill Sokolis.
October 14, 2004 – The Bandits announce the signing of three 2004 Olympic players. Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Leah O’Brien-Amico, 2004 Olympic team alternate Jaime Clark and decorated Canadian Olympic pitcher Lauren Bay.
December 23, 2004 – Bandits announce signing of Olympic Gold Medalist Jennie Finch.
February 7, 2005 – Bandits select Amy Harre from Southern Illinois University as the first overall pick of the 2005 NPF draft.
June 2, 2005 – Bandits play first game in team history against the Australian National Team in a 6-2 victory. Anne Steffan records the first ever hit for the Bandits as Laura Harms scores first run.
June 23, 2005 – Bandits win first game against NPF opponent (Arizona Heat) in a 1-0 victory.
August 27, 2005 – Jennie Finch and Lauren Bay are named 2005 Co-Pitchers of the Year as well as members of the NPF All-Star Team. Mickey Dean and Eugene Lenti are named Co-Managers of the Year as the Bandits claim the title of 2005 Regular Season Champions. Lindsay Chouinard, Selena Collins, Jaime Clark, Vicky Galindo and Anne Steffan all join Finch and Bay as members of the NPF All-Star Team.
August 28, 2005 – Bandits drop Championship game to the Akron Racers in eight innings 5-4.
February 16, 2006 – Chicago picks up four seniors including 2008 League MVP Stacy May in the third annual NPF Draft.
March 3, 2006 – Bandits announce signing of Akron Racer Nicole Trimboli for the 2006 season.
June 2, 2006 – Chicago defeats the Venezuelan National Team 6-0 in the first game of the season.
August 26, 2006 – Bandits lose semi-final game to New England Riptide 1-0 in nine innings.
August 26, 2006 – Stacy May is awarded Nokona American Glove award as Rookie of the Year as well as All-NPF Team honors. Mickey Dean and Eugene Lenti receive the Diamond Sports Co-Manager of the Year award. The Bandits pick up their second consecutive Majestic Regular Season Championship. Jaime Clark, Anne Steffan, Selena Collins and Amy Harre are awarded All-NPF Team honors.
February 14, 2007 – Bandits select college standouts Kristie Fox, Lindsay Schutzler and Megan Willis in 2007 NPF draft.
June 2, 2007 – Bandits open season against the Venezuelan National Team with a 2-1 victory. Jennie Finch strikes out 13 in the win.
August 17, 2007 – Chicago is eliminated from the playoff series hunt in a 7-1 loss against arch rival Rockford Thunder, marking the first time in team history that the Bandits have missed post season play.
August 20, 2007 – Jaime Clark earns All-NPF Team honors.
October 30, 2007 – Bandits acquire 2007 NPF Rookie of the Year Kristina Thorson in an off-season trade with the Philadelphia Force in exchange for Amy Harre, Autumn Champion and Peaches James.
November 27, 2007 – Bandits announce Judson University in Elgin, IL as the new home of the Bandits.
February 18, 2008 – Bandits select three seniors in NPF draft including 2008 Rookie of the Year Rachel Folden.
May 25, 2008 – Bandits hold first ever open tryout and sign speedster Ashley Carlson from Radford University to fill one of the final roster spots.
May 27, 2008 – Chicago nabs Lockport, Ill. product Samantha Findlay from the University of Michigan just before the season gets underway.
June 6, 2008 – Bandits open season on their new home field with a 4-0 win against fellow NPF opponent, the Akron Racers.
Rookie Rachel Folden also drilled her first homerun of the season in the effort.
August 17, 2008 – Bandits clinch the 2008 Regular Season Title. This is the third time in four years the Bandits have won a Regular Season Championship.
August 22, 2008 – Chicago edges out the New England Riptide 4-1 in game one of the Championship Series.
August 22, 2008 – Bandits clean up in post season awards as Rachel Folden earns the Nokona American Glove Rookie of the Year, Jaime Clark receives Nokona American Glove Offensive Player of the Year, Head Coach Mickey Dean and his staff earns Diamond Sports Coaching Staff of the Year and Stacy May receives Majestic Athletic NPF Player of the Year. May, Folden and Clark also rake in All-NPF Team honors.
August 23, 2008 – Bandits move one step closer to the Championship game by defeating the Philadelphia Force with a score of 5-1.
August 24, 2008 – Chicago captures its first ever Championship Series victory as the orange and black defeat the Washington Glory 6-4 in Kimberly, Wisc., and Nicole Trimboli earns Championship Series MVP for her efforts in the win.
September 1, 2008 – Bill Sokolis takes over as principal and sole owner of the Bandits after previous principal owner Bill Conroy steps down.
