Danielle Zymkowitz, seen here against Michigan as a senior in 2011, will contend for the starting second base job with the Bandits while Chicago battles for another NPF Championship.
June 5, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Former Illinois softball second baseman and 2011-12 student assistant coach Danielle Zymkowitz begins the defense of the Chicago Bandits' 2011 Nation Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship on Thursday, June 7, as the two-time All-American with the Illini readies for year two in Chicago. Zymkowitz, one of the most lauded players in the history of the Illinois program, looks to retain the starting spot at second base earned partway through the 2011 season with title aspirations driving the upcoming three-month summer campaign.
"I am so excited to have the opportunity to play ball with the Chicago Bandits," Zymkowitz said. "To continue doing something I love with the greatest athletes is really an honor. I want to continue to learn the game from all my coaches and teammates and to win another championship!"
As a first-year player with the Bandits in 2011, Zymkowitz hit .298 (34-for-104) - the sixth-best mark in the league - with 16 runs scored and 10 more batted in, four doubles, three home runs and a triple before taking home All-NPF honors. Zymkowitz continued hitting into the postseason, where the West Hills, Calif., native batted .300 en route to Chicago's second league championship in the previous four seasons.
"Danielle did a tremendous job on our coaching staff this year because of her knowledge and love of the game," Illinois head coach Terri Sullivan said. "I believe she has coaching in her blood, but is ready now to get back playing with the Bandits to defend their 2011 championship! As usual and as all the best do, she trained very hard all year to take her game to yet another level."
Zymkowitz completed four years as the starter at second for the Orange and Blue, playing the entirety of each of Illinois' 210 contests spanning the 2008-11 seasons. The 2009 and 2011 NFCA All-American served as the leadoff hitter for the Illini in each year, batting a program-record .384 (277-for-721) while also finishing atop the record books in hits (277), runs scored (202), stolen bases (91) and stolen base percentage (.858).
Chicago plays its home contests at Bandits Stadium in Rosemont, Ill., opening the season with a four-game series against the USSSA Pride from June 7-10. Tickets and more information on the team can be found here.