Kissimmee, FL—May 10, 2016-The USSSA Florida Pride announce the signing of free agent pitcher Jolene Henderson to a three-year contract. Henderson became a free agent on May 1st after being franchised by the Dallas Charge. The former Cal Berkley and Team USA pitcher finished 3-10 with a 2.18 ERA in her National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) rookie season last year.
“I think Jolene will be a great addition to the Pride staff and USSSA organization. I’ve always been a fan of her ‘give me the ball’ attitude since her college days at Cal. She’ll immediately help solidify our staff and will be a great ambassador of the game with everything we have going on in USSSA Fastpitch,” commented General Manager Don DeDonatis.
Henderson made history last year when she became the first player to sign a contract with the Dallas Charge. Despite a losing record, she finished seventh in the NPF with her 2.18 ERA and her 29 strikeouts looking ranked fourth in the league. Overall, she struck out 59 hitters in 86.2 innings of work.
“I’m excited to be on a team with a talented history and a bright future,” Henderson said on her signing. “I really enjoyed playing against the Pride last season because of the energy and competitiveness they brought to the field every game. It’ll be fun to now be a part of that culture.”
During her four-year college career, Henderson rewrote the Cal Berkley record books. She finished her career as the program’s all-time winningest pitcher with a record of 130-35. The three-time NFCA All American and three-time All Pac-12 player ranks third all-time in career strikeouts with 1124. She was the 2012 Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and a Top 10 Finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year in 2013.
Originally, Henderson was drafted by the Chicago Bandits in 2013 but sat out due to an ACL injury she suffered her senior season. She missed the 2014 NPF season to play for Team USA where she led the team to a World Cup Championship.
Henderson also brings international experience to the Pride pitching staff. She played two seasons in Japan for Denso and is currently playing in Italy for Sardinia.
Due to NPF rules, the Charge will inherit the Pride’s 2017 First Round draft pick as compensation for Henderson.
The Pride and Henderson will kickoff the 2016 NPF season on June 10th when they travel to Houston to play the Scrap Yard Dawgs. Go to dev.usssapride.com for ticket information and the entire 2016 schedule. You can follow the Pride all season long on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.
About USSSA Florida Pride: The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
About USSSA: USSSA is headquartered in Osceola County, Florida. USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.