January 16, 2009 – Bandits host Bandit Ball-looza weekend event, highlighted by a formal ceremony where the 2008 squad receives their Championship rings.
January 16, 2009 – Bandits great Jaime Clark announces her retirement.
February 17, 2009 – Chicago selects five in 2009 NPF Draft, including future 2009 Rookie of the Year Tammy Wiliams from Northwestern University. Other draft picks included Izmena Cabrera (Sacramento State), Jamie Schloredt (Sacramento State), Brandice Balschmiter (UMASS) and Amber Patton (DePaul University)
June 3, 2009 – Bandits open their fifth season at home against the Philadelphia Force with a 5-1 victory
June 16, 2009 – Bandits pitcher Jennie Finch pitches a perfect game in Philadelphia against the Force, pushing the Bandits to 9-2 on the season.
June 29, 2009 – Chicago Bandits and Schaumburg Flyers (Men’s Independent Pro Baseball Team, from the Northern League) agree to first-ever “Battle of the Sexes” to take place July 27, 2009
July 13, 2009 – International relations hamper Bandits-Venezuela Series. Bandits replace Venezuelan series with local 18U and Majors teams. Replacement teams draw best attendance crowds of ’09 season to date.
July 27, 2009 – Bandits defeat Schaumburg Flyers 4-2 in first-ever “Battle of the Sexes.” Victory took place in front of a record setting crowd of 8,918 at Alexian Field – smashing the Flyers’ season average of 4,200 people per game.
August 15, 2009 – Chicago Bandits clinch the Regular Season Championship with a 1-0 victory over Cat Osterman and the Rockford Thunder. The lone run of the game came off the bat of Bandits 3B Stacy May, when she blasted just the third pitch of the game over the fence off Osterman.
August 19, 2009 – Chicago Bandits pitcher Eileen Canney and shortstop Tammy Williams highlight the list of regular season awards in the National Pro Fastpitch. Canney was honored as the 2009 Diamond Sports NPF Pitcher of the Year. Williams brought home two awards in her first season in the NPF, the Nokona American Glove Rookie of the Year award and the 2009 Nokona American Glove Award as the NPF Defender of the Year. Other winners for the Bandits included All-NPF Team honors for Rachel Folden (catcher and 2008 Rookie of the Year), Samantha Findlay (first base), and rookie Amber Patton (outfield).
August 22, 2009 – The top seeded Chicago Bandits are knocked from the 2009 NPF Championship Series by Monica Abbott and the USSSA Florida Pride in a 2-1 series victory.
August 23, 2009 – The Rockford Thunder claim the 2009 Cowles Cup, coming out as the top team after the 2009 National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series.
October 22, 2009 – Chicago Bandits reorganize front office, bring in Rockford Thunder GM Aaron M. Moore to run the show, and re-sign Andrew Phillips and Hannah Michal
November 3, 2009 – Sulphur, Louisiana, is announced as the host of the 2010 National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series to be held August 24-27, 2010
November 16, 2009 – USSSA officially purchases NPF Franchise (the USSSA Florida Pride)
January 5, 2010 – NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf announces the creation of the Tennessee Diamonds, a new expansion team set to play in Maryville, Tenn.
January 20, 2010 – Chicago Bandits and Rockford RiverHawks (Men’s Independent Pro Baseball Team, from the Northern League) announce June 17 Battle of the Sexes game to be played at Road Ranger Stadium in Rockford, Ill. – home of the RiverHawks.
January 21, 2010 – Chicago Bandits and Joliet Jackhammers (Men’s Independent Pro Baseball Team, from the Northern League) announce August 9 Battle of the Sexes game to be played in Joliet, Ill. at Silver Cross Field – home of the Jackhammers.
January 22, 2010 – Bandits sign Jessica Sallinger, Ashley Holcombe and Emily Friedman. Sallinger played a large role in the 2008 Cowles Cup victory for the Chicago Bandits. Chicago also releases long-time veteran 2B Kristie Fox.
January 28, 2010 – Bandits trim roster further before 2010 NPF Draft, released Cheyenne Jenks, Jamie Schloredt, Izmena Cabrera, Aileen Morales, Gina Oaks and Brandice Balschmiter.
February 1, 2010 – Bandits release OF Ashley Carlson
February 10, 2010 – Bandits trade long-time outfielder Nicole Trimboli to USSSA Pride for a 2010 draft pick, hours before ’10 NPF Draft
February 10, 2010 – Bandits draft P Nikki Nemitz (Michigan), SS Amberly Waits (Louisiana Tech University), OF Nenna Bryant (Oregon), OF Rachel Mitchell (LSU), SS Christine Knauer (UNC) and Angela Findlay (Michigan).
