The Rockford Thunder of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) and General Manager Aaron M. Moore announced today that they have signed second baseman Lindsay Gardner and catcher DeAnn (De De) Justice to a contract for the 2007 season. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
For Gardner, 25, the 2007 season will be her fourth in a Thunder uniform. After a successful college career at Texas and a recent selection to the All Time Big XII Softball team, Gardner has been solid for the Thunder. In 2004, league personnel and coaches selected her as the Defensive Player of the Year.
I am extremely excited to know that I will be able keep my cleats on for the upcoming season in Rockford, exclaimed Gardner. To be able to continue my career in a city where it seems like it all began for women's baseball will be an experience unlike any other. I am happy to be able to wear the Thunder jersey and even happier to call Rockford my new home.
Our organization is thrilled to have Lindsay come back for another season, stated Moore. We are confident shes going to rebound from a down offensive season a year ago and shes also solid in the field. She is also a first-class individual when it comes to kids and the community.
Justice was a four-year starting catcher for the Rebels from 2002-2005. She holds the career or single-season school record in 19 statistical categories, including 49 career home runs and 133 career RBI. Her 49 career long balls rank second in Southeastern Conference history.
When I found out that I would be receiving a contract I was ecstatic, said Justice, a 2003 All-SEC selection. This has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, and to be so close to it actually coming true is unreal to me. I can't wait to get to Rockford and start practice and meet my new teammates.
Signing De De is a move that makes good sense to us right now, said Moore. With her and Mackenzie behind the plate and with the potential they each have as hitters, we think we probably have the best 1-2 combination of catchers in the league.
With the additions of Justice and Gardner the teams 2007 roster now stands at eight with several other still pending. They join gold medal pitcher Cat Osterman, 2005 NPF League MVP Kristen Zaleski, Vandergeest, twin sisters Amanda and Jessica Williams and Jackie Wong.
For more information on the Thunder or to purchase season tickets for the 2007 season, contact Aaron M. Moore, general manager, at (815) 965-7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. Additional information on the team can be obtained on the web at www.thunderprofastpitch.com
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*Ole Miss Sports Information contributed to this release.