By Paul Adkins
It could come down to a best-of-three series between Andi Williamson and the Chicago Bandits and the USSSA Florida Pride for the National Professional Fastpitch championship.
The championship softball series, which actually involves all four league teams, is scheduled to begin on Thursday as the No. 4 seed New York/New Jersey Comets (10-38) are scheduled to do battle with the No. 3 seeded Akron Racers (16-32) at 8 p.m. Eastern Time and 7 p.m. in the Central Time Zone.
The winner of the first game then moves on to play the No. 2 seed USSSA Florida Pride (34-14) on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
If the favored Pride win their first game, they would advance to play in Game 3 on Friday at 9:30 p.m. against the No. 1 seed Chicago Bandits (36-12), which won the regular season championship by two games.
Game 4 of the league championship series is set for Saturday at 5 p.m. A decisive Game 5, if necessary, would then be played later in the night.
Williamson, a first-year pro pitcher with the Bandits, has had an outstanding rookie season. The 2009 Chapmanville Regional High School graduate and Harts native is 9-2 within the pitching circle with a 1.67 ERA. Williamson played one year of collegiate softball at Tennessee and the last three years at Marshall University, leading the Herd to the NCAA Tournament.
National Pro Fastpitch will provide full 2013 Championship Series coverage through a combined effort of internet streaming and national television broadcasts. The Championship Series is the league’s season finale and hallmark event.
Thursday’s game and Friday’s games will be available through live stream on the NPF website at www.profastpitch.com. Cara Capuano and Barbara Jordan will be on the call.
Saturday will deliver championship action to a worldwide audience as Game 2 of the best-of-three Final Series is carried live on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. The “if necessary” Game 3 on Saturday will be carried live on ESPN3 and will air Sunday at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. Cara Capuano, Leah O’Brien-Amico are on the call with Barbara Jordan on the sideline.
All games will be played at The Ballpark at Rosemont in Rosemont, Ill.
Seeding for the Championship Series is based on the NPF regular season finish for each team.
The Chicago Bandits earned the number one seed after capturing their sixth regular season championship last Saturday night on the very last regular season game for the two teams in title contention, the Chicago Bandits and the USSSA Pride.
2013 NPF Championship Series Schedule:
Game 1- Thursday 8/22 8 p.m.: #4 Seed NY/NJ Comets vs. #3 Seed Akron Racers
Game 2- Friday 8/23 6:30 p.m.: Winner Game 1 vs. #2 Seed USSSA Pride
Game 3- Friday 8/23 9:30 p.m.: Winner Game 2 vs. #1 Seed Chicago Bandits
Game 4- Saturday 8/24 5:00 p.m.: Winner Game 2 vs. #1 Seed Chicago Bandits
Game 5-Saturday, TBA, if necessary