2014 National Pro Fastpitch season

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2014 NPF Season
League National Pro Fastpitch
Sport softball
Duration May 30, 2014 – August 17, 2014
Number of teams 4
TV partner(s) CBS Sports Network
2014 NPF Draft
Top draft pick Dallas Escobedo P
Arizona State
Picked by Pennsylvania Rebellion
Regular Season
Ringor Cup
(Best record)
USSSA Pride
Cowles Cup
Champions USSSA Pride
  Runners-up Akron Racers
Finals MVP Cat Osterman
USSSA Pride
NPF seasons
← 2013
2015 →

The 2014 National Pro Fastpitch season is the eleventh season of professional softball under the name National Pro Fastpitch for the only professional women's softball league in the United States. From 1997 to 2002, NPF operated under the names Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL). Each year, the playoff teams battle for the Cowles Cup. Play began on May 30 in Salisbury, Maryland, between the Pennsylvania Rebellion and the USSSA Pride.

Milestones and events[edit]

The NY/NJ Comets did not play in 2014, and their roster and draft positions were inherited by an expansion team, Pennsylvania Rebellion.The Rebellion played home games in Washington, Pennsylvania in Consol Energy Park.[1]

NPF reached a deal with CBS Sports Network to broadcast selected regular season games and selected postseason games for the 2014 season.[2]

Rule changes[edit]

At its owners' meetings, NPF announced a number of changes in policies and game rules:[3]

Game rules:

  • Voted to keep the International Tie Breaker during regular season play. The tie breaker will continue to be implemented in the top of the 10th inning. This effectively reverses a change announced in 2013.
  • Voted to reject a "Run Rule" that would end the game after 5 innings (4 1/2 if home team was ahead) if a team led by 12 or more runs
  • Voted to implement a "90 second" clock between innings. After the clock expires, umpires will assign a ball on the batter for "delay of game".
  • Voted to revise the number of defensive conferences from one per inning to three per game. In extra innings, teams will be given one additional conference per inning. Violation will result in ejection of the head coach.
  • Committee voted to eliminate a former revision, and essentially gives the pitcher 25 seconds to get in place on the rubber, take the sign and deliver the pitch.

Policies and procedures:

  • Voted to eliminate the Disabled List
  • Voted to increase the maximum roster limit from 20 to 23 (Salary cap did not increase)
  • Voted to increase the minimum roster limit from 14 to 18.
  • Voted for a 45-minute autograph session following all games except double headers. The session is mandatory for all players.
  • Voted for a ticket policy that would allow fifty complementary tickets total (between both teams) per game. The Home Team will be given first choice with a 2 ticket per player allowance with the remaining tickets (if any) offered to the Visiting Team. It is at the discretion of the Home Team whether to make discounted tickets available to Visiting Team Players.
  • Voted for a new payment structure for umpires in the event a game is split in its completion either due to weather or other reason.
  • Voted to re-structure of the umpire assignment and evaluation system for the league.
  • Voted for a contract with the company "Game Changer" to carry the complete stats of the NPF

Post season:

  • Voted to require a minimum number of innings, plate appearances, or total games played, to be considered for post season award nominations and voting. Those minimums are: Defensive player nominees must have played a minimum of 75% of the total innings possible, at the position they are being nominated for. Utility will require the player to have played in 75% of total innings possible, but with no stipulation on position. Offensive player nominees must have 75% of total plate appearances possible based on their team statistics. There are no minimum criteria for the nominations of pitchers into any category that would pertain to the position of pitching.
  • Voted to change the Championship Series format back to that used from 2010–2012. The top 4 league teams, according to regular season finish, advance to the Championship Series. Those 4 teams play three series of "best-of-three" match-ups. The #1 seed will play the #4 seed in a best-of-three series and the #2 seed will play the #3 seed in a best-of-three series, with both winners advancing to the Final Series. Those two winners will then compete in a best-of-three series to determine the Cowles Cup Champion. This format will add one day to the competition from the 2013 structure.

Teams, cities and stadiums[edit]

Team City Stadium
Akron Racers Akron, Ohio Firestone Stadium
Chicago Bandits Rosemont, Illinois (Chicago Area) Ballpark at Rosemont
Pennsylvania Rebellion Washington, Pennsylvania Consol Energy Park
USSSA Florida Pride Kissimmee, Florida Osceola County Stadium and Champion Stadium
National Pro Fastpitch teams

Player acquisition[edit]

College draft[edit]

The 2014 NPF College Draft was held on March 31 in Nashville, Tennessee at 8:00 pm EST at the Ford Theatre located inside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.[4] Pitcher Dallas Escobedo of Arizona State was selected first by Pennsylvania Rebellion.[5]

Notable transactions[edit]

Standings[edit]

Teams W L Pct. GB
USSSA Pride 33 15 .688
Chicago Bandits 30 18 .625 3
Akron Racers 24 24 .500 9
Pennsylvania Rebellion 9 39 .188 24

NPF Championship Series[edit]

2014 NPF Championship.jpg

The top four teams from the regular season qualify for the championship playoffs. The highest-seeded semifinal winner then hosted the championship final.

