ROSEMONT, Ill. -- With a strong batting average (.343), eight home runs and 27 RBIs, Akron Racers catcher Sam Marder took home the National Pro Fastpitch Offensive Player of the Year award as part of three major awards for the Racers (Golden Spikes, Co-Defensive Player of the Year) and three All-NPF team selections.
Kelley Montalvo, a solid foundation at third base for the Racers all season long, took home co-Defensive Player of the Year honors along with Chicago Bandits third baseman Amber Patton. Montalvo finished the season with 43 put outs and 93 assists, converting .978 percent of her opportunities at third base in 44 games played.
Racers' right fielder Sharonda McDonald split another award with Patton when the two tied for the league lead in stolen bases, splitting the Golden Spikes award for most bags swiped. McDonald finished the regular season with 13 stolen bases, a .303 batting average and 22 runs as the Racers primary leadoff hitter.
Nicole Pauly (Racers 2B) joined Marder and McDonald as the team's three All-NPF selections. Pauly finished the regular season with a .278 batting average, 32 hits, seven home runs, 20 RBIs and three doubles.
The No. 4 seed Akron Racers take on the No. 1 seed USSSA Florida Pride in game one of the 2012 NPF Championship Series tonight at 8:30 CT at the Ballpark at Rosemont in Rosemont, Ill.
About the Akron Racers: The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. The Racers competed in the Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL) for two seasons in 1999 and 2000 and in the NPF since 2004. Historic Firestone Stadium is home to the Racers and numerous amateur events at all levels of play. The Racers kick-off their 11th season of play in 2012. www.akronracers.org
About National Pro Fastpitch: 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. www.profastpitch.com