Kissimmee, Fla. — USSSA has announced its 2016 Pride Fall Tour. In a way to promote the team and the NPF during the off-season, the USSSA Pride will be making their way northeast to college campuses and play contests as part of their Great Lakes Tour.
Six games will be played at four different universities– Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Dayton. The Fall Tour is set to begin next week, Sept. 24. It will gives fan the opportunity to watch the best softball players in the world at their local universities, while preparing the NCAA athletes for their upcoming season.
While on the tour, the Pride players will also help host USA Elite Select Regional Elite camps and Futures tryouts in addition to competing against the NCAA teams with a condensed Pride roster including of 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, back-to-back NCAA Champions and former Gators Kirsti Merritt and Kelsey Stewart, as well as former Wolverine Lauren Sweet, 2013 Offensive Player of the Year GiOnna DiSalvatore, former Oregon Duck Courtney Ceo, and former Arizona Wildcat Hallie Wilson. The main pitching staff during the Fall Tour will include All-NPF pitchers Jordan Taylor and Jolene Henderson and former WCWS Most Outstanding Pitcher Hannah Rogers.
Megan Willis and Jenn Gladding will be taking the role of coach during the two week tour as Lonni Alameda and Sam Ricketts are both preparing for the upcoming NCAA season at FSU and Mississippi State, respectively. Willis just finished her first season as Pride Assistant Coach and was a part of the 2016 NPF Coaching Staff of the Year. Gladding joined the Pride coaching staff back in 2014 under head coach Gerry Glasco and currently works as the National Director of Futures Program.
The Great Lakes Tour kicks off on Sept. 24 at Ohio State University. The Buckeyes will also be hosting the 16th Annual Ohio Collegiate Charity Classic that same day, an event that has become one of the largest fundraisers for Breast Cancer Awareness in central Ohio. Twenty different colleges will be participating in this year’s tournament with the Pride vs OSU opening contest taking the spot of main event.
The following day, the Pride will face the Dayton Flyers at UD Softball Stadium with first pitch at 3 p.m. at UD Softball Stadium. The Pride will then head to South Bend, Ind on Sept. 27 for a matchup against Notre Dame in a familiar setting. The Pride hosted their last home game of the 2016 regular season Melissa Cook Stadium.
Following the game against Notre Dame, the Pride will head to Michigan for three games at Alumni Field. Sept. 29 the Pride will play a doubleheader against the Wolverines before ending the Great Lakes Tour on Sept. 30 against the University of Toledo.
Later in October, the Pride will be touring the South for the second leg of the 2016 Fall Tour, which will be announced at a later date.
— Courtesy of USSSA