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NPF Holds Awards Banquet in Baton Rouge

Photo by Maggie Bowles, Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
08/17/2017 2:25 AM -
BATON ROUGE, LA (August 16, 2017) – Veteran star Kelly Kretschman of the USSSA Pride, won her third consecutive Player of the Year honor to top the major awards handed out here Wednesday night at the annual NPF Awards Banquet presented by Visit Baton Rouge and hosted at the Crowne Plaza.
The event was held on the eve of the annual NPF Championship Series Presented by Marucci that begins Thursday at LSU’s Tiger Park. The USSSA Pride faces the Chicago Bandits at 5 p.m. CT and the Scrap Yard Dawgs meet the Akron Racers in the 8 p.m. CT nightcap in the best-of-3 semifinals. The championship is set to be decided on Sunday.
Kretschman, whose POY award was presented by Park Planet, also won the Best Offensive Performance honor presented by Louisville Slugger after hitting .500 during the regular season (a league record for batting average) with six home runs and 19 RBI. She led the league in average and was second in runs scored with 33. She posted an on-base percentage of .623 for the Pride and a slugging percentage of .793, both league leaders.
Coach Yvette Girouard, the former LSU coach, reminded Kretschman in her pre-dinner remarks that in one appearance at the old Tiger Park, Girouard chose to walk Kretschman just about every plate appearance. But Girouard said that she is really looking to see the former Alabama star hit in the new Tiger Park during the tournament.
The Pitcher of the Year presented by Diamond was given to the Scrap Yard Dawgs Monica Abbott. The former Lady Vol posted over 200 strikeouts for the third time in her career with 213 and was second in the league in ERA at 1.096. She posted a 17-3 record with two saves. She led the league in strikeouts by over 100 and won the Pitcher of the Year award for the sixth time in NPF history.
Chelsea Goodacre of the Pride was named the Gold Glove Award winner presented by Rawlings. This was the second year the award was given by Rawlings with the first one going last year to former LSU outfielder A. J. Andrews.
Andrews was featured speaking about the award in a Rawlings video prior to the presentation to Goodacre.
Shelby Pendley also of the Pride was named Home Run Champion (presented by Wilson/DeMarini) with 14 round-trippers.
The host for this year’s championship, LSU, saw one of its former players recognized as Bailey Landry of the Texas Charge was named the Rookie of the Year presented by 805 Stats and the Jennie Finch Award for success both on and off the field. Landry hit .348 for the season (fourth in the league) with 29 runs scored, five home runs, 11-of-13 stolen bases and 18 RBI.
The Finch Award was started by the league after the personable star pitcher retired in 2010.
A new award was presented by Crowne Trophy at the banquet for the umpire of the year, Craig Hyde. Hyde has umpired for 38 years and in July was named the new NCAA Supervisor The 38-year veteran, who was recently named the NCAA national coordinator of softball umpires.
Recently retired Southern University Coach Roger Cador presented Rally Spikes Award from 3n2 to the league’s leader in stolen bases (25), from the Texas Charge Taylor Gadbois. 
The regular season champions were the USSSA Pride with an outstanding 40-9 mark, their fourth consecutive time to win the regular season title. The coaching staff of Lonni Alameda, Craig Snider and Travis Wilson and the team members were presented their awards by Vaultz.
A video was shown prior to the game saluting LSU’s Geaux Teal program and present Tiger Coach Beth Torina to raise awareness of ovarian cancer, a program that started small and has grown in numbers of participants and money raised. The NPF will be participating as well with events at Tiger Park during the championship series. 
Finally the annual All-NPF Team was presented by Easton:
Position              Name                                Team
Catcher               Chelsea Goodacre          USSSA Pride
1B                        Hallie Wilson                   USSSA Pride
2B                        Emily Carosone               Chicago Bandits
3B                        Natalie Hernandez         Chicago Bandits
SS                         Shelby Pendley                USSSA Pride
OF                        Taylor Gadbois                Texas Charge
OF                        Kelly Kretschman            USSSA Pride
OF                        Bailey Landry                   Texas Charge
DP                        Lauren Haeger                 Texas Charge
At Large              AJ Andrews                      Akron Racers
At Large              Allexis Bennett                Scrap Yard Dawgs
At Large              Brittany Cervantes          Scrap Yard Dawgs
At Large              Sahvanna Jaquish           Chicago Bandits
At Large              Shellie Robinson             Akron Racers
At Large              Sierra Romero                 USSSA Pride
At Large              Nadia Taylor                    Texas Charge
Pitcher                Monica Abbott                Scrap Yard Dawgs
Pitcher                Dallas Escobedo              Texas Charge
Pitcher                Keilani Ricketts                 USSSA Pride
Pitcher                Jordan Taylor                  USSSA Pride
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success.  The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Akron Racers, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Scrap Yard Dawgs, Texas Charge and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2017 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
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