NASHVILLE, TN – Former LSU standout, and current Akron Racers member, A.J. Andrews will be honored on Friday night in New York City as the first female winner of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award at the Plaza Hotel during the organization’s annual presentation ceremony.
Andrews, who was named the award winner at the National Pro Fastpitch Championship Banquet on August 18, will be presented along with some of Major League Baseball’s finest as the MLB winners will also be announced at the dinner on Friday night.
On the eve of the National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series, history was made as Rawlings Sports awarded for the first time, a Gold Glove Award to a female athlete with the honor going to Andrews at the pre-Series banquet in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Now in its 58th year, the Rawlings Gold Glove has been awarded to 323 players in nine positions, all male Major League Baseball players, until now.
Andrews has been a fan favorite since joining the league in 2015. The 2016 season with the Akron Racers saw the Oldsmar, Florida, native make some of the signature plays in the outfield that earned her three All-SEC honors and an All-American nod during her stellar collegiate career at LSU. Three of those catches landed Andrews in the #1, #2 and #3 spots throughout the season on ESPN Sports Center’s Top 10 Plays of the Day.
Andrews finished the NPF regular season tied for the most stolen bases with 15, while holding a perfect fielding percentage for the Racers who went into the championship weekend as the fourth overall seed. Andrews hit .259 on the year with seven doubles and two home runs, driving in 10 and crossing the plate 24 times.
Since winning the award, Andrews has been recognized by the NPF, as well as the Cleveland Indians during a regular season game just a couple of months ago and by LSU during a home football game.
About the Akron Racers: The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, celebrating their 15th Season of Play in 2016. 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.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season was televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage included the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet in April, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas joined the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
Note to Media
Photos and b-roll of players is available. Interviews with the league commissioner are welcomed, and top players from each team are accessible immediately. If you’re interested in pursuing story angles about professional softball for women, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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