NPF Rebounds With 'Pride'

Pro League Adds New Central Florida Team

The situation looked dire for the National Pro Fastpitch league last month with the loss of its second franchise in 2009, leaving only four. But like the stock market, the league’s fortunes have rebounded substantially with the announcement this morning of a cooperative partnership with the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA). 
The USSSA will field a new team to replace the defunct Washington Glory—aptly named the Pride—based in Osceola County, Florida. The move gains a valuable foothold for the NPF in the Central Florida area near Disney World, where thousands of young athletes participate annually in USSSA Tournaments and events. 
The Pride roster includes 10 former Glory players including 2007 NPF Pitcher of the Year, Desiree Serrano, and 2007 NPF Player of the Year, Amber Jackson. The roster also includes Olympians Monica Abbott, Kelly Kretschman (a Florida native), and Caitlin Lowe. The new ball club also inherits the 2009 Glory draft choices of pitcher Stacey Nelson—odds on favorite for 2009 Collegiate Player of the Year—and outfielder Kim Waleszonia of the University of Florida, in addition to shortstop Maddy Coon from Stanford. 
The Pride will be coached by J.Y. Davis, an accomplished Women’s Majors Coach and former Men’s Division player, and Margaret Davis, a former Women’s Majors player with 22 years of top-level experience. The team will open their season on June 10th in Elgin, Illinois versus the Chicago Bandits.




National Pro Fastpitch is in Jeopardy

Washington Glory Folds, Only 4 Franchises Remain

FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA  Although no official announcement has been made by either the ball club or the National Pro Fastpitch league, sources close to the Washington Glory confirm the franchise has folded after two years of operation. 
At the conclusion of the 2008 season, a group of investors attempted to purchase the insolvent team from the previous owner, Paul Wilson. The deal was announced here on The Softball Channel on February 17th, as part of our live webcast of the 2009 NPF Draft.The new investors did everything possible to salvage the team, but as the deal was almost finalized, more and more undisclosed debt from the previous owner continued to come forward. The entire team, coaches, and support staff were informed the team was folding on Friday morning, April 10th. 
The Glory experienced unprecedented success on the field, winning the 2007 NPF Championship Series in their inaugural year and finishing second in 2008. Olympic superstar pitcher Monica Abbott was named the playoff MVP for her efforts in 2007. 
The Glory’s demise marks the second time an NPF franchise has closed up shop this year; the New England Riptide called it quits on February 6th. It remains to be seen what schedule the league will adopt, if any, for its four remaining teams.