As we await the National Pro Fastpitch playoffs, our coverage of the Chicago Bandits continues. After a season of interviewing the Bandits, we finally get to Coach Sharonda McDonald.
Sharonda had an excellent playing career at Texas A&M. She finished with a .338 career batting average and is the Texas A&M all-time leader for both runs scored and stolen bases, while earning All-Big 12 honors all four years. In 2005, her sophomore season, she won the Golden Shoe award, presented annually to the nation's top baserunner.
She went on to play two seasons with the Philadelphia Force in the NPF, followed by a season in the Italian Professional League, before returning to the NPF for 3 seasons with the Akron Racers and one season with the USSSA Pride.
Her coaching career started as an Assistant at Texas Southern University. After stops at Ohio University, LSU and Texas Tech, she joined the University of Florida staff in 2016. In early 2017, Sharonda was named Coach of the Bandits.
She came in under less than ideal circumstances. A lot of changes occurred during the offseason and the back-to-back reigning champs barely resembled the team from last season. While it has been a challenging season, the Bandits have hung tough.
The Bandits finished the season with a record of 25-24, good for 4th place and a spot in the playoffs. They will now face the USSSA Pride with the first game on Thursday, August 17.
After Sunday's loss, I had the opportunity to talk to Coach Sharonda on the field. I asked her about the rough series with the Pride, her first season coaching in the NPF and Bandit Nation. Coach Sharonda was upbeat and ready for the playoffs.
I thank the Bandits for allowing me to get access to do all of these interviews. I appreciate Coach Sharonda for giving us her time and thoughts. I thank everyone who helped me with the interviews. Finally, thank you to Bandit Nation and all others who watched (and hopefully enjoyed) these videos.
Check ChicagoBandits.com for information on how to watch the playoffs and for other news. Check here for continuing coverage of the Bandits. Our interviews are done for now, but our coverage will continue.