NASHVILLE -- The National Pro Fastpitch League announced today that the world’s largest amateur sports association has finalized their purchase of an NPF franchise. The USSSA Florida Pride will be at home at the association headquarters in Kissimmee, Fla.
During the 2009 NPF Season, the USSSA managed the team entity known as the Pride, but yesterday finalized their commitment to the women’s professional fastpitch softball by inking the deal. USSSA became involved shortly before the NPF season last year and saw their Pride Team go all the way to the finals of the Championship Series, finishing second to the Rockford Thunder.
“The involvement on the ownership level of the USSSA is a game-changer for women’s professional fastpitch softball,” commented NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf. “For an organization of this size and influence to join the National Pro Fastpitch team is a great day for the future of this game at the professional level.”
The USSSA Pride had a star studded line-up last season that included former Olympians Kelly Kretschman, Caitlin Lowe and Monica Abbott. Kretschman and Abbott both cut their teeth on highly competitive SEC softball, while Lowe was twice an NCAA National Champion at the University of Arizona.
“The USSSA has taken a very important step in the transition from being involved with the NPF and the USSSA Pride as a managing partner to actually owning and operating the team. We were very fortunate to have had the opportunity of managing and running the franchise prior to making the decision to permanently acquire it,” stated Don DeDonatis, Chairman/CEO of the USSSA. “Clearly, I was very impressed with the league and the foundation on which it is built, along with the talented group of players that are playing in the NPF as a whole. Top to bottom it is showcases the best talent in the world,” continued DeDonatis. “The NPF & USSSA are both striving to expand and grow the interest in fastpitch softball. We are very excited and are looking forward to the 2010 season.”
The 2010 NPF Season runs from June 3rd through August 29th. The Season will culminate in the 2010 with its hallmark Championship Series event hosted in Sulphur, La August 26th-29th.
USSSA is headquartered in Kissimmee, Fla. Offering over 13 primary sports programs, including baseball, slow pitch and fastpitch softball and basketball, USSSA has over 3.7 million participants nationwide.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, Tenn. 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).