The Chicago Bandits season ended just a few weeks ago, but I already miss Banditball. Next season, I will be missing Rachele Fico, who announced her retirement during the championship series.
Rachele had an outstanding career on the mound at LSU. She was a two-time NFCA First Team All-American. At Masuk High School, Rachele threw a national high school record 26 perfect games and had a 105-3 record with a 0.07 ERA.
The Akron Racers selected Rachele with the first overall pick in the 2013 National Pro Fastpitch Draft. She remained with the Racers through the 2017 season, before signing with the Bandits in 2018.
In her first season with the Bandits, Rachele went 7-2 with a .50 ERA. In 2019, Rachele went 11-3 with a 1.62 ERA. She also pitched a perfect game, threw two shutouts and recorded a save.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Rachele last season. That interview can be found at On the Beat With Rachele Fico of the Chicago Bandits.
All of the NPF players are elite athletes, but Rachele is a cut above. Her success at every level is testament to her greatness. Additionally, she is an elite person. Rachele always interacted with the fans (young and old). She more than earned her "Supafic" moniker.
Rachele is an assistant coach at the University of Georgia and seems to be headed on a career path in coaching. I have no doubt she will find the same success she has always experienced. Players under her tutelage will get the best coaching a great mentor.
We will miss Rachele around Rosemont next season, although we hope she returns for a visit. (Once a Bandit, always a Bandit.) I wish Rachele a lot of luck and happiness wherever her career and life takes her. Rachele is a special person and I appreciate her for all she did for the team and the time and consideration she gave me during my years covering the team and the league.
Rachele Fico and me in Rosemont, IL-July 2019.