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Thunder Looks to Start Season on Right Note

May 29, 2007 - National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) - Rockford Thunder News Release

Cat Osterman vs. Jennie Finch!! This is a pitching match-up for the ages and the best thing is that it's Opening Day of the 2007 season. Finch is a veteran pitcher with the Chicago Bandits, while Osterman will be making her professional debut. Neither pitcher shies away from the big game.

The Thunder signed Osterman to a contract back in December to help bolster their pitching staff from a season ago. As a team the Thunder pitched well in 2006, but missed out on some wins due to the lack of hitting.

Things look to be different for the Thunder this season, as they have revamped their roster. Out of the 17 players currently on the squad, 13 are going to be new faces in Thunder uniforms, including three players that came over in an off-season trade with the Bandits. Mackenzie Vandergeest, Amanda Williams and twin sister Jessica Williams all came up state in the trade.

Look for the Thunder to also do a lot of running on the bases with the acquisitions of speedsters Erin Evans, Jackie Wong and Audrey Rendon joining team veteran and former MVP Kristen Zaleski. The Thunder should be one of the fastest teams in the league this season.

Pitching Match-up

ROC: LHP Catherine "Cat" Osterman (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Cat will be making her "big league" debut for the Thunder on Tuesday night when she steps into the circle, but she is no stranger to big games. The 6-2 lefty from the University of Texas will look to pick up right where she left off last summer when she dominated the international circuit. Expect Osterman to be a critical part of the team's success this season.

CHI: RHP Jennie Finch (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Finch is looking to be a major contributor for the Bandits this season after playing in a minimum number of games in 2006. She is going to be asked to not only be the team's ace in the pitching circle, but also a key contributor at the plate. During her University of Arizona days she was not only the country's best pitcher, but she also helped lead the team at the plate.

Player to watch

Kristen Zaleski is coming off another solid season in which she hit a team-best .322. She has seen Bandits pitcher Jennie Finch on several occasions, including during the 2006 Team USA tryouts.


Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

Up next (Pitching Probables)

- Wednesday: Thunder (Amanda Freed, 0-0, 0.00) vs. Bandits (Jessica Sallinger, 0-0, 0.00), 6:35 p.m. CDT

- Thursday: Thunder (Serena Settlemier, 0-0, 0.00) vs. Bandits (TBD), 6:35 p.m. CDT

- Friday: Thunder (Abbie Sims, 0-0, 0.00) vs. Bandits (TBD), 6:35 p.m. CDT

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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