|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
|League||National Pro Fastpitch|
|League championships||3 (2008, 2011, 2015)|
|Regular Season championships||5 (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013)|
|Former ballparks||Benedictine University (Lisle, IL) 2005-2007|
|Colors||Black, Orange, Navy Blue, White|
|Mascot||Outlaw and Bandits (raccoons)|
|Coach||Mike Steuerwald (Head)
|Manager||Aaron M. Moore (GM)|
The Chicago Bandits are a women's professional softball team based in Rosemont, Illinois. Since the 2005 season, they have played as a member of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF). The Bandits won the 2008 NPF championship, defeating the Washington Glory in the final game of the championship series. The team won their second NPF championship following the 2011 season when they won the championship series two games to none over the USSSA Pride. They play their home games at Rosemont Stadium in Rosemont, Illinois.
USA Softball players
The Chicago Bandits inaugural season took place at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. Chicago recorded an NPF-best 41-7 record, but lost to the Akron Racers in the championship.
Chicago posted a 30-12 record, which again was best in the NPF, but lost to the Connecticut Brakettes in the championship series.
The 2007 Chicago Bandits went 23-21, but failed to qualify for the playoffs after finishing in sixth place in the league.
The Bandits began their first season in Elgin with a 4-7 record, playing without Jennie Finch and Vicky Galindo of the United States National Team, and Caitlin Lever of the Canadian National Team, due to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Jessica Sallinger and Kristina Thorson each won 12 games and were Chicago's first duo to record double-digit victories since Jennie Finch and Amy Harre in 2005. After moving to their new stadium, the Bandits recorded 61 home runs in 2008, which was more home runs than in the franchise's first three years combined. The team's home run leaders were Stacy May (13), Rachel Folden (11), and Jamie Clark (11).
The Bandits completed their season sweeping the Akron Racers, New England Riptide and Rockford Thunder to finish the regular season 32-16 and on a 12-game winning streak, earning the highest seed in the 2008 Championship Series.
In the Championship Series, Chicago won all three games and earned the franchise's first NPF Championship with a victory over the Washington Glory in the title game.
The Chicago Bandits began their second season at Judson University in Elgin, IL with the return of Olympians Jennie Finch, Vicky Galindo, and Caitlin Lever. Chicago finished the regular season with a 27-12 record, ranking first in the National Pro Fastpitch standings and earning the top seed for the playoffs in Akron, Ohio.
Despite having the best record in the NPF in 2009, Chicago was upset in the NPF playoffs by the USSSA Pride two games to one, and lost the opportunity to repeat as league champions.
In 2010, the Bandits once again won the regular season title, but once again, the USSSA Pride ended the Bandits championship hopes, winning their first Cowles Cup title.
After the season, standouts Stacy May-Johnson and Jennie Finch announced their retirements from professional softball.
The Bandits moved into their brand new home stadium, Ballpark at Rosemont, in Rosemont, Illinois in time for the beginning of the 2011 season. The team officially opened the stadium for NPF play on June 16, 2011 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony prior to the Bandits 1-0 walk-off win over the USSSA Pride. Caitlin Lever drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 7th.
Unlike the previous three years, the Bandits did not win the regular season title. They finished third in the four-team NPF with a 20-20 record, after losing six of their final eight games at home to close out the regular season.
The Bandits opened the playoffs in Sulphur, LA against the second-seeded Akron Racers and swept the Racers with two straight victories, capped off by a three-run walk-off home run in extra innings by Nikki Nemitz to advance to the finals.
In the finals, they once again met the Pride. In the first game, the Pride took an early 2-0 lead, but rookie Megan Wiggins hit a three-run double off Pride starter Cat Osterman. Two pitches later, Osterman went down with an arm injury, but the Pride came back to tie the game at 3 in the bottom of the 7th. In the 8th, Bandits right-fielder Amber Patton drove in the go-ahead run and NPF Co-Pitcher of the Year Monica Abbott made it stand up for a one-game lead in the best-of-three series.
The next afternoon, Chicago got on the board early and often, scoring five times in the bottom of the first. The Pride got two back, but that was as close as they would get the rest of the day, as the Bandits cruised to their second Cowles Cup championship with a 10-3 victory. They became the first NPF team to win multiple Cowles Cup championships.
Before the season, the Bandits signed 2015 draftees shortstop Sammy Marshall of Western Illinois signed with the Bandits. and outfielder Brenna Moss of Fresno State AJ Andrews of LSU signed with the Bandits on June 12.
