NASHVILLE – The National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) League announced today that a new professional women’s softball team, the Tennessee Diamonds, has been franchised and will begin play in 2010 in Blount County, Tenn. The Diamonds join the NPF as the first team from Tennessee but the second team in as many months from the southern region of the United States. Last month the USSSA Florida Pride became an official franchisee, making an NPF Team home in Kissimmee, Florida.
The Tennessee Diamonds will have first rights to the 2009 NPF Championship Series Champions Rockford Thunder Player roster. Rockford ownership failed to maintain NPF Team requirements to field a Team for the 2010 Season. The Rockford Thunder roster includes Championship Series MVP and fastpitch softball celebrity, Cat Osterman. In 2009, the Thunder finished third in overall League standings before capturing the Championship Series title in Akron, Ohio.
“This is an exciting announcement for National Pro Fastpitch,” said Cheri Kempf, Commissioner of the National Pro Fastpitch League. “Tennessee is a fantastic location for this new team. The addition of the Diamonds adds an expansion team geographically in a great southern spot for the League -- and the fact that it is located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains will offer fans additional entertainment options while taking in a Diamonds game.”
“East Tennessee is known throughout the country for its support of women’s athletics through the Lady Vols and, of course, the legendary Pat Summitt. Ralph and Karen Weekly and their Lady Vol Team introduced successful softball to the area and in turn, the fan-base has grown for the sport. This will be a great home for the Diamonds.”
For more information on the Tennessee Diamonds and the NPF, click here.