February 12, 2010 – Former Chicago Bandits OF/SS Laura Harms is inducted into the Bradley Bourbonnais Hall-of-Fame. On the same day, Bandits pitcher Jennie Finch is selected as the 2009 USA Softball Athlete of the Year
February 23, 2010 – Bandits announce first-ever “Chicago Bandits Golf Classic,” an open golf outing to be held July 13 at Marengo Ridge Golf Course in Marengo, Ill.
June 20, 2010 – Chicago Bandits set to open 2010 season against Akron Racers in a “Sunday Night Softball” Opening Day Celebration
July 9, 2010 – Jennie Finch pitches a perfect game against the Akron Racers at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, Ill in a home away from home game.
August 22, 2010 – Chicago Bandits clinch first place bid for playoffs with a USSSA loss. Also clinch their fifth regular season championship in six seasons of existance.
August 29, 2010 – Despite a valiant effort, Chicago Bandits are defeated in game three of the 2010 NPF Championship Series, giving the USSSA Florida Pride their first championship in team history. Stacy May and Jennie Finch officially end their professional careers with retirement.
November 2, 2010 – Bandits trade pitcher Kristina Thorson to the Akron Racers in exchange for pitcher and two-time ESPY Taryne Mowatt.
November 5, 2010 – The Bandits break ground in Rosemont, Ill. at the location of their new stadium set to open for the 2011 season. Owner Bill Sokolis, catcher Rachel Folden and retired pitcher are all on hand for the ceremony where it is announced the stadium will be located at 27 Jennie Finch Way in honor of her illustrious career.
November 10, 2010 – Darrick Brown is hired as the new head coach for the 2011 season.
December 2, 2010 – Bandits announce the creation of the “Rumble in Rosemont Midwest Invitation” tournament series. The fastpitch tournament will feature teams from across the country competing for the title of Rumble in Rosemont Champions. Teams will have the opportunity to compete on the The Ballpark at Rosemont field, home of the Chicago Bandits.
January 5, 2011 – Shortstop Tammy Williams re-signs with the Bandits for the 2011 season after spending a year in Japan playing for Team USA
January 19, 2011 – Bandits release IF Amberly Waits and OF Rachel Mitchell
February 15, 2011 – In a press conference held in Rosemont, Ill., Monica Abbott is offically introduced as a Bandit along with Taryne Mowatt. Caitlin Lever is also on hand to sign her contract for the 2011 season.
March 18, 2011 – The Bandits select 1B Dorian Shaw (Michigan), OF Megan Wiggins (Georgia), 3B Alisa Goler (Georgia) and 2B/SS Kristen Shifflett (Radford) in the 2011 NPF Draft.
April 20, 2011 – The NPF announces the launch of the Twenty for 20 campaign. This fundraising campaign is designed to raise league funding, which will secure a future for the sport of softball and the girls who dream of playing in the NPF.
May 28, 2011 – Bandits announce the signing of UT Alexis Jager (WMU), IF Robin Thompson (Northwestern), OF Amanda Williams (Marshall), and IF Danielle Zymkowitz (Illinois) following open tryouts.
May 30, 2011 – Bandits veteran Emily Friedman announces her retirement from professional softball.
June 4, 2011 – The Bandits offically open The Ballpark at Rosemont with a 10-0 exhibition win over the Bloomington Lady Hearts. The Bandits wore special uniforms honoring the Chicago Colleens of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.
June 7, 2011 – In the first Battle of the Sexes game to ever be played in a softbal stadium, the Bandits defeat the Will County CrackerJacks by a score of 6-2.
June 16, 2011 – On opening night at The Ballpark at Rosemont, Monica Abbott allows just one hit and zero runs scored in a 1-0 victory over the USSSA Pride.
June 24, 2011 – Abbott strikes out 18, setting a new NPF record for most strikeouts in a seven inning game, in a 10-0 win over the Akron Racers.
June 30, 2011 – Cubs pitcher, Carlos Zambrano, pays a special visit to The Ballpark at Rosemont prior to the Bandits matchup against the NPF Diamonds to throw the first pitch. The Bandits went on to a 4-0 victory.
July 3, 2011 – Just a few days after signing a contract with the Bandits, pitcher Donna Bourgeois makes her professional debut in a 7-4 win over the NPF Diamonds.
July 12, 2011 – The NPF annouces that ESPN2 and ESPN3.com will carry coverage of the 2011 NPF Championship Series held in Sulphur, La.
