VIERA, FL – The USSSA Pride will open their 2018 season this Wednesday, May 30, against the Aussie Spirit in a six-game series. The game begins at 7:05, ET at USSSA Space Coast Stadium in Viera, FL.
The USSSA Pride are coming off their fourth-consecutive regular season championship (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) and their ninth-consecutive appearance in the NPF Championship Series. This season the Pride look to win their fourth Cowles Cup Championship this season. It will be the team’s first win since 2014.
The Pride return 2017 NPF Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, Kelly Kretschman. Also returning is the 2017 Gold Glove Award winner Chelsea Goodacre and the 2017 Homerun Champion in Shelby Pendley. The Pride also return six of the seven 2017 All-NPF team with Shelby Pendley, Keilani Ricketts, Chelsea Goodacre, Hallie Wilson, Sierra Romero and Kelly Kretschman.
The 2018 NPF Draft Class includes; Three-time Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and number one draft pick, Oklahoma’s Paige Parker. Joining her teammate is two-time All-Big 12 Team, Nicole Pendley. 2017 ACC Player of the Year, Jessie Warren, from Florida State is added to the list. Two-time All-American from Georgia, Cortni Emanuel and last but not least, Florida’s 2017 All-SEC First Team, Nicole DeWitt.
Head Coach Mike Stith is welcomed to USSSA Space Coast Stadium as it will mark the start of his first season has head coach. Stith will be assisted by Cody Dent and Andrea Duran, who are both entering their first season as Pride coaches.
Fans can watch every Pride game all summer long on NPFTV.com.
Follow the Pride all season long on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all game or team updates.
Wednesday, May 30- 7:05 PM (EST)
Thursday, May 31- 7:05 PM (EST)
Friday, June 1- 7:05 PM (EST)
Saturday, June 2: 7:05 PM (EST)
Monday, June 4- 7:05 PM (EST)
Tuesday, June 5- 11:05 AM (EST)
Pride Players to Watch:
Delanie Gourley – Gourley will be making her debut for the USSSA Pride this series, as she is will be the starting pitcher for the team’s season opener on Wednesday, May 30. Gourley comes to the Pride after pitching for the Dallas Charge and Team USA in the 2017 season. This lefty pitcher will keep hitters on their toes with her off-speed pitches.
Shelby Pendley – The defending NPF Homerun champion returns. After renewing her contract for the 2018 season Pendley is back and ready to go. She batted .262 last season with an impressive 13 homeruns. This will be Pendley’s fourth season with the USSSA Pride.
Allexis “Chip” Bennett – USSSA Pride welcome Bennett to the team, as she played last year for the Scrapyard dawgs. Batting last season .324 for the Dawgs, Bennett is one to look out for this series. A left-handed slapper with undeniable speed, Bennett will steal bases and take away some hits in the outfield.
Aussie Spirit Players to Watch:
Monica Perry – Perry has had a good start to the 2018 season. She has a 2.25 ERA on the season so far and has not given up any homeruns. Perry spent her college career in America and finished at Florida State University.
Taylah Tsitsikronis – Tsitsikronis is no stranger to the NPF. Before signing with the Spirit’s she played for the Chicago Bandits. So far, this season Tsitsikronis is batting .393 with an on base percentage of .857. She has not been an easy out for her competitors. She will be one to watch during this series.
Verity Long –This season Long decided to play softball again after being out for three years and working as a Lawyer in Australia. So far, this season Long has found her way on base with a .281 batting average and a .406 on base percentage. Coming out of retirement makes Long a player to watch.
Fun Facts –
2018 marks the 10-year anniversary for the USSSA Pride 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.
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.
USSSA is 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.