Kissimmee, FL-November 6, 2014-The USSSA Florida Pride kickoff their 2014 Fall Tour tonight in Athens, Georgia, as they take on the University of Georgia. First pitch between the Pride and Georgia Bulldogs is set for 7:00 PM (ET) at Jack Turner Stadium. Coming off their third National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship in team history, the Pride will take on six colleges and universities as part of their Fall Tour sponsored by Boombah. This marks the third time the Pride will take on the Georgia Bulldogs.
A list of Georgia Bulldogs have played in the NPF including 2012 NPF Rookie of Year and third year Pride veteran Kristyn Sandberg. “I want to hank Coach Harris-Champer for having us and her continued support of the NPF,” said Sandberg.
The Fall Tour offers the USSSA Pride and the NPF a chance to play in front of dynamic college crowds who may not have been previously exposed to professional softball. It also offers current Pride players such as Sandberg a chance to return to their alma maters.
“I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity to return home and play in front of some of the greatest fans in all of college softball. Jack Turner Stadium is an incredible atmosphere and will forever be my favorite place to play ball. It will be my first time back as a player so it’s going to be a little strange being announced as a member of the visiting team and competing against some of the girls I played with at UGA. I’m sure there will be emotions just because Georgia holds such a special place in my heart. But I’m definitely going to soak in the moments and enjoy the night,” said Sandberg about her return to Georgia.
Sandberg was a 2012 NFCA All-American and two-time All-SEC award winner during her tenure at Georgia. She ranks 9th in career batting average, 4th in career homeruns, 5th in walks and slugging percentage, and 6th in hit-by-pitches in Georgia softball history. Other Georgia Bulldogs who have played in the NPF include former Pride infielder Kristin Schnake, 2011 Rookie of the Year Alisa Goler, 2013 NPF Player of the Year Megan Wiggins, Taylor Scholpy, Bri Hesson, Erin Arevalo, Megan McAllister, and Kellie Middleton.
The Pride finished the 2014 NPF season as regular season and post-season champions. Andrea Duran took home NPF Player of the Year honors, Cat Osterman won NPF Pitcher of the Year, Madison Shipman was named the NPF Rookie of the Year, and Breja’e Washington was awarded the Golden Spikes Award as the NPF’s top base stealer. Additionally, veterans Caitlin Lowe and Natasha Watley joined Duran, Osterman, and Shipman on the 2014 All-NPF team.
Pride players participating in the game against Georgia include Sandberg, 2013 Offensive Player of the Year GiOnna DiSalvatore, and two-time National Player of the Year and Canadian Olympian Danielle Lawrie. Other players include Brigette Del Ponte (Arizona), Amanda Kamekona (UCLA), Jordan Taylor (Michigan), Megan Willis (Texas), and Washington (Texas).
Following their game against Georgia, the Pride will host a clinic with Tomorrow’s Champions on Friday, November 7th in Powder Springs, GA. On November 8th, the Pride will travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech at 12:00 PM (ET). The Fall Tour then heads to Alabama where the Pride play Wallace State on November 11th and the University of Alabama-Birmingham on November 12th. On Thursday, November 13th the Pride travel to Macon, Georgia to take on Mercer before wrapping up the tour against 2014 Women’s College World Series (WCWS) participant Florida State on November 15th.
This marks the second consecutive year the Pride have featured a Fall Tour with exhibition games against college teams. Additionally, USSSA helped sponsor the NPF Back-to-School Tour from 2010-2012 where players from all NPF teams traveled across the country taking on various college programs.
To follow all of the action, visit www.dev.usssapride.com or follow the Pride on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #PrideFallTour.