July 12, 2011 – The four man team, King and His Court, make a stop at The Ballpark at Rosemont on their farewell tour. Went on to beat the Bandits 6-1 during an entertaining game that was full of tricks and laughs.
July 14, 2011 – Bandits sign catcher Jenna Grim from Loyola University Chicago.
July 31, 2011 – Bandits are honored before the Chicago White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field for all their accomplishments during the 2011 season. Fans also had the chance to meet Bandits players during the game.
August 1, 2011 – Two-time MVP Stacy May-Johnson annouces she is ditching retirement and will be joing the Bandits for the final month of the 2011 season.
August 18, 2011 – Pitcher Monica Abbott and Alisa Goler highlight the regular season awards in the NPF. Abbott was honored as the Co-Pitcher of the Year with Cat Osterman as well as being selected to the All-NPF Team. Goler was named Miken Rookie of the Year as well as being crowned the Worth Home Run Champion. Megan Wiggins (outfield) was also selected to the All-NPF Team.
August 21, 2011 – The Bandits capture their 2nd NPF Championship in three years after defeating the USSSA Pride, 10-3, in game two of the 2011 NPF Championship Series. Monica Abbott is named MVP of the series after pitching the Bandits to victory recording 30 strikeouts and a 2.17 ERA in 29 innings pitched.
December 20, 2011 – The Village of Rosemont announces that they have won the bid to host the 2012 and 2013 NPF Championship Series. All Championship Series games for 2012 and 2013 will be played in the Ballpark at Rosemont, home of the Chicago Bandits
January 4, 2012 – Alisa Goler, the 2011 NPF Rookie of the Year, re-signs with the Bandits through the 2013 season
January 5, 2012 – Darrick Brown resigns as head coach after leading the Bandits to the 2011 NPF Championship in his first year as a coach in the NPF
January 23, 2012 – The Bandits release three from the 2011 Championship squad; infielders Christine Knauer, Stacy May-Johnson and Robin Thompson
January 24, 2012 – The NPF announces that the Diamonds franchise has been purchased by owners Amelia Nemeth and Alan Damaske and will be based out Charlotte, North Carolina. The team will be compete as the Carolina Diamonds, making them the fourth franchise in the NPF
January 24, 2012 – Bandits announce that All-NPF selection, Danielle Zymkowtiz, has signed for the 2012 season
January 30, 2012 – All-NPF selection, Megan Wiggins, signs a contract extension through the 2013 season
March 8, 2012 – Bandits select OF Kimi Pohlman (Washington), OF Katie Schroeder (UCLA), P Stephanie Ricketts (Hawaii) and IF Adrienne Monka (Northwestern) in the 2012 NPF Senior Draft
March 26, 2012 – 2011 Co-Pitcher of the Year and Playoff MVP, Monica Abbott re-signs with the Bandits for the 2012 season
April 4, 2012 – Bandits announce Mike Steuerwald and Keith Berg as the Associate Head Coaches for the season
June 2, 2012 – OF Amanda Williams (Marshall), IF/OF Brittany Cervantes (Kentucky), P Chanda Bell (Kentucky) and OF Evangelina Galindo (Maryland) sign with the Bandits following open tryouts
June 7, 2012 – Bandits open up the season at home with a 4-1 victory over the USSSA Pride. Before the game, the 2011 Championship banner is unveiled and the Bandits offically retire the numbers of Laura Harms and Stacy May-Johnson.
June 9, 2012 – Monica Abbott pitches a no-hitter in a 1-0 shutout of the USSSA Pride. In a pre-game ceremony, the Bandits offically retire the number of legendary pitcher, Jennie Finch, as well as honor members of the 2011 Championship team with a special ring ceremony
June 19, 2012 – Bandits sign P Michelle Moses from Fresno State University
July 31, 2012 – P Meagan Denny-White is released from the team
August 1, 2012 – Bandits announce the signing of US National Team member and former Mizzou standout, OF Rhea Taylor
August 11, 2012 – Bandits secure #2 seed in 2012 Championship Series, prepare to face #3 seed Carolina Diamonds in first round
August 23, 2012 – At the 2012 NPF Awards Banquet, P Monica Abbbott honored as Pitcher of the Year. 3B Amber Patton win Spikes Stolen Bases Award along with being named Co-Defensive Player of the Year with Akron’s Kelly Montalvo and OF Megan Wiggins is crowned Home Run Champion. Abbott, Patton, Wiggins and IF Vicky Galindo are also selected to the All-NPF Team
August 24, 2012 – Bandits secure spot in Championship Final after defeating the Carolina Diamonds two games to none in the best-of-three series.
