March 27, 2020
Cheri Kempf has long been at the forefront of women’s fastpitch softball – as a highly decorated college, amateur and national team player, pitching instructor, training aid inventor, color commentator for televised softball coverage, and Commissioner of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), a position she has held since 2007.
As Commissioner of the NPF, Cheri has worked tirelessly to grow the presence and strength of the league. Under her leadership, the league has grown to a global sports/entertainment product, receiving increased media exposure and sponsorship opportunities.
During her tenure with the league, she has also established NPF Media LLC, a private investment group that financially supports League growth in the specific areas of League Office operations, expansion, sponsorships and increased media coverage.
Cheri has also established the NPF Championship Series as a destination event to showcase the best talent in fastpitch softball. The event is the culmination of the regular season and offers an attractive live content product and family friendly activity. Other turn key activation events have been nurtured under Cheri, including the annual College Draft, balanced regular season competition and NPFTV- the League’s own digital platform for live game action.
In 2018, the league celebrated its 15th anniversary in its current form of National Pro Fastpitch. The league currently is the professional home for 3 national federation teams (Australia, Canada and China) from 3 different continents. The league also includes players who are members of 4 additional national federation teams, including the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Prior to joining the NPF, Cheri spent 15 years as owner and lead instructor at Club K, the women’s fastpitch training facility she founded in 1990. During that time, Club K, grew to be the world’s largest training facility for women’s fastpitch softball, encompassing 35,000 square feet of training space with students in weekly lessons hailing from 7 different states. She authored an instructional book on pitching, “The Softball Pitching Edge”, which has also been produced in video and ebook. She also authored a software series in pitching mechanics for Dartfish.
Since 2000, Cheri has been a popular television analyst for college and professional softball, working with ESPN, Fox Sports, MLB Network, Cox Sports, YES Network and Comcast Sports. She has also become a staple in ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA Tournament and for 10 seasons was the studio analyst for the Women’s College World Series.
As a player, Cheri was a pitcher on the 1992 USA National Team that earned a gold medal in the World Cup in Beijing, China. She was also a two-time Women’s Majors National Champion as a member of the renowned Raybesto’s Brakettes of Stratford, Conn. During her collegiate career, Cheri was a standout pitcher for Missouri Western State University, earning the National MVP award en route to helping her team capture the only national championship in school history.
Thanks to her stellar softball career, Cheri has been inducted into four Halls of Fame – the NAIA National Hall of Fame, the Missouri Western State University Hall of Fame, the St. Joseph Baseball Hall of Fame and the Amateur Softball of America State of Missouri Hall of Fame.