Veteran catcher Shannon Doepking will retire from National Pro Fastpitch after five seasons, the Chicago Bandits announced Monday.
"This is an announcement we were not looking forward to make," Bandits general manager Aaron M. Moore said in a statement released to the media. "Doepking came in and managed not only Monica (Abbott), but the entire pitching staff so effectively.
"She is a consummate professional and was a leader in the clubhouse. The intangibles she brought to the team for two seasons will be missed. Shannon was definitely key in our championship run in 2011."
Drafted by the Akron Racers in 2008 as the 15th overall selection, the University of Tennessee product hit .208 as a rookie for the Racers while recording a .344 on-base percentage along with 15 RBIs.
Following her rookie season, Doepking was traded to the USSSA Pride, where she spent one season before being traded to the Tennessee Diamonds in 2010. She finished the season with a .233 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .258.
Doepking signed with the Bandits as a free agent before to the 2011 season and enjoyed one of her best professional seasons hitting, .263 with a .377 on-base percentage and had 6 RBIs. Catching Monica Abbott's perfect game on Aug. 4, 2011, Doepking's presence at and behind the plate helped lead the Bandits to their second NPF Championship in Sulphur, La.
"I never thought I would have the opportunity to play after college and I'm so thankful for those five years," said Doepking. "I've met new people, made amazing friends, won a championship and found a new home in Rosemont."
In her final season with the Bandits, Doepking finished with a .229 batting average with 13 RBIs and 3 home runs.