Courtesy of University of Illinois
ROSEMONT, Ill. – June 17, 2014 - The Chicago Bandits have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with former University of Illinois and Warren Township (Gurnee, Ill.) High School outfielder Alex Booker for the remainder of the 2014 season per team GM Aaron M. Moore.
Booker was one of the team’s final cuts at this season’s open tryouts in May. She becomes the second Illini alumni on the roster; joining teammate Danielle Zymkowitz. She joins Kirsten Verdun and Natalie Hernandez as players signed by way of the 2014 tryout.
Booker, 22, was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team as a junior at Illinois and was also named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team. In her four-year career in Champaign, Booker was a career .327 hitter (164-for-501) and had a .388 on-base percentage. She was successful on 44 of her 52 stolen base attempts.
“Alex made a strong impression on us at tryouts, but at the time, the timing wasn’t right with some needs we had to address immediately,” said Moore. “But she has stayed close to the Bandits working in the office as a game day intern and she is ready for this opportunity.
“She brings us a little something different off the bench in terms of speed and in this league that is important. Having RT (Robin Thompson) a couple of seasons ago was a big reason we won games late and we’re hoping Alex has the same effect.”
Booker’s best collegiate season came in 2014 when she played and started in all 50 games for Illinois. She hit .371 on the season as she collected 62 hits in 167 at-bats, and she also recorded three homeruns and 27 RBI’s. During her senior season, Booker set personal career-highs in several categories, including hits (62), doubles (7), triples (3) and total bases (86).
“I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to extend my softball playing career with the Chicago Bandits,” stated Booker. “This experience, will not only push me to compete at the highest level, but will also teach me many new things about the game by playing alongside All-Americans, Olympians, and the nation’s top players.
“It is an honor to be able to play on the field with some of the athletes I have admired since I started my softball career. I am very fortunate that the Bandits franchise believed in me to succeed at this level and am ready to continue my love of the game. Thankfully I still am able to wear my favorite color, orange!”
The Bandits return to action tonight when they host the USSSA Pride in the final game of a four-game series. Chicago enters play at 6-5 having lost three of its last four. Tickets for tonight’s game and all remaining games of the 2014 season are available by calling (877) 722-6348.
For more information about the Chicago Bandits, visit www.chicagobandits.com
or call the front office at 877-722-6348.
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson and Monica Abbott. The two-time NPF Champions play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women's professional team. The 2014 season will be the Bandits 10th season in the NPF.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.