The pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 National Pro Fastpitch seasons. Then in August 2021, the NPF announced it was ceasing operations. Athletes Unlimited has helped fill the void, but nothing really matches the fun I had with the Bandits.
Estela Pinon pitched for the University of Arizona Wildcats for two seasons after transferring from Yavapai College. She finished her career with a record of 32-17 for the Wildcats, appearing in 70 games and starting 50 of them. She struck out 241 hitters in 288.1 innings. After Arizona, Estela was the Bandits first round (No. 4 overall) selection in the 2014 NPF Draft. She played one season for the Bandits, before retiring from the NPF. I did get one interview with her, which can be found at On the Beat With Estela Pinon.
Estela seems to have switched her focus from softball to baseball and with good reason. She married pitcher Ken Giles a few years ago. Ken has pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays. In six seasons, he has a career record of 14-18 with 114 saves and a 2.67 ERA. He is a valuable relief pitcher.
The couple, who have one child, join a short list of two sport marriages.Former Bandits pitcher Jennie Finch is married to former pitcher Casey Daigle. There are probably a few other softball-baseball marriages, too.
Estela Pinon and me in Rosemont, IL-Summer 2014.