Aug. 20, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -- A pair of former Wildcats earned three National Pro Fastpitch accolades, announced Wednesday at the league's championship series FanFest in Akron, Ohio. Eileen Canney, a 2007 NU graduate, was named the NPF Diamond Sports Pitcher of the Year while 2009 graduate Tammy Williams earned both the NPF Nokona American Glove Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors. Both players are members of the regular-season champion Chicago Bandits.
Canney, who played the first two seasons of her NPF career with New England before joining Chicago in 2009, boasted a 10-4 record while striking out the second-most batters in the league (98). She had nine complete games, racking up 110 innings of work for the Bandits from the circle. Canney beat out USA National Team members Cat Osterman (Rockford), Monica Abbott (USSSA Pride) and Jennie Finch (Chicago) for the award. Canney was second in voting for the award in 2008 but did earn The Softball Channel Pitcher of the Year honors last season.
Williams earned both Defensive and Rookie of the Year awards after batting an impressive .340 with six home runs, 20 RBIs and 20 runs scored for a stellar rookie season. She earned these numbers despite missing nearly a quarter of the season while finishing her Northwestern classes and traveling to Venezuela with the USA Elite National Team.
Williams routinely made the kind of defensive gems that helped her become the first four-time NFCA All-American in Northwestern history, including throwing out runners on at least two different occasions where the shortstop fielded a ball on the opposite side of the second-base bag at the Bandits' home field in Elgin, Ill. On Saturday night, Aug. 15, Williams ended the sixth inning of a 1-0 win over Osterman and the Rockford Thunder with a full layout dive of a soft pop fly behind third.
Both former Wildcats also were named to the 2009 All-NPF Team; the honor is the second of Canney's professional career.
Canney, Williams and the Bandits are the No. 1 seed for this weekend's NPF Championship series in Akron, which begins at 5 p.m. CT tonight, Thursday, Aug. 20 with the Bandits taking on the No. 4 seed USSSA Pride. For more information, visit profastpitch.com. To view the complete 2009 NPF award winners list, click here.