The end of August signifies a beginning to many things: College, Fall and most notably football season. But the end of August means something else to us. It marks the end of an 88 game regular season schedule for the National Pro Fastpitch League between the Akron Racers, Carolina Diamonds, Chicago Bandits and the USSSA Florida Pride. It is the end of something great but the beginning of something even greater!
The 2012 NPF Championship series will be taking place at Rosemont Stadium in Rosemont, IL from Aug 23th – 26th. With there only being four teams in the NPF, the schedule will go as following:
Thursday Aug 23rd
6:00 PM #2 Chicago Bandits vs. #3 Carolina Diamonds
8:30 PM #1 USSSA Pride vs. #4 Akron Racers
Friday Aug 24th
6:00 PM #1 USSSA Pride vs. #4 Akron Racers
8:30 PM #2 Chicago Bandits vs. #3 Carolina Diamonds
Saturday Aug 25th
11:00 AM #1 USSSA Pride vs. #4 Akron Racers (If Necessary)
1:30 PM #2 Chicago Bandits vs. #3 Carolina Diamonds (If Necessary)
7:00 PM Final Series Game 1
Sunday Aug 26th
2:30 PM Final Series Game 2
6:00 PM Final Series Game 3 (If Necessary)
Every team is playing a “best of three” series to decide who will go to the Final series which starts on Saturday. They have to win two games against their opponent to make it to Saturday for the beginning of the Final Championship games.
This season for the Pride has had its ups and downs. The Pride started off the season against the Chicago Bandits at Rosemont Stadium on June 7th. Having lost the championship game last season to the Bandits, the Pride was looking for redemption. However, the Pride came out of that series with one win and three losses. Their next two series ended on a much higher note winning 3 out of 4 against the Racers and sweeping the Diamonds in a series of two doubleheaders. In the next series, the Pride would get another chance at the Bandits, and as fortune had it, at Rosemont Stadium once again.
The Pride would end up losing all four games of the June 28th series with a few close calls. Now with a .500 record at 8 wins and 8 losses and entering into the middle of the season, the Pride had seven series to go until the Championship. July was a better month for the Pride as they won 12 of their 15 games. Fans probably remember the heated game on July 29th against the Chicago Bandits at ESPN Wide World of Sports due to the series of ejections that occurred in the last regular season game that these two teams would play. Chanda Bell and Shannon Doepking along with the Bandits head coach were ejected after hitting Pride’s Kristyn Sandberg. Not long after, Brittany Mack and Kristyn Sandberg along with Beth Torina were ejected for the Pride after hitting Bandits’ Megan Wiggins. The ejections helped end the series between these two teams in dramatic fashion where the Pride got the sweep over the Bandits.
Going into August with only 3 series to go, they knew they needed to step up and rise to the occasion if they wanted to clench the #1 seed in Regular Season. And so they did, winning 11 of the 12 games only having lost to the Racers on August 4th. With only one weekend left of the 2012 NPF Season, the question stands as to who will be the victor?
The Pride started the 2012 season with 4 games at Rosemont Stadium, and they will be fighting to win the Cowles Cup back in Rosemont! Championship play will start on Thursday at 8:30 PM against the Racers. The Pride had a 13-3 record against the Racers during the regular season, so it will be interesting to see how things play out. Everyone knows it’s a different kind of ball game come championship time, so you will definitely be in for quite a treat this week!
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.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered 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 names 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.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!