After a heated “Battle” throughout the season, the 2009 Battle of the Bats finalists have been announced and are set to compete in the BATTLE OF THE BATS finals on TONIGHT during NPF FanFest which starts at 4:30 p.m. at Firestone Stadium in Akron, home of the Akron Racers. FanFest is the kick-off event for the NPF Championship Series weekend with the first game at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 20th.
The Battle of the Bats finals will consist of two rounds featuring the top two competitors for each manufacturer, plus two at-large competitors. Each player will be allowed unlimited attempts with a total of six outs during both rounds. An out is considered anything that is not hit out of the playing area, including foul balls. If necessary, a third round will be played as a tie-breaker. The individual winner for the competition will be awarded a $1,000 prize.
MIZUNO has a total of 28 HOMERUNS for this season’s competition and will have a strong showing in the competition with representation by Jennie Finch from the Chicago Bandits who competed in tandem with Cheyenne Jenks during the season. The Finch/Jenks team had a total of 8 HOMERUNS. Jennie will use the MIZUNO FRENZY during the competition.
Tied for first place spot on behalf of MIZUNO is Stacy Birk from the Philadelphia Force. Stacy is unable to attend the finals, so the 2nd place competitor, Sam Banister of the Akron Racers will step in to swing the MIZUNO FRENZY in hopes of adding to her total of 6 HOMERUNS.
COMBAT currently has a total of 31 HOMERUNS for this season’s competition. Stacy May from the Chicago Bandits will compete on behalf of COMBAT using the COMBAT VIRUS. May has a total of 10 HOMERUNS in the competition and looks to add to that total during the Finals.
The second place finisher for COMBAT during the regular season is Auriel Jenkins from the Philadelphia Force with a total of 8 HOMERUNS. Unfortunately, Auriel will not be available to attend the finals, so Kate Robinson from the Akron Racers will step up to the plate swinging the COMBAT VIRUS…the cure for the common game. Robinson has a total of 6 HOMERUNS following regular season competition.
Both Mizuno and Combat made a strong push at the end of the competition with 10 home runs scored in the last week of competition.
Having joined the season as a late addition to the competition, MIKEN holds a respectable 3rd place position in the Battle of the Bats with a total of 39 HOMERUNS. MIKEN is counting on Oli Keohohou from the USSSA Pride to finish strong on its behalf. Oli holds the fourth place position overall with a total of 15 HOMERUNS and will swing the MIKEN FREAK in hopes of improving her position and winning the prize money.
DEMARINI, the 2008 Battle of the Bats Manufacturer’s Champion holds a strong 2nd place position for the season with a total of 51 HOMERUNS.
Amber Jackson from the USSSA Pride finished in 3rd place overall for the competition with a total of 16 HOMERUNS. Jackson will compete in the number one spot on behalf of DEMARINI. She will hit with the DEMARINI CF3.
Bustos will use the DEMARINI CF3 which was her tool of choice enroute to her 2009 regular season title as the NPF league leader in batting average. She also tied for the lead in RBIs and finished second with home runs and will be a competitor to fear with her eye on the prize.
Because WILSON/DEMARINI already has two players adding to their manufacturer’s total, Findlay will compete in an At-Large spot to help improve her individual score. She will use the DEMARINI CF3 in an effort to improve her position. As an At-Large competitor, any HOMERUNS hit by Findlay in the finals will not be added to WILSON/DEMARINI’s overall score.
With the help of several strong competitors, WORTH finished the Battle of the Bats regular season competition with a commanding performance of 60 HOMERUNS. The WORTH TITAN bat, the only bat licensed by National Pro Fastpitch, was proven tough to beat.
DeDe Justice from the Philadelphia Force will be the first competitor for WORTH. DeDe is in second place for the overall competition with a total of 17 HOMERUNS. She will use the WORTH TITAN during the competition and is a strong contender for the $1,000 prize money.
Rachel Folden from the Chicago Bandits competed for WORTH this season and will compete in the final At-Large position. She currently holds the 5th place position in the overall competition with 14 HOMERUNS. Folden has been using the WORTH TITAN all season which has proven to be a good choice for her. As an At-Large competitor, her total HOMERUNS will be added to her individual score, but not WORTH’s overall score.
The final competitor of the night will be Kristen Butler from the Akron Racers hitting for WORTH. Butler, the 2008 NPF Defensive Player of the Year, holds the first place title in the overall competition with 19 HOMERUNS. She will hit with the WORTH TITAN in hopes of maintaining her first-place position and pocketing the prize money.
Admission to FanFest is only $5 and in addition to the NPF Battle of the Bats finals, fans can enjoy a Backyard BBQ featuring live music by the Steve Flaughers Band, autographs and appearances by NPF Players and NPF Alumni, games, vendor and sponsor booths, giveaways, 2009 NPF Awards Ceremony and much, much more!!
Thursday, August 20th marks the opening of the Championship Series. Gates will open at 3:00 pm with “Playoff Game #1,” featuring the Chicago Bandits (#1 seed) vs. USSSA Pride (#4 seed) taking place at 6:00 pm. Playoff Game #2” will showcase the host Akron Racers (#2 seed) vs. Rockford Thunder (#3 seed) and start at approximately 8:45 pm.
Competition resumes on Friday, August 21st with “Playoff game #3” pitting the #1 seed against the #4 seed at 6:00 pm. Gates at Firestone Stadium will open at 3:00 pm. “Playoff game #4” featuring #1 and #3 seeds will be played at approximately 8:45 pm.
Fans unavailable to make the trip to Akron, Ohio to catch the Championship Series in person can tune in from home. All games will be streamed via profastpitch.com thanks to NPF’s partnership with MLB.com as well as live statistics which will be available via Gametracker. Go to the “Live-Games” page for Broadcast and Gametracker links.
Tickets for the NPF Championship Series are on sale NOW and are truly a value for your entertainment dollar! Call the Akron Racers Box Office at 330-376-8188 or purchase tickets online by visiting ticketreturn.com.