2014 National Pro Fastpitch season
|2014 NPF Season|
|League||National Pro Fastpitch|
|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 |
|Picked by||Pennsylvania Rebellion|
|Ringor Cup |
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
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.
At its owners' meetings, NPF announced a number of changes in policies and 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
- 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
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. Pitcher Dallas Escobedo of Arizona State was selected first by Pennsylvania Rebellion.
NPF Championship Series
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|
|2014 NPF Semifinals|
USSSA Pride defeat Pennsylvania Rebellion 2–0
|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
|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
|1||August 22||USSSA Pride 6, Akron Racers 0 ||1–0||Hoover, Alabama|
|2||August 23||USSSA Pride 8, Akron Racers 3 ||2–0||Hoover, Alabama|
|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|
|W||Cat Osterman (USSSA)||16|
|L||Dallas Escobedo (PA)
Sarah Pauly (PA)
|ERA||Cat Osterman (USSSA)||0.56|
|K||Cat Osterman (USSSA)||160|
|IP||Rachele Fico (AKR)||106|
|SV||Jordan Taylor (USSSA)||3|
|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|
- The Diamond Spike Award is given to the player with the most stolen bases
- 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|
|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|
|Cat Osterman||USSSA Pride||threw a complete-game shutout with 12 strikeouts in game 1. Her 3rd Championship MVP|
- List of professional sports leagues
- List of professional sports teams in the United States and Canada
- Chris Dugan (20 November 2013). "Washington gets women's professional softball team". Wasgington Observer-Reporter. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- "CBS SPORTS NETWORK TO AIR NPF GAMES". www.profastpitch.com. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- "NPF Releases Changes for Upcoming 2014 Season". ProFastpitch.com. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- "2014 NPF College Draft Presented by Bownet". www.profastpitch.com. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- "PA Rebellion Select Dallas Escobedo as #1 Pick in 2014 Draft". www.profastpitch.com. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- "USSSA Pride Take Game One of NPF Championship with 1-0 Win Over Akron Racers". 23 August 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "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.
- "2014 NPF Awards Banquet Honors Season Performances". Sports Page Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
- "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.