After the University of Georgia women’s softball team fell just short of its third straight trip to the College World Series, Lincoln-Way East graduate Alisa Goler wasn’t sure how she was going to deal with the pain from her collegiate career concluding.
Playing for the Chicago Bandits helped her cope.
Just six days after the Bulldogs lost their best-of-three series to Baylor in the Super Regional, Goler was making her professional debut June 4.
“I’m happy it worked out like this,” said Goler, who was selected in the third round of the 2011 National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft with the 12th overall selection. “It’s just been a great experience and made my transition from not making the World Series a lot easier.”
The NPF, formerly known as the Women’s Pro Softball League, is the only professional women’s softball league in the United States.
The league currently features the Bandits, the USSSA (Florida) Pride, Akron (Ohio) Racers and NPF Diamonds from Nashville, Tenn. The Bandits captured the 2008 NFP championship and are playing in a new stadium this season in Rosemont.
Goler already has had an impact with her new team.
The 5-foot-6 third baseman, who hits lefty and throws right-handed, belted her first professional home run over the center field fence June 12 in the Bandits’ 2-1 win over the Pride. It was the first home run of the season for the Bandits after three games without a long ball.
“It’s an ideal situation,” Goler said of playing for the Bandits. “To be 13 hours from home the past four years to being 45 minutes away is exciting. I couldn’t book flights for friends to come watch me play at Georgia.
"Plus, I get to play with the best players in the world every weekend. It’s been awesome. I’m playing against people I used to watch when I was 14 and it’s exciting.”