ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Chicago Bandits and RHP Kelly Barnhill have agreed to terms on a one-year contract agreement, team officials announced Monday afternoon.
“I am very excited to be returning to Chicago,” Barnhill said in a statement. “We have such a great culture in Rosemont thanks to the amazing support we get from the Village and all the fans that come out for our games. The NPF is going to be better than ever this year and so are the Bandits.”
Barnhill, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NPF draft, made an immediate impact at the professional level after a stellar career with University of Florida. Almost immediately after a lengthy run in the Women’s College World Series, Barnhill made the trip to Chicago and joined the team, recording her first professional strikeout and first professional win in a nail-biting, 10-inning win against the Cleveland Comets.
“We saw right away what Kelly is capable of and how she was going to help our team,” Bandits AGM Jourdan Skirha said. “She’s a crucial part of our pitching staff and we can’t wait to see what she does in the circle this summer.”
Barnhill ended her first professional season with 52 Ks over 47.1 IP, good for an ERA of 2.22. While at University of Florida, Barnhill was named 2017 USA Softball Collegiate National Player of the Year, Honda Sports Award winner, ESPNw Player of the Year and also won an ESPY for Best Female Collegiate Athlete. On top of her individual honors, Barnhill also ranks in eight of UF’s all-time career top 10 pitching categories and is the NCAA career leader in ERA and strikeouts per seven innings pitched.
Barnhill and the four-time Cowles Cup Champion Chicago Bandits will return to Parkway Bank Sports Complex on June 10, 2020 for their home opener against the California Commotion. The complete schedule for 2020 Bandits home games will be released later this month. All tickets will be on sale beginning Friday, February 14th at 10 AM.