5-20-10 Funding Causes NPF Diamonds to Move

Tennessee Diamonds Headquarters Move

Music City to be the new home of the Tennessee Diamonds

Nashville – National Pro Fastpitch released today that the Tennessee Diamonds NPF team will be moving operational headquarters from Alcoa, TN to Nashville, TN.

The Tennessee Diamonds team is the newest club in the NPF and was slated to begin play in the 2010 season. The team was originally purchased by an investor group in

East Tennessee and planned to play in Alcoa. For reasons unknown, the investor group has not funded the team and has not complied with other contractual commitments made to NPF and certain of its affiliate companies.  As a result, NPF and those affiliates are currently evaluating their legal options and remedies with respect to the investor group. 

“We have no familiarity with the East Tennessee market, so leaving the team there and trying to make it work with marketing and front office support just didn’t make sense,” commented NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf. “The decision to move the team to Nashville to a softball environment and community that I am personally familiar with, is our best chance to succeed in this unfortunate position we’ve been handed.”

Two weeks ago, the League’s most notable trade in history occurred moving Cat Osterman from Tennessee to the USSSA Florida Pride.  Exchange for University of Tennessee legend, Monica Abbott. Osterman’s catcher and former University of Texas teammate, Megan Willis was also traded for former University of Tennessee and Abbott battery-mate, Shannon Doepking.

Key notable athletes for the Tennessee Diamonds are Monica Abbott, Shannon Doepking, Megan Gibson, and Chelsea Spencer.  Abbott was a part of the Silver Medal winning USA Olympic Team.  In 2007, Abbott was named by the Women’s Sports Foundation “Team Sport Athlete of the Year”. Abbott also set the bar high by at University of Tennessee by breaking many records.  She led Tennessee to their first ever WCWS Finals in 2007.  Abbott’s battery mate, Doepking, will join the Tennessee Diamonds for the 2010 Season. As a member of Tennessee, Doepking helped lead to three consecutive WCWS berths from 2005-07, a SEC Tournament (2006) and regular-season championship (2007) and 246 victories during her four years at Tennessee.  Gibson will be entering her third season in the NPF.  She is most noted to be the only Big 12 Player to be named Pitcher and Player of the year.  She helped lead Texas A&M to the WCWS Finals in 2008. Spencer will be entering her sixth year with the NPF and helped lead the Rockford Thunder to a 2009 Championship.  In Spencer’s Freshman year at Cal, she helped lead her team to a 2002 WCWS Championship.

Front Office Management has been put into place to lead the Tennessee Diamonds in their new Nashville location. Ernie Reynolds has recently been name General Manager and will oversee complete operational control of the team. Reynolds will be assisted by former NPF player, Lisa Iancin in the position of Assistant General Manager. Playing location and Head Coach are yet to be announced.

The Diamonds will open their NPF season June 9th against the Akron Racers at 7:30 pm.

National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. 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).

SPY NOTE:  Very disquieting.  Good that the NPF has stepped in to ensure the team a home; regretful in that NPF has lost four teams, and the Diamonds, who in effect replaced the Rockland Thunder who replaced the Texas Thunder, were hopefully providing an anchor in a league which primarily is East and South.  Of the original charters, only Chicago and Akron remain.  Our sport needs a strong professiona league!

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