August 25, 2012 – With a 2-1 victory over the USSSA Pride, the Bandits take a one game lead over in the best-of-three series
August 26, 2012 – The NPF announces that there will be no 2012 Champion as rain cancels the Championship Final for the Bandits and the USSSA Pride. Plan is put into place to implement post-season policies and procedures in case an event such as a rain cancellation occurs in the future during the Championship Series
September 19, 2012 – Bandit legend Jennie Finch is inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony that took place at Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero, Ill.
December 20, 2012 – Former Northwestern University Wildcat, SS Tammy Williams signs on for another season with the Bandits
January 4, 2013 – 2B Danielle Zymkowitz re-signs contract with Bandits for 2013 season
January 9, 2013 – Bandits announce C Kristin Butler will be back behind the plate in 2013
January 23, 2013 – P Nikki Nemitz & 2012 All-NPF selection IF Vicky Galindo re-sign thier contracts for the upcomoing season
January 23, 2013 – Owner’s approve committee’s re-structuring plan for the NPF Championship Series. Click here to read more about the changes.
February 4, 2013 – C Shannon Doepking announces her retirement after five seasons in the NPF. Drafted by the Akron Racers out of the University of Tennessee in 2008, she was traded to the USSSA Pride the following year and later the Tennessee Diamonds before spending her final two seasons behind the plate for the Bandits
February 8, 2013 – Bandits announce the contracts of 3B Amber Patton, OF Brittany Cervantes and C Jenna Grim have all been re-signed for the 2013 season
February 11, 2013 – NPF announces that the Carolina Diamonds franchise has been purchased by President and General Manager, Michael Neuwrith and will be headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The team will compete as the NY/NJ Comets, the fourth franchise in the NPF
February 22, 2013 – General Manager, Aaron M. Moore announces that two-time NPF Pitcher of the Year, Monica Abbott’s contract has been renewed for the 2013 season
March 12, 2013 – Bandits announce that they have signed 2012 first round draft pick, OF Kimi Pohlman to a one-year contract
April 1, 2013 – Bandits select P Jolene Henderson (Cal), P Michelle Gascoigne (Oklahoma), OF Maggie Hull (Kansas), OF Raven Chavanne (Tennessee), P Mel Dumezich (Texas A&M), and UT Jenna Marston (Mizzou) in the 2013 NPF Senior Draft
April 30, 2013 – Bandits announce that Eri Yamada and Kazuki Watanabe of the Japan Softball league have signed contracts for the 2013 season, making them just the second and third Japanese players to sign with the NPF behind Ayumi Karino of the Akron Racers
May 3, 2013 – Owner Bill Sokolis announces Mike Steuerwald will return as head coach while Jimmy Kolaitis will step in as assistant coach
May 31, 2013 – Bandits sign free agent P Andi Williamson out of Marshall University to a contract for 2013
June 1, 2013 – IF Nerissa Myers signs with the team following open tryouts (Louisiana)
August 17, 2013 – Bandits clinch the 2013 Regular Season Championship and earn an automatic bid to the NPF Championship Series with a 3-1 victory over the USSSA Pride
August 19, 2013 – 2B Vicky Galindo becomes just the fourth player in franchsie history to have her jersey retired. Galindo announced she would retire following the conclusion of the 2013 season afer eight years in the NPF. Her #19 jersey joins Jennie Finch, Stacy May and Laura Harms in having her number retired.
August 21, 2013 – The Bandits hold their first end-of-the-year banquet at Victoria Banquest in Rosemont, Ill. Megan Wiggins was named the team’s MVP and Most Outstanding Offensive Performer, while Monica Abbott was honored as the team’s Pitcher of the Year, Tammy Williams as the Defensive Player of the Year, Vicky Galindo with the Laura Harms Award and Andi Williamson as the Rookie of the Year. All awards handed out were voted on by the fans
August 22, 2013 – At the 2013 NPF Awards Banquet, OF Megan Wiggins was honored as the Player of the Year, homerun award winner for the most homeruns in the NPF as well as tying with the Pride’s GiOnna DiSalvatore for Offensive Player of the Year. In addition, P Andi Williamson was named Rookie of the Year, while 2B Vicky Galindo was honored with the Jennie Finch Award and the Bandits coaching staff took home Coaching Staff of the Year. SS Tammy Williams, P Andi Williamson, P Michelle Gascoigne and OF Kimi Pohlman were named to the All-NPF squad
August 25, 2013 – Bandits fall to the USSSA Pride in a best-of-three series for the 2013 NPF Cowles Cup Championship