Battle of the Bats
|Photo By: Dina Kwit
Written By: Adam Gierhart
The National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship Series concluded Day One of the week with the National Pro Fastpitch Battle of the Bats. The NPF’s version of the Homerun Derby, the Battle of the Bats was a three-round homerun competition allowing each batter only seven swings of the bat. Each round, the field of competitors was cut in half and homeruns did not carry over from one round to the next.
The Battle of the Bats contestants consisted of players from the Chicago Bandits and USSSA Florida Pride, with the Tennessee Diamonds and Akron Racers not being represented in the contest. The Chicago Bandits were represented in the 2010 Battle of the Bats by three players: Samantha Findlay, Rachel Folden, and Jennie Finch. The remaining four competitors from the USSSA Florida Pride were: Jessica Mendoza, Charlotte Morgan, Andrea Duran, and Francesca Enea.
In the first round of competition the Bandits had two players in the top four to move on to round two of the competition, Samantha Findlay and Jennie Finch who both hit four homeruns in their allotted seven swings of the bat. Rachel Folden, who hit zero homeruns in Round One, did not advance into the second round of the competition. Folden requested a pitching change after only five pitches, replacing Coach Stu with Florida’s Beth McClendon who pitched the entirety of the competition except for the five thrown by the Bandits’ Coach Stu.
Round Two of the Battle of the Bats was narrowed down to four competitors: Samantha Findlay, Jennie Finch, Charlotte Morgan, and Jessica Mendoza. Mendoza began the round hitting one homerun in her seven swings, followed by Morgan who hit three. Jennie Finch then stepped in to the batter’s box and hit only one homerun. Finch was followed by Samantha Findlay who hit two homeruns. Findlay’s two homeruns were just enough to move her into the Championship Round against Florida’s Charlotte Morgan.
In the finals, Morgan led off the round with two homeruns, leaving the Battle of the Bats crown up for grabs with Samantha Findlay still to hit. Findlay was not able to exceed the two homerun bar that Morgan set, only hitting one homerun in the final round, leaving USSSA Florida Pride’s Charlotte Morgan the 2010 National Pro Fastpitch Battle of the Bats Champion and winner of a $500 cash prize.
The Bandits will begin their playoff journey, Thursday night against the Tennessee Diamonds. To catch all of the action from the Championship Series in Sulphur, La. and support your Chicago Bandits as they look to capture their second National Championship in team history visit http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/mediacenter/npf.jsp for live streams or http://www.profastpitch.com/ for live game stats.