After tryouts, the Bandits signed free agents infielder Megan Blank of the Iowa Hawkeyes, outfielder Kelsi Jones of Louisville, catcher Vicky Galasso of Idaho State, and pitcher Lacey Waldrop of Florida State.
|2005||30||12||0||1st place National Pro Fastpitch||Regular Season Champions, Lost to Akron Racers in NPF Championship|
|2006||41||7||0||1st place National Pro Fastpitch||Regular Season Champions, Lost to Connecticut Brakettes in NPF Championship|
|2007||23||21||0||6th place National Pro Fastpitch||Did not qualify|
|2008||32||16||0||1st place National Pro Fastpitch||Won NPF Championship (Defeated Washington Glory)|
|2009||27||12||0||1st place National Pro Fastpitch||Regular Season Champions, Lost to USSSA Pride 2-games-to-1 in first round of NPF playoffs|
|2010||30||20||0||1st place National Pro Fastpitch||Regular Season Champions, Lost to USSSA Pride in NPF Championship|
|2011||20||20||0||3rd place National Pro Fastpitch||Won NPF Championship (Defeated Akron Racers 2-0 in Semi-finals, Defeated USSSA Pride 2-0 in Finals)|
|2012||25||19||0||2nd place National Pro Fastpitch||Won Game 1 of NPF Championship series over USSSA Pride (Defeated Carolina Diamonds 2-0 in Semi-finals, Finals were rained out)|
|2013||36||12||0||1st place National Pro Fastpitch||Regular Season Champions, Lost to USSSA Pride in NPF Championship|
|2014||30||18||0||2nd place National Pro Fastpitch||Lost to Akron Racers 2-games-to-1 in first round of NPF playoffs|
|2015||31||17||0||2nd place National Pro Fastpitch||Won NPF Championship 2-games-to-0 over USSSA Pride, Defeated Akron Racers 2-games-to-0 in NPF Semifinals|
- July 16, 2009, Jennie Finch pitches a perfect game for the Chicago Bandits in a 3-0 win against the Philadelphia Force.
- July 27, 2009, the Chicago Bandits played the Schaumburg Flyers of the Frontier League men's baseball team in what was dubbed as Battle of the Sexes 2. The game was played at Schaumburg's Alexian Field under softball rules. The Bandits won 4-2 before an Alexian Field record crowd of 8,918. The game was considered a success even though the original tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs garnered much more national press attention. For this event, the Chicago Bandits received the most press coverage than in the previous years despite winning the 2008 NPF league championship and playing with Jennie Finch. Just a few years earlier, the USA's best softball players played a team of MLB All Stars with that game televised on national television.
- July 9, 2010, Jennie Finch pitches a perfect game for the Chicago Bandits against the Akron Racers at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, Ill. Finch struck out 11 batters en route to a 2-0 win.
- August 21, 2011, The Bandits defeat the USSSA Pride 10-3 in Sulphur, LA to clinch their second NPF Cowles Cup championship. They are the first team in NPF history to win multiple Cowles Cup titles.
- August 15, 2015, The Bandits rode the left arm of Monica Abbott to a second-consecutive 1-0 victory in the NPF Championship Series finals over the USSSA Pride in Hoover, AL to clinch the franchise's third Cowles Cup championship. They are now tied with the Pride for most NPF titles at 3.
The Bandits have retired the numbers of four players:
Chicago Bandits roster
(YYYY = Final season of player contract)
- "Brand New Ballpark For Bandits Women’s Softball Team". CBS Chicago. 15 June 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
- "Marshall officially signs with Bandits for 2015 season". ChicagoBandits.com. 16 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- "Bandits Add Draftee Moss and Former Iowa Hawkeye to Roster for 2015 Season". OurSportsCentral.com. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- Jason Lowenthal (12 June 2015). "Bandits agree to terms with second-round pick Andrews". ChicagoBandits.com. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- Jason Lowenthal (28 May 2015). "Bandits announce signings of Jones and Galasso". ChicagoBandits.com. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- Jason Lowenthal (29 May 2015). "Bandits agree to terms with first-round pick Waldrop". ChicagoBandits.com. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Monica Abbott (5 June 2012). "Bandits Open 2012 Season With A Win!". monicaabbott.com. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- "Laura Harms, Stacy May-Johnson Banners to be Unveiled Thursday". chicagobandits.com. 5 June 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
- "Bandits Honor Veteran Vicky Galindo by Retiring Jersey". chicagobandits.com. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
USSSA Florida Pride
|Cowles Cup NPF Champions