Kissimmee, FL-October 4, 2016-USSSA is excited to announce that the Pride are heading south in October for part two of the 2016 Fall Tour. The Pride will make seven stops throughout Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas and will face six teams who made the NCAA Tournament last year including the 2016 NCAA National Champion Oklahoma Sooners. Four of their games are against teams who finished in the Top 20 last year—(1) Oklahoma, (8) LSU, (12) Louisiana, and (17) Texas A&M.
The South Tour roster includes 2016 NPF Player of the Year Kelly Kretschman, NCAA home run leader Lauren Chamberlain, 2015 Rookie of the Year Shelby Pendley, NCAA Player of the Year Sierra Romero, former Wolverine Lauren Sweet, 2013 Offensive Player of the Year GiOnna DiSalvatore, former Oregon Duck Courtney Ceo. The main pitching staff during the Fall Tour will include 2016 All-NPF pitcher Jolene Henderson and former WCWS Most Outstanding Pitcher Hannah Rogers. Joining the Pride on the South Tour are current NPF players Lexie Elkins and Cheyenne Cordes of the PA Rebellion, Nerissa Myers of the Scrap Yard Dawgs, Breja’e Washington now with the Dallas Charge, and former Florida State Seminole Brianna Hamilton.
The South Tour kicks off October 16th at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge against the LSU Tigers. The Tigers are led by former USSSA Pride head coach Beth Torina. In her six years at LSU, Torina has guided LSU to national prominence including three WCWS appearances, once in her debut season and back-to-back in 2015 and 2016. LSU returns six starters from their 2016 WCWS run including All Americans Carley Hoover, Bailey Landry, and Sahvanna Jaquish.
“It is great to be back at LSU. Beth Torina is one of my favorite people and I have great respect for her program,” stated USSSA General Manager Don DeDonatis.
On October 17th, the Pride will make their way to the University of Louisiana for their second exhibition game. The Rajun Cajuns, a perennial top 25 program, made it to Super Regionals last season before losing out to eventual national champions Oklahoma. UL’s all time homerun leader and first overall draft pick Lexie Elkins will join the Pride for the Louisiana stretch. The Scrap Yard Dawgs and UL All American Nerissa Myers will also join the Louisiana stretch.
From UL, the Pride will head to Lake Charles, LA for a match-up against McNeese on October 18th at Cowgirl Diamond. McNeese, under head coach James Landreaux, is coming off a NCAA Regional appearance. Junior All American Erika Piancastelli and her 22 homeruns last season lead the Cowgirl offense.
From Louisiana the Pride will make their way to Oklahoma to face Oklahoma State on October 20th and the reigning National Champions Oklahoma on October 21st. Oklahoma State is led by Kenny Gajewski who coached Pride players Hannah Rogers, Kirsti Merritt, and Kelsey Stewart during their back-to-back National Championships. Assistant coach Charlotte Morgan is a former first overall draft pick of the USSSA Pride.
The match-up at Oklahoma brings former Sooners Lauren Chamberlain and Shelby Pendley back to their alma mater. The duo helped Oklahoma win the National Championship in 2013 alongside Pride teammate Keilani Ricketts. Pendley and Chamberlain rank atop several Sooner offensive categories and became the first teammates to be drafted first and second overall when the Pride selected them in the 2015 NPF Draft.
“I am very excited to return to the University of Oklahoma during fall tour. I have had so many incredible moments on Marita Hynes Field, so it is a very special place to me,” commented 2016 Jennie Finch Award winner Lauren Chamberlain. “It is a great time for softball in Oklahoma, especially with the girls being fresh off of a National Championship. The competition will be there, and I know there will be a great crowd. Oklahoma did so much for me, and so has the NPF, so getting to merge two very important parts of my life is a blessing. I can’t wait!”
The match-up against Oklahoma also matches up two pairs of siblings. Pendley’s sister Nicole is now a senior at Oklahoma and the Pride’s Sierra Romero’s sister Sydney is entering her sophomore year at Oklahoma.
“I’m excited to see her again. Unfortunately I won’t be playing because I’m taking care of an injury but I’m excited to be at her school, I’ve never been to Oklahoma so I’m looking forward to seeing why she fell in love with it,” commented Sierra about seeing her sister at Oklahoma.
Following the stops in Oklahoma, the Pride will make their way to Texas and stop in College Station on October 25th for a doubleheader against Texas A&M. The Aggies, coached by Jo Evans and former Pride head coach Gerry Glasco, are coming off a top 20 finish and NCAA Regional loss to UL. Texas A&M is led by All American slugger Tori Vidales and sophomore pitcher Sam Show leads them.
The South Tour ends in San Marcos, TX on October 27th for a final game between the Pride and Texas State softball. The Bobcats are led by Head Coach Ricci Woodward and assisted by former USSSA Pride pitcher, Cat Osterman, who has been the Texas State assistant coach since 2015.
Tickets for the Fall Tour will be available through the respective schools and available on our website at usssapride.com as soon as they come available. All Fall Tour games will be streamed live on usssalive.com/usssapride.
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.
About USSSA: The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), 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.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF): National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball