5-5-10 NPF Headlines: Walton, Osterman


NPF Series Headed to Round Rock, TX
SPY NOTE: After this release was issued, NPF announced that Cat Osterman and Megan Willis have been traded by the Diamonds to the Pride, so Abbott will not be on the Pride roster for this even but Olympian Osterman will be.

SPY NOTE: NPF officials have confirmed that the Florida Gators highly successful coach, Tim Walton, has agreed to coach the Pride in the upcoming NPF season.  (see story below) 

04/20/2010 8:45 AM

ROUND ROCK, Texas – The Ryan Sanders Showdown National Pro Fastpitch Softball Series will be held Aug. 12-15 at The Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas. Hosted by Ryan Sanders Baseball, the series features two professional teams: the Chicago Bandits and the USSSA Florida Pride.The teams will play five games in the four-day period with single games at 7 p.m. CDT Thursday, Aug. 12, and Friday, Aug. 13, a doubleheader at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, and a single game at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15. 

Reserved tickets are $10 per game with general admission tickets for $5 per game. Express full-season and Friday Fireworks ticket holders have first opportunity to purchase their seats for the event April 20-30. Tickets go on sale to the general public May 1. Regular Express discounts apply for seniors, military and kids. Groups of 20 or more also receive a discounted rate. 

Several high-profile players will participate in the event, including Kelly Kretschman (2004 Olympic gold medalist; 2008 Olympic silver medalist), Monica Abbott (2008 Olympic silver medalist), Caitlin Lowe (2008 Olympic silver medalist), Jessica Mendoz (2000, 2004 Olympic gold medalist; 2008 Olympic silver medalist), Lauren Lappin (2008 Olympic silver medalist), Natasha Watley (2000, 2004 Olympic gold medalist; 2008 Olympic silver medalist) and Jennie Finch (2000, 2004 Olympic gold medalist; 2008 Olympic silver medalist). 

Kretschman, Abbott, Lowe, Mendoza, Lappin and Watley all play for the USSSA Pride, while Finch plays for the Chicago Bandits. Abbott, Lowe, Mendoza, Lappin, Watley and Finch are current Team USA members. Katie Burkhart, a member of the USSSA Florida Pride, led Arizona State to victory in the 2008 Women’s College World Series and was named the event’s most valuable player. 

Part of the proceeds from the event will go to support local softball groups, teams and leagues. There also will be a “Home Runs for Hunger” charity effort to support the Capital Area Food Bank. Fans will be able to donate two canned goods items for $2 off any ticket to the series. Rudy’s and Mighty Fine will have a home run hitting contest with their employees following the Sunday game; money and food items will be collected during that event for donation. 

Ryan Sanders Baseball and members of the Chicago Bandits will host softball clinics in conjunction with the event. Clinics run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 12-14 and are for children ages 6 and up. Cost for the four-day clinic is $155; clinic participants also receive a T-shirt, a camp photo and a voucher for a free reserved ticket to each game. More information on the clinics will be made available on www.RoundRockExpress.com. 

May 5, 2010 

Head Coach Tim Walton Named USSSA Pride Head Coach 

University of Florida head softball coach 

“I am grateful to Mr. Don DeDonatis for this opportunity,” Walton said of the Pride’s owner and general manager. “I also want to thank UF Athletics Director Jeremy Foley for allowing me to be involved with the Pride this summer while also attending to my duties at Florida.” 

In his fifth year at UF, Walton is the winningest coach in program history, tallying a 262-64 (.804) record with the Gators. Getting his start at Wichita State, he is 386-128 (.751) in his eighth career season. He coached the Gators to the Women’s College World Series twice, including a trip to the championship series, brought home two Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament titles and earned SEC Coach of the Year twice. UF has made the NCAA Tournament every year of his tenure and hosted Regionals all four times. He has coached 12 All-Americans, 14 NFCA All-Southeast Region honorees, 18 All-SEC selections, two SEC Pitchers of the Year and a Player of the Year and the UF coaching staff has earned NFCA Southeast Regional Coaching Staff of the Year three years running. 

“The USSSA Pride has assembled a world class team over the last several months and there is no question that we need a world class coach to lead them this summer,” DeDonatis said. “Coach Walton exemplifies the way a professional team should be run. We are extremely happy with his decision to coach the USSSA Pride.” 

Walton will be coaching a familiar face as current senior 

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Walton said. “Not only will I provide leadership, but I will get the chance to learn from some of the best softball players in the world. This is a tremendous honor to be on the same field as so many great players and I am looking forward to it.” 

The Pride kicks off its NPF season on June 9 with the Chicago Bandits with the June 12 game on ESPN 2. The full schedule ends with the league playoffs at the end of August. Home games are played at the UCF Softball Complex or the ESPN Wide World of Sports. 

For the most up-to-date information about the Gators, log onto www.GatorZone.com. 

For more information about the USSSA Florida Pride, log onto www.usssapride.com and for information about the NPF, check out http://profastpitch.com. 

Tim Walton was named the head coach of the National Professional FastPitch’s (NPF) USSSA Florida Pride. In addition to his duties at Florida, Walton will coach the 2010 pro team as the schedule runs through the summer. Francesca Enea (Woodland Hills, Calif.) was drafted ninth overall by the Pride in the senior draft in February. The Orlando squad also took Alabama’s Charlotte Morgan, the reigning SEC Player of the Year, as the first overall pick in the draft. The Pride roster currently boasts seven former Olympians: Andrea Duran, Kelly Kretschman, Lauren Lappin, Caitlin Lowe, Jessica Mendoza, Cat Osterman and Natasha Watley.


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