The Chicago bandits open their 2016 season in a couple weeks. I have written many times of my love of the National Pro Fastpitch game and the Bandits specifically, but today I am featuring three members of the Akron Racers.
Outfielder Jennifer Gilbert is entering her third season with the Racers, after an outstanding career at Ball State. She was a two-time NFCA All-American and the first All-American in Ball State Softball History. She was also a three-time Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, the first player in the MAC and the 11th in NCAA Softball History to accomplish this.
Sonoka Kuniyoshi and Ayumi Karino reached softball stardom in their native Japan. Karino won the Gold Medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. As of this writing, neither lady was signed with the Racers.
There are just three of the great women athletes I encountered last season while covering the Bandits. They are young, talented and extremely fan (and reporter) friendly. In short, they are a joy to watch and follow. I look forward to another fun season covering the Bandits and meeting opposing players.
Check out ProFastpitch.com to follow all of the teams of the NFP and ChicagoBandits.com to follow my favorite team. Head out to a game, follow them on line or watch them on television. This is an exciting sport, played by great women athletes.
Jennifer Gilbert, Ayumi Karino, Sonoka Kuniyoshi and me in Rosemont, IL-August 2015.