Aug 21, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Andi Williamson hung up her Marshall softball jersey and put on a Chicago Bandits' uniform May 31, when she was signed as a National Pro Fastpitch free agent by Bandits General Manager Aaron Moore.
After an outstanding senior season, Conference USA championship and NCAA regionals appearance with the Herd, the Harts, W.Va., native joined a Bandits club that clinched the NPF regular-season title Aug. 17.
In a quick turnaround from college to professional softball, Williamson has exceeded expectations
Williamson has started and pitched in 13 games in the past three months, with eight complete games. In 75.1 innings, she's stacked up 50 strikeouts and a 9-2 record. Her 1.67 ERA trails legendary teammate Monica Abbott's .092 ERA. Williamson is No. 2 on the Bandit pitching staff in starts, complete games, innings pitched, wins and strikeouts.
On June 5, she made her first pro start in the circle with the Bandits and solidified a 7-1 victory with three strikeouts. She set a personal-best record at seven strikeouts on June 22 against the USSSA Pride in an 8-1 victory and matched it again in a complete shutout 8-0 win against the same team on Aug. 15 - her most recent game.
Williamson and the Bandits received an automatic bid to the NPF Championship series after a 3-1 victory over the Pride.
The team will play on Friday, Aug. 23 at the Ballpark at Rosemont against an opponent to be determined. More information can be found at www.championship.profastpitch.com.
Here are some of Williamson's thoughts from a question-and-answer session this week:
How has the transition been from Division I college softball to NPF?
AW: The transition hasn't been too hard. It's still the same game, just now I'm playing the best of the best each and every game.
Are you surprised with how much success you've had so quickly in NPF?
AW: I am playing with a great team. They always give me so much support mentally and physically. I have a great team behind me, so it's easy to relax and just pitch my game.
What do you miss the most from Marshall?
AW: I miss my coaches and teammates. I'm excited to see everyone when I come back.
What has been your favorite part of being a Chicago Bandit?
AW: Just getting to play the game I love at this level of competition. It's exciting to pitch against the best, especially when I've grown up watching majority of these girls on TV.
How does it feel to win a C-USA title and move on to win a regular-season title with the Bandits?
AW: It's a great feeling ... There's no greater feeling than winning a championship.
Have you done anything interesting/met anyone interesting?
AW: I have met so many great people and made so many wonderful friends. One of my highlights was meeting Jennie Finch, because she's been such a role model to me. She's such and inspiration not only as a player but as person as well.
What are your thoughts on your pitching this summer?
AW: This summer has been great. I am really enjoying playing for such an awesome program. I feel truly blessed to have been a part of such an awesome team!
What is it like pitching behind Monica Abbott?
AW: It's great throwing with Monica. She's such an awesome person and teammate. I seriously don't know what I would do without her. She has been such an inspiration to me. I'm so thankful I have to opportunity to call her my teammate.
What is your game plan for the championship?
AW: We are going to go out there, be 19 strong, and do our best to bring home this title.
Is there anything you would like to say to Marshall fans, who have kept an eye on you this summer?
AW: I would just like to thank all my Marshall fans because I feel honored that majority of them have taken the time to keep up with me this summer. It's so exciting to hear from them, because I will forever be thankful that I am a part of the Herd.
What are your plans when the season is over?
AW: Once season is over, I will be returning to Marshall to finish work on my degree.