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WPSL Prepares for 2000 Season

The Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL) announced Wednesday that the Akron Racers have re-signed first-baseman/pitcher Carla Brookbank, second baseman Tobin Echo-Hawk and outfielder Kellyn Tate to contracts for the 2000 season. Akron has also signed 2000 WPSL Elite/Supplemental Draft selection Monica Armendarez, who set the WPSL single-season home run record last year with 12 while playing for the Carolina Diamonds. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay FireStix have re-signed ace Dee Dee Weiman, in addition to inking rookie pitcher Darlene Lowery to a contract for the 2000 season. The WPSL also announced that the Florida Wahoos have resigned catcher Julie Crandall and pitcher Desarie Knipfer.

Akron will open the 2000 WPSL regular-season at home against Tampa Bay on Thursday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay will then battle the Ohio Pride on Friday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. The FireStix will also play a split doubleheader against the Pride and Racers on Saturday, June 3 at 4 p.m. The USA Softball Women's National Team will visit Firestone Stadium on Friday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the 2000 WPSL season can be purchased by calling the Racers/Pride at (330) 376-HITS (4487) or by visiting the Firestone Stadium box office.

The revamped WPSL consists of four teams located in "National Training Centers" in Akron, Ohio, and Plant City, Fla. The Akron Racers, Ohio Pride, Tampa Bay FireStix and Florida Wahoos will play a 64-game regular-season schedule that begins Thursday, June 1 and concludes Saturday, August 19. The two teams with the best overall records will face off in the best-of-three WPSL Championship Series on Friday, Aug. 25 and Saturday, Aug. 26.

The 2000 season also includes "Central Park to Sydney" a nationwide tour featuring 11 games between WPSL teams and the USA Softball Women’s National Team. "Central Park to Sydney" kicks off in mid-May with a media extravaganza featuring WPSL players and members of the women's national team. The nine-city tour officially begins in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Friday, June 2 and concludes with three season-ending all-star games in Honolulu, Hawaii on Saturday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 3.