Shelby Turnier will not be the only former UCF Knight on the Chicago Bandits roster when the National Pro Fast Pitch Softball season starts.
Former UCF Softball Catcher and First Basemen Samantha McCloskey was one of four players to sign a contract with the Chicago Bandits Sunday night. McCloskey was among 38 players that tried out for the Bandits this past weekend according to the Chicago Bandits press release. The Bandits also signed South Carolina’s Alaynie Paige, Illinois’ Allie Bauch and Indiana’s Kelsey Dotson.
“We are pleased to welcome these four players to the Bandits family,” Bandits General Manager Aaron Moore said in Bandits Press Release. “Throughout their tryouts, they showed the talent and mentality that met our standards. We look forward to seeing what they can bring to our team in 2016″.
According to the Bandits Press Release, McCloskey impressed at tryouts with a level swing that can generate power from the right side.
McCloskey played for the Bandits in Chicago’s exhibition game Sunday night against Indiana. McCloskey started the game and made an immediate impact throwing out a base runner trying to steal 2nd base. McCloskey also started at catcher on Monday night as the Bandits played an exhibition against the Men’s Minor League Baseball team Southern Illinois Miners which also saw the debut of Turnier as a Bandit striking out four Miners in two innings of relief.
McCloskey caught Turnier for most of the four years they played together at UCF. McCloskey finished tied for 3rd all-time at UCF Softball in career Homeruns and in top ten in Slugging pct in career.
McCloskey was part of 3 UCF NCAA Tournament teams (2014-2016) as well as two American Conference regular season championships (2014-2015) as well as the American Conference Tournament Championship in 2015 when McCloskey hit one of if not the most memorable Homeruns in UCF Softball history on May 9, 2015 in the Bottom of the 7th to win the championship against Tulsa.
In her senior season, McCloskey made American Conference 1st team and was part of senior class that never lost a conference series in the American.
On May 1, 2016 in Tampa, McCloskey hit a game winning 2 run Homerun in the top of the 9th against the USF Bulls to help the Knights win the game and series.
McCloskey becomes the 6th UCF Softball player to play in the NPF joining Turnier, Stephanie Best, Allison Kime, Breanne Javer and Kahley Novak.
The Bandits open the regular season at home on June 2nd vs ScrapeYard Dogs. The Bandits then host Novak’s Dallas Charge from June 8-10 where potentially there could be three former Knights on the field for that series. The Bandits come to Central Florida July 16-18 to take on the USSSA Pride at the Wide World of Sports.
Follow McCloskey and Turnier with the Chicago Bandits on ChicagoBandits.com as they will provide radio and video coverage throughout the season.