JULY 9 SPY UPDATE
KEILANI RICKETTS LEAVES TEAM USA
Ricketts, the college player of the year, Honda Award winner, and WCWS most outstanding player, has informed the softball world via Twitter that she will not be playing for Team USA this summer. Keilani’s decision was reaffirmed by her family. The immediate effect is that Keilani will not be in the circle this week when Team USA begins the World Cup in Oklahoma City. There are other USA pitchers, but none have her record or ability. There was a disagreement with ASA over a proposed long-term contract, with Keilani wanting to defer decisions until after the September decision by the IOC on reinstatement of softball to its 2020 program. Keilani says she was fully prepared to play for Team USA this summer, and the qualifier in Puerto Rico, but was told she could not play unless she signed the contract. Keilani was drafted by USSSA Pride of the NPF but has not yet signed a contract, according to NPF. However, her intention is to sign with Pride and to begin playing in Japan in August. There are other details which Spy does not feel authorized to discuss.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Buenos Aires will host the Youth Olympics in 2018.
The Argentine capital defeated Medellin, Colombia, in a final round of voting by the IOC. Glasgow, Scotland, was eliminated in the first round
Medellin sought to use the games as way to help reconciliation in a city torn by violent crime and cocaine trafficking in the 1980s. Colombia’s state president, Juan Manuel Santos, joined bid leaders in their presentation on stage.
These will be the third Youth Summer Games since the project was launched by IOC President Jacques Rogge. Singapore hosted in 2010 and Nanjing, China, will do so in 2014.
17 July 2013 to 30 July 2013
Women’s Softball European Championship 2013
This year’s XVIII. European championship will be held in Prague, during July the 7th – 13th in the grounds called Svoboda Park in Bohnice and SaBaT Trója. The tournament under the head of the European Softball Federation (ESF) with a tradition since 1979 is held every odd year. In 2013, host of the tournament is the Czech Republic, which held the championship for the last time so far in 2005. Prague will host 19 national teams divided into four groups, in which the teams will face each other to fight their ways into the play-offs. The Championship won’t reveal only the new European Champions, but also the qualifying teams for the 2014 World Championship in Netherlands.
The Czech team finished fourth in the last championship. At its own grounds, its ambition will be higher and the players would love to fight their way into the final game with the support of the home crowd as well as the leadership of the national team coach, André Prins – an expert from the Netherlands. His experiences from the past years, in which he stood behind many European teams, could be useful in the medal goal. Among the best opponents of the Czech team, there are all the last medalists: the Netherlands, Italy and the United Kingdom. However, the strong teams from Russia and Spain can also play their role. If the Czechs will succeed in reaching their goal, we will all know on Saturday, July the 13th 2013.
NATIONAL PRO FASTPITCH 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES COMES TO THE BALLPARK AT ROSEMONT AUG. 22-24
Rosemont, IL – In August, the nation’s top professional softball teams will come to Rosemont to compete in the 2013 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship series to be held August 22-24 at The Ballpark at Rosemont. Located at 27 Jennie Finch Way, The Ballpark at Rosemont is home to the NPF’s 2011 Cowles Cup Champions the Chicago Bandits. The series will be hosted by the Village of Rosemont. Tickets are now on sale.
“The NPF is so thrilled to be back in Rosemont for this year’s Championship Series,” said NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf. “We are going to have a very exciting competition this year, especially as the audience for women’s fastpitch softball continues to grow.”
“The Village of Rosemont is honored to host this showcase of world-class women’s athletics in our stadium for the second year in a row,” said Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens. “Women’s fastpitch softball is becoming increasingly popular and has gained a great deal of support from our community within the past few years. The NPF Championship Series will not only build on this foundation but give fans from around the country and of all ages the opportunity to enjoy this great sport as well.”
The NPF Championship Series is the League’s hallmark event and will feature the USSSA Pride, Chicago Bandits, NY/NJ Comets and the Akron Racers. Along with the league’s most talented players, there will also be numerous Olympic medalists on each team competing in the playoff/tournament format.
The format of the series is new in 2013, featuring two elimination games prior to the best of three Final Series. On Thursday, the #4 seed will face the #3 seed with the loser eliminated and the winner moving onto Friday competition. In Friday’s first match-up, the #2 seed will face the winner of Thursday’s #3/#4 game. The loser is again eliminated and the winner moves on to square off in the best of three Final Series against the awaiting #1 seed. The final game of the Final Series is the primetime feature of Friday night. Saturday will conclude with final Series with Game 2 of the Final Series, and if necessary, Game 3. Seeds in the Championship Series are based on team’s regular season finish.
A minimum of four games and a maximum of five games will be played during the series. ESPN2 will carry a live broadcast of Saturday’s first game at 5 p.m. ET and a tape-delayed broadcast of the “if necessary” game will be shown on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.
The 2013 National Pro Fastpitch Championship Series schedule is below.
National Pro Fastpitch Championship Schedule:
Game 1: 7 p.m. (#4 vs. #3)
Friday, August 23
Game 2: 5:30 p.m. (Game 1 winner vs. #2)
Game 3: 8:30 p.m. (Game 2 winner vs. #1)
Saturday, August 24
Game 4: 4 p.m. (Game 2 winner vs. #1)
Game 5: 7 p.m. (Game 2 winner vs. #1)
The Championship Series weekend also includes the Champions Festival, which offers events for athletes, parents and coaches. Participants may attend a panel discussion where Olympic and NPF champions will discuss relevant topics, a champion’s clinic that teaches attendees how to better themselves every day, and a unique opportunity to spend a morning with some NPF champions. The Festival made its debut at the 2011 NCAA Women’s College World Series under the direction of NPF’s Board of Advisors members Sue Enquist and Cindy Bristow. Enrollment for the Champions Festival can be accessed through their website at www.championsfestival.com.
Tickets for the 2013 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Championship Series can be purchased in advance through the NPF and team websites, or via phone. Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the game at the stadium box office, pending availability. Session ticket prices range from $7 – 20, with discounts available for groups, students, seniors and military. Children ages 3 and under are admitted free. All-session passes are priced from $23 – 47. The phone number for tickets is 615-232-2900 and the website is www.championship.profastpitch.com.
About National Pro Fastpitch
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).
About The Village of Rosemont, Illinois
Rosemont, Illinois, Chicagoland’s business and entertainment suburb, is conveniently located five minutes from O’Hare Airport and twenty minutes from Chicago’s downtown. Rosemont is home to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, a wide variety of hotel and dining options, the Allstate Arena, the Rosemont Theatre and a host of entertainment and retail venues including MB Financial Park at Rosemont. Rosemont continues to grow and evolve based on the new vision of Mayor Bradley A. Stephens. The newest addition to the Rosemont community, set to open in August 2013, will be the Fashion Outlets of Chicago For more information visit www.rosemont.com.