For the first time in nine seasons, there will not be a National Pro Fastpitch champion crowned.
Game 2 of the best-of-three NPF Championship Series was officially canceled late Sunday after a day of rain and delays made the field unplayable. League officials ruled it was not possible to continue the tournament between the Chicago Bandits and the USSSA Pride of Florida.
Although the weather improved Monday, many of the players for both teams had commitments for overseas play that would have prevented them from participating today. According to a report at ESPN.com, Bandits star pitcher Monica Abbott and several other players were scheduled to leave for Japan, where they will play with pro teams there next weekend.
"This is a heartbreaking decision to make and a terrible position to be in," NPF commissioner Cheri Kempf said in a release at profastpitch.com. "Our players are competitors at their core and every single one of them are gravely disappointed in not being able to finish this."
The Bandits were looking to repeat as NPF champions after defeating the Pride in Game 1 Saturday night by a score of 2-1. Game 2 was set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday, then postponed to 6 p.m. It finally got started about 6:10 p.m. but was postponed again after just one batter, with plans to restart at 7 p.m. More than three hours later, the entire series was canceled.
Kemp admitted her decision not to declare a champion was controversial, but league rules to not provide for another choice.
"Obviously, the best solution would have been to delay the competition to Monday. However, one team would have suffered significant losses to their roster, due to travel plans, making the postponement and continuation unfair to say the least," said Kempf. "Unfortunately, our policies do not provide for naming a winner in the event the Series is not completed."
The Bandits finished the four-team tournament with a record of 3-0, and the Pride finished with an overall record of 2-2 after losing Game 1 to Chicago.