McKINNEY, Texas – The Dallas Charge have signed National Pro Fastpitch veteran and former Marshall University right-handed starting pitcher Andi Williamson to a three-year deal. The Marshall graduate and NPF’s 2013 Miken Rookie of the Year will enter her fourth year in the league in 2016.
Williamson started her career with the Chicago Bandits in 2013-14 and spent 2015 with the USSSA Pride after also playing for Team Toda in Japan earlier that year. Along with her Rookie of the Year award in 2013, she was also named to the All-NPF Team.
In 2014, she had 24 strikeouts in 49.1 innings and was 3-3 with a 2.83 ERA. In 2013, she signed with the Chicago Bandits as a free agent, went 9-2, was third in ERA in the league, striking out 50 hitters in 75.1 innings.
“I’m really excited to be a part of the Charge and help contribute to building a new tradition. I can’t wait to get on the field and compete with such a great group of female athletes,” Williamson said. “They bring so much energy, passion, and love for the game every time they step onto the field. I’m also really looking forward to working with Coach (Jennifer) Rocha on my pitching. I think it will help me bring a new edge to my game.” Rocha has 17 years of coaching experience and played for the University of Oklahoma from 1996-98, then was a graduate assistant coach from 1999-2001.
Williamson still owns five single season and four career pitching records for the Thundering Herd, who is coached by Shonda Stanton who just finished her 17th season of leading the MU Softball program and is a former skipper in the NPF.
In Williamson’s three seasons with the Herd, after transferring back to her father’s alma mater (Andy Paul Williamson was a standout shooter for Marshall basketball, 1987-90) from the University of Tennessee. At UT, Williamson helped the Vols to a third-place finish in the NCAA Tournament).
With the Herd, Williamson helped MU to the C-USA Tournament runner-up in 2012 with a 36-21 record then won the C-USA Championship and earned the Herd’s first NCAA bid and posted a 36-22 year in 2013. In 2011, she led the team with a 3.66 ERA and 99 strikeouts as a sophomore as the Herd was retooling.
The former Herd standout is tied for most wins in a season with 33 in 2013, tied with current Herd pitcher Jordan Dixon (33, 2015), most innings pitched (322.2), most strikeouts (346), most strikeouts looking (91), and most walks (165), all in 2013.
In her career, she is first in holding opponents to .206 in batting average against her (all records 2011-13), most strikeouts /7 inning games (7.66), most walks allowed (357), most strikeouts looking (197) and is second in most wild pitches (43), most balks (5), and most strikeouts (731).
She is in the top ten in every stat category but one, fewest walks, 22-of-23 career categories and top five in 18-of-23 career stats categories. She also holds the record for innings pitched in one game and batters faced — 12.2 innings and 54 batters faced versus Virginia Tech in the NCAA Tournament game (a 3-2 loss on May 18, 2013) — and for strikeouts in seven innings (16, at Ohio U. on April 17, 2013). She also threw her only no hitter against Florida Atlantic on Feb. 9, 2013, in a 3-1 win.
She was 1-2 in the NCAA Tournament, falling 2-1 (8) at Kentucky in game one, beat Notre Dame 3-1 at UK then lost to Virginia Tech, 3-2 (13) and was named to the All-Conference USA second team in both 2012 and 2013 and was MVP of the C-USA 2013 Tournament and on the All-Tournament team. She was two-time a NFCA All-American Scholar Athlete and was on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Williamson, a native of Harts, W.Va., who was the W.Va. Gatorade High School Softball Player of the Year and played at Chapmanville (W.Va.) Regional HS, was a first-team All-American, a four-time first team All-State AA and three-time Cardinal Conference first team All-League player. She led the Tigers to the AA State Championship in 2007 and 2009.
She is in mid-season form having just competed with the USSSA Pride on their Italian tour.
“She is a great addition to our bullpen,” Charge General Manager Kevin Shelton said. ”We have seen already in practice that she fits in well with the team. I like her competitiveness, attitude and intensity. We are fortunate to get her.”
The Dallas Charge, headquartered in McKinney, TX, began competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2015. The Charge provides elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the Charge organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow news, scores and notes on the Dallas Charge at www.dallascharge.com
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success.
The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series.
The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs — located in The Woodlands, Texas — will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from all over the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.