Cheri Kempf has long been at the forefront of women’s fastpitch softball – as a player, an instructor, a television sports analyst and now as Commissioner of National Professional Fastpitch (NPF), a position she has held since 2007.
As Commissioner of the NPF, Kempf has worked tirelessly to grow the presence and strength of the league. Under her leadership, the league has grown to include franchised teams and has received increased media exposure and sponsorship opportunities.
During her tenure with the league, Kempf has also established NPF Media LLC, a private investment group that financially supports League growth in the specific areas of League Office operations, expansion, sponsorships and increased media coverage.
Kempf has also established the NPF Championship Series as a destination event to showcase the best talent in fastpitch softball. This four-day event is the culmination of the regular season and offers an attractive television product and family friendly activity.
Thanks to Kempf’s efforts, the 2014 season marks two important milestones for the League. First, the NPF has secured the largest television deal in the history of professional softball – more than 30 games will be televised on two networks during the three-month season. Also, the addition of the Pennsylvania Rebellion marks the first time in NPF history that the league has welcomed a minor league baseball team owner to its expansion ranks.
The 2016 season completed a third year of comprehensive national television coverage with CBS Sports Network. Throughout the third year package, NPF live action has aired 64 times and re-aired 54 times. In addition to regular season and Championship coverage, CBS Sports Network, over the past two seasons has also carried full live coverage of the NPF College Draft along with a Championship Series Special Preview Show.
Prior to joining the NPF, Kempf spent 15 years as owner and lead instructor at Club K, the women’s fastpitch training facility she founded in 1990. During that time, Club K grew to be the world’s largest training facility for women’s fastpitch softball. In 2002, she wrote an instructional book about pitching, “The Softball Pitching Edge”, which has also been produced in video and most recently released as an ibook.
For more than a decade, Kempf has been a popular television analyst for college and professional softball, working with ESPN, Fox Sports, MLB Network, Cox Sports, YES Network and Comcast Sports. She has also become a staple in ESPN's coverage of the NCAA Tournament and the Women's College World Series.
As a player, Kempf was a pitcher on the 1992 USA National Team that earned a gold medal in the World Cup in Beijing, China. She was also a two-time Women's Majors National Champion as a member of the renowned Raybesto's Brakettes of Stratford, Conn. During her collegiate career, Kempf was a standout pitcher for Missouri Western State University, earning the National MVP award en route to helping her team capture the only national championship in school history.
Thanks to her stellar softball career, Kempf has been inducted into four Halls of Fame – the NAIA National Hall of Fame, the Missouri Western State University Hall of Fame, the St. Joseph Baseball Hall of Fame and the Amateur Softball of America State of Missouri Hall of Fame.