Kissimmee, FL-May 27, 2016-The USSSA Florida Pride is pleased to announce the signing of free agent Lauren Sweet for the 2016 season.
“I am so excited about joining the Pride! It is going to feel great to get back out on the field. I’m thrilled that I get another chance to play the game I love,” Sweet said about signing with the Pride. “I look forward to learning from the veterans on the team and playing alongside some of the best players in the game!”
During her time at Michigan, Sweet started 221 games behind the plate and finished her freshman season as Big 10 Freshman of the Week. In her senior campaign, Sweet had her best offensive season with a .302 average including 49 hits, 12 HR, and 56 RBI on the season.
Sweet has been recognized for her defensive abilities making the NFCA Great Lakes All-Region first team in 2015 and All-Big Ten first team in her sophomore season. The 2x All-Big Ten second team catcher was equally recognized for her academic achievements making the Academic All-Big Ten team in 2015 and being honored with the U-M Athletic Academic Achievement for two consecutive years (2014, 2015).
“Lauren will be a great addition to the Pride family not only on the field but off the field, commented General Manager Don DeDonatis.”Any opportunity to add such a seasoned player from one of the top winning programs in the nation is a great option. With that winning tradition mindset Carol Hutchins instills in all of her players Lauren will certainly fit right in to the Pride staff and organization.”
Lauren hopes to bring out a positive attitude to the diamond every game as well as the leadership that comes with the role of catcher. That leadership will certainly be enhanced by one of the best catchers to play the game, Megan Willis, who will certainly propel our catchers to the next level of competition as Pride assistant coach. Megan hopes to work closely with the pitchers and catchers for the 2016 season and share her knowledge with these young Pride players who are becoming the face of this franchise.
Lauren Sweet will be joining former Michigan teammate Sierra Romero as one of the newest faces of the USSSA Pride. Sweet and Romero competed together for three seasons at Michigan before Lauren graduated in 2015. Romero was drafted 2nd overall in the 2016 NPF Draft.
“I am very excited about playing with “Romo” again! Her and I created a great bond on and off the field at Michigan, and hope to continue that on the Pride! Starting this new chapter of our softball careers together will be a blast!”
Both Lauren and Sierra will be given the opportunity to play alongside former Wolverine Jordan Taylor who graced Alumni Field years prior to their reign at Michigan. Sweet, Romero and Taylor will make up the first trio of former Wolverines to play for the USSSA Pride in the same season. With the Pride hosting a home series at Alumni Field later this summer these three will feel right at home.
“I am so proud of Lauren Sweet, and happy for the USSSA Pride. Sweet is a great addition to their bullpen, and will make all the pitchers BETTER! Her great game savvy and game leadership will serve the Pride well, and she will make the NPF Better! Lauren had a great career at Michigan, and helped lead us to unprecedented success for four years,” commented Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins.
The Pride kick-off the 2016 season on June 10th where they will take on the Scrap Yard Dawgs. Follow your Pride all season long on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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.