[Photo provided by Nick Monaghan]
“It’s pretty fun to watch players grow,” Marshall said. “I was a shortstop on the travel team and [Ramirez] played second base, so getting to play with her and see her at that level and then coming here and seeing how much she’s developed is fun.
“Her game has elevated from last year and if she wants to play in the league as long as she says she wants to, I think it’s a glass ceiling for her that she can break through. The sky is the limit.”
Ramirez, who turns 23 on July 25, is the daughter of a Chicago police officer who played football at Lakeland College. Her sister, Amanda, played softball at Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Asked about her role on the Bandits, Ramirez showcased her unselfish attitude.
“Whatever they need me to to do I’m going to try my best to do it,” Ramirez said. “I’m just going to do whatever I can to help us win, so if they need me to go in and put a bunt down I’ll do that, too.”
Off the field, Ramirez is a graduate assistant at Northwestern, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in sports management. She wants to play softball as long as she can, with her first priority being to help the Bandits win their third NPF title in four seasons.
“Obviously we want to win it all,” Ramirez said. “But personally, I’m hopefully looking to play on an international team eventually.
“The sport has already give me so much. I want to keep going as far as I can.”
As one of the few pro softball players from the Chicago area, Ramirez relishes playing for her hometown team, which plays its home games at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, the site of the 2018 NPF Championship Series in August.
“Sometimes I look around and there’s so many great athletes around me, you have to take it all in,” Ramirez said. “It’s really cool.”