Kissimmee, FL - June 25, 2014- ESPN3 and Cox Sports Television will provide a live broadcast of the USSSA Florida Pride and Chicago Bandits four-game series in Round Rock, Texas. The June 26-28th series serves as a rematch of the 2013 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship where the Pride beat the Bandits to capture their second Cowles Cup.
The series opener is set for 8:05 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, June 26th. Game two is set for 8:05 p.m. (ET) on Friday, June 27th. On Saturday, June 28th, the two teams will play a double header at 6:30 p.m. (ET) and 9:00 p.m. (ET).
The Round Rock series matches-up the top two teams in the NPF. The USSSA Pride sit atop the NPF standings at 11-4 while the Chicago Bandits are second with a record of 8-6. Earlier this season, the two teams split a four games series in Rosemont, Illinois. The Bandits won the first game behind Monica Abbott’s season debut before the Pride won the next two contests a combined 14-5. Abbott once again got the win in a 4-0 victory on June 17th.
Lead Play-by-Play Commentator Bernie Guenther and Softball Analyst Barbara Jordan will call the four games from Dell Diamond in Round Rock. ESPN’s coverage will be televised live on ESPN3.com and WatchESPN. Cox Sports Television will also provide coverage of all four games.
Additional highlights include:
* Texas Homecoming--The return to Round Rock for the USSSA Pride means a return of four former University of Texas Longhorns to the Austin area. Former Longhorns Cat Osterman, Megan Willis, Blaire Luna, and Breja’e Washington return to the area they called home during their college careers. Osterman, a Houston native, went to Cypress Springs High school and Luna, an Austin native, went to nearby Bowie High School. Two other Pride players also called Texas home during their youth and college years. Veteran outfielder Sharonda McDonald and rookie outfielder Cassie Tysarczyk both played at Texas A&M University. McDonald, a Houston native, went to Dobie High School and Tysarczyk, a San Antonio native, went to Smithson Valley.
* Olympians on Deck: Six former Olympians will be on hand in this Round Rock series. Andrea Duran, Kelly Kretschman, Caitlin Lowe and Cat Osterman from the Pride and Monica Abbott from the Bandits all represented Team USA while the Pride’s Danielle Lawrie was a member of Team Canada in 2008.
* 2013 National Championship Flashback: Teammates from the 2013 Women’s College World Series (WCWS) National Championship will face off. The Pride’s Keilani Ricketts and Jessica Shults and the Bandit’s Michelle Gascoigne were all members of the Oklahoma Sooner team who beat Madison Shipman (Pride) and Ellen Renfroe’s (Bandits) University of Tennessee team for the 2013 National Championship.
June 26-28th TV SCHEDULE – ESPN3 and Cox Sports Television (All games also airing on WatchESPN)
About Chicago Bandits Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of National Pro Fastpitch. Located in the Chicagoland area, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level. The roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May and Monica Abbott. The two-time NPF Champions play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women’s professional team.
About USSSA Florida Pride
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad!
About National Pro Fastpitch
National Pro Fastpitch is headquarted in Nashville, TN. 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 name of Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women's fastpitch softball since 2002.