Denver, CO – The National Pro Fastpitch League, is proud to announce a cooperative partnership with the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA). The partnership will immediately place USSSA in a Team Management position for the roster of players formerly under contract with the Washington Glory, which recently folded due to financial reasons.
This move will position women’s professional fastpitch in Central Florida (Osceola County) at the home of USSSA’s National Headquarters where thousands of young athletes will visit annually to participate in USSSA Tournaments and events.
The new team will be known as the USSSA Pride and will include 10 members of the 2007 NPF Regular Season and Championship Series Champions for the Glory, including 2007 NPF Pitcher of the Year, Desiree Serrano and 2007 NPF Player of the Year, Amber Jackson. The roster also includes Olympic gold and silver medalist, Kelly Kretschman (a Florida native), along with 2008 Olympians, Monica Abbott and Caitlin Lowe. The Pride also inherited the Glory draft choices of pitcher, Stacey Nelson and outfielder Kim Waleszonia of the University of Florida and shortstop Maddy Coon from Stanford.
“This is another excellent opportunity of growth for National Pro Fastpitch. The situation with the Washington Glory team placed a group of extremely talented, dedicated and accomplished women into a very undeserving position of uncertainty in regard to their future as professional athletes. I am thrilled with this outcome and I am proud to announce that this group of players will not only play in 2009, but will be treated in a first-class fashion by a top quality organization,” said Cheri Kempf, NPF Commissioner. “USSSA has stepped up in a big way for professional fastpitch by taking on team management of this roster, and we are looking forward to sharing our talented athletes with Florida, as well as the eager, up-and-coming athletes that are involved with USSSA softball.”
“We are very excited and are looking forward to introducing the USSSA Pride to the Central Florida market and to the association’s membership nationwide” stated Don DeDonatis, Chairman of the board and CEO. “In keeping with our current goal of becoming the nation’s premier fastpitch organization, partnering with the NPF and the acquisition of a professional team are important steps in that growth process,” continued DeDonatis. “By becoming involved at the very highest level of women’s fastpitch softball, utilizing our resources and the exceptional ability of the athletes playing the game, USSSA will be provided with a unique opportunity to promote fastpitch softball at the grassroots level.”
The Pride will replace the Washington Glory in all published schedules and the roster will be finalized within the next few days. The USSSA Pride will be coached by J.Y. Davis, an accomplished Women’s Majors Coach and former Men’s Division player, and Margaret Davis, a former Women’s Majors player with 22 years of top level experience. The Pride will begin training camp on June 5th and will open their season on June 10th in Chicago versus the Chicago Bandits.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. The League, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL).
The USSSA’s headquarters is located in Osceola Heritage Park as a part of the Osceola County Stadium Complex. Facilities within the Osceola Heritage Park are the climate-controlled 8300-seat Silver Spurs Arena and the Osceola County Stadium that serves as the spring training base for the Houston Astros.