NPF Semifinals NPF Championship
      
1 USSSA Pride 2
4 Pennsylvania Rebellion 0
1 USSSA Pride 2
3 Akron Racers 0
2 Chicago Bandits 1
3 Akron Racers 2
2014 NPF Semifinals
USSSA Pride defeat Pennsylvania Rebellion 2–0
Game Date Score Series
(USSSA–PA)
Location
1 August 20 USSSA Pride 6, Pennsylvania Rebellion 0 1–0 Hoover, Alabama
2 August 21 USSSA Pride 3, Pennsylvania Rebellion 2 2–0 Hoover, Alabama
2014 NPF Semifinals
Akron Racers defeat Chicago Bandits 2–1
Game Date Score Series
(AKR–CHI)
Location
1 August 20 Akron Racers 2, Chicago Bandits 1 1–0 Hoover, Alabama
2 August 21 Chicago Bandits 4, Akron Racers 1 1–1 Hoover, Alabama
3 August 22 Akron Racers 1, Chicago Bandits 0 2–1 Hoover, Alabama
2014 NPF Championship Series
USSSA Pride defeat Akron Racers 2–0
Game Date Score Series
(USSSA–AKR)
Location
1 August 22 USSSA Pride 6, Akron Racers 0 [6] 1–0 Hoover, Alabama
2 August 23 USSSA Pride 8, Akron Racers 3 [7] 2–0 Hoover, Alabama

League leaders[edit]

Final totals

Batting leaders[edit]

Stat Player Total
AVG Natasha Watley (USSSA) .403
HR Brittany Cervantes (CHI) 12
RBI Nerissa Myers (AKR) 43
R Emily Allard (CHI) 35
H Emily Allard (CHI) 57
SB Brejae Washington (USSSA) 17

Pitching leaders[edit]

Stat Player Total
W Cat Osterman (USSSA) 16
L Dallas Escobedo (PA)
Sarah Pauly (PA)
11
ERA Cat Osterman (USSSA) 0.56
K Cat Osterman (USSSA) 160
IP Rachele Fico (AKR) 106
SV Jordan Taylor (USSSA) 3

Annual awards[8][edit]

Award Player Team Stat
Player of the Year Award Andrea Duran USSSA Pride .362 batting average, 47 hits, 26 RBI, 7 doubles, one triple and two homeruns. Led the league in OBP (.478) and walks (27)
Pitcher of the Year Cat Osterman USSSA Pride led the league with 160 Ks and 0.560 ERA. Undefeated at 16 – 0 and threw a no-hitter on July 5, 2014.
Rookie of the Year Madison Shipman USSSA Pride .344 BA, 28 RBI and 5 HR. Led the league in doubles.
Defensive Player of the Year Tammy Williams Chicago Bandits
Offensive Player of the Year Nerissa Myers Akron Racers 50 H, 5 2B, 9 HR, 6 SB, .474 OBP. Lead the league in RBI (43), 2 out-RBI's (19), and slugging % (.599).
Home Run Award Brittany Cervantes Chicago Bandits 12 HR
Diamond Spike Award [note 1] Breja’e Washington USSSA Pride 17 SB
Coaching Staff of the Year Akron Racers -- Brian Levin (HEAD COACH) and Dustin Combs (ASSISTANT COACH)
Jennie Finch Award[note 2] Kelley Montalvo Akron Racers

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Diamond Spike Award is given to the player with the most stolen bases
  2. ^ The Jennie Finch award is given to the player who best exemplifies the character and qualities of its famous namesake, and who is considered to positively impact the game both on and off the field.
2014 All-NPF Team
Position Name Team
Pitcher Cat Osterman USSSA Pride
Pitcher Monica Abbott Chicago Bandits
Pitcher Rachele Fico Akron Racers
Pitcher Michelle Gascoigne Chicago Bandits
Catcher Kristen Butler Chicago Bandits
1st Base Brittany Cervantes Chicago Bandits
2nd Base Lauren Lappin Pennsylvania Rebellion
3rd Base Andrea Duran USSSA Pride
Shortstop Tammy Williams Chicago Bandits
Outfield Caitlin Lowe USSSA Pride
Outfield Natasha Watley USSSA Pride
Outfield(tie) Megan Wiggins Chicago Bandits
Outfield(tie) Emily Allard Chicago Bandits
At-Large Nerissa Myers Akron Racers
At-Large Madison Shipman USSSA Pride
At-Large Sarah Pauly Pennsylvania Rebellion
At-Large Kelley Montalvo Akron Racers
At-Large Ashley Thomas Akron Racers
At-Large Jill Barrett Akron Racers
NPF Championship Series MVP[9]
Player Club Record
Cat Osterman USSSA Pride threw a complete-game shutout with 12 strikeouts in game 1. Her 3rd Championship MVP

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chris Dugan (20 November 2013). "Washington gets women's professional softball team". Wasgington Observer-Reporter. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  2. ^ "CBS SPORTS NETWORK TO AIR NPF GAMES". www.profastpitch.com. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  3. ^ "NPF Releases Changes for Upcoming 2014 Season". ProFastpitch.com. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  4. ^ "2014 NPF College Draft Presented by Bownet". www.profastpitch.com. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  5. ^ "PA Rebellion Select Dallas Escobedo as #1 Pick in 2014 Draft". www.profastpitch.com. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  6. ^ "USSSA Pride Take Game One of NPF Championship with 1-0 Win Over Akron Racers". 23 August 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  7. ^ "USSSA Pride Capture Second Consecutive Cowles Cup with 8-3 Win over Akron Racers in Game Two of NPF Championship". Fastpitch News. 25 August 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  8. ^ "2014 NPF Awards Banquet Honors Season Performances". Sports Page Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  9. ^ "USSSA Pride Defeats The Akron Racers, 8 – 3, To Win Their Second Consecutive Cowles Cup". Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.

External links[edit]