In Part 1 of the special two-part interview. Shelby Turnier discusses her NPF rookie season in helping leading the Chicago Bandits and then taking asst coaching job at University of North Florida.
Turnier is in her first season as an asst coach with the Osprey getting the job a month after completing her first season with the Bandits in the NPF winning the NPF Championship in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on August 23rd defeating the USSSA Pride.
On September 20th, Turnier was officially announced as the new pitching coach with the Osprey.
“We are excited for Shelby to join our coaching staff,” said UNF Head Coach Marcie Hickey in UNF Press Release. “She had valuable postseason playing experience at UCF as well as the experience of winning a championship in the NPF with the Chicago Bandits. She has a competitive mentality and wealth of knowledge that will greatly benefit our pitching staff. We are very fortunate to add someone with her credentials to our staff.”
Turnier will be reunited with Jeff Conrad who enters his 2nd season as UNF Asst Coach. Conrad and Turnier have UCF Connections as Conrad was Volunteer coach for the Knights in 2015 when UCF went 50-9 winning American Conference Regular season and Tournament title.
Turnier that year was first player in UCF Softball history to be All-American first team pitcher. Turnier led the NCAA in ERA with an 0.87 ERA.
In the Interview, Turnier discusses many topics including:
- When did she think about getting into coaching?
- What led her to UNF?
- What her coaching philosophy?
- What was her rookie season in Chicago like?
- How did she fit in with the team?
- When was the turning point of the season for Bandits?
- What was it like going pitch for pitch against Monica Abbott?
- What was the feeling getting the last out to win NPF Title?
- Difference playing in Pro League vs College?
Turnier played a big role in helping the Bandits winning the championship in her rookie season after getting selected 11th overall in the 2016 NPF Draft.
“Shelby was a huge addition to our staff in 2016, especially since we had more of a staff approach” said Chicago Bandits General Manager Aaron Moore. “She got better and better as the year went on, and you started to see a very confident pitcher”.
Turnier was used as a starter early in the season but as well as a reliever which would be the role she would have going into the NPF Championship series.
“By the time the playoffs started, we knew she would be a huge piece to our success”. Moore said about Turnier. “The way she can pitch with the bases empty, people on base, early or late in the game made her a very big weapon”.
In Game three of the NPF Championship Series Semi-Finals between the Bandits and Scrapyard Dawgs, Turnier came in relief early in the game and was involved in a pitching duel with Monica Abbott. Turnier and the Bandits would win 2-1 to advance to the NPF Championship Series against the USSSA Pride.
The Pride and Bandits split the first two games of the series. In Game three with the Bandits leading 2-1. Turnier came in relief the bottom of the seventh and retired the Pride in order on three fly balls to the outfield to win the championship. Turnier had two saves to go along with a win during the NPF Championship.
“I’ve seen a lot of pitchers in the league, and I can easily say she pitched with the same demeanor as the great ones like Cat and Jennie.” Moore said about Shelby. “She was unfazed at the biggest times, when it mattered most”.
Turnier became the third player coming out of UCF to win the NPF Championship joining Stephanie Best who won with Monica Abbott and the Washington Glory in 2007 and Allison Kime who won with Cat Osterman and Rockford Thunder in 2009.
“Shelby mentality reminded me a lot of Allison Kime from my time with the Thunder” said Moore who was the General Manager of the Thunder and signed Kime as a free agent rookie in 2008. “Allison is another pitcher that wasn’t fazed by much, and she always wanted the ball in big situations. Allison was always a pitcher that kept our team in the game and ways wanted the ball”.
Turnier future in the NPF is very bright according to Moore. “If Shelby continues to grow and learn the hitters, she is going to be damn good for many years!”
One of the other highlights of Turnier rookie season was her return trip to Orlando when the Bandits took on the Pride in Disney on Weekend of July 16.
Here below is Interview with Shelby Turnier following Turnier win against the Bandits on July 17th where she won in relief with her former UCF Head Coach Renee Luers-Gillispie as well as friends and relatives.
Below are other links and stories from Turnier’s rookie season with Bandits:
Here below is Shelby Turnier interview with Chicago media personality who covers the Bandits from June 20th.