Kimes time - Former UCF softball star wins title
Former UCF softball star Allison Kime can add another championship to her long list of accomplishments.
Kime's Rockford Thunder won the 2009 National Pro Fastpich Championship in Akron, Ohio Sunday by defeating the USSSA Pride - and former teammate Breanne Javier - by a score of 2-0 in a decisive Game 3.
Kime joins Stephanie Best as former Knight softball players to have won an NPF Championship (Best's team, the Washington Glory, defeated Rockford for the 2007 title).
"I'm so excited Ally was able to experience something so special that very few softball players do at our level," said Best, who is getting ready for her second season as an assistant coach at UCF. "She is very deserving and played a key role in getting Rockford to the championship game."
Kime and Best were teammates in Rockford a year ago, which was Kime's rookie year and Best's fourth and final season.
Kime, who played a key role on UCF's 2008 Conference USA Championship team, finished the regular season ranked fifth in ERA and innings pitched as well as eighth in strikeouts. She ended the year with a 3-11 overall record, but recorded the biggest save of her softball career in Game 3 of the semi-finals against the Akron Racers. In that game, Kime relieved Cat Osterman and allowed just one earned run in three innings to send Rockford to the championship round.
This past weekend, Kime started Game 1 of the championship series against the USSSA Pride. Kime allowed three earned runs in three innings pitched, but her team fell 4-0. However, Rockford rebounded to win the final two games of the series each by a score of 2-0 capture the Cowles Cup and the championship.
Osterman, who was the NPF series MVP, was dominant in the wins for Rockford, striking out 13 in both games and out-pitching fellow U.S. Olympians Monica Abbott and Sarah Pauly. Osterman threw a one-hitter in the final game to win the crown.
Javier, in her rookie year in the NPF, finished the playoffs going 2-for-13 at the plate. It was a remarkable debut for Javier, who made the Pride on a tryout and evetually eanred a starting role at first base. She finished the season ranked in the top 15 in hits and batting average while finishing in the top 10 in RBIs and stolen bases.
Ironically, Javier's .277 average was the exact average Best had during her 2007 championship season with the Glory. Javier will hope her second season in the NPF will end like Kime's season year. Best believes it will happen.
"Bre is next!," Best said.