Kissimmee, FL- Less than 48 hours after her Women’s College World Series national championship win, the USSSA Pride signed University of Oklahoma catcher Jessica Shults to a two-year deal. Shults and the Oklahoma Sooners swept the University of Tennessee Lady Vols in a best-of-three series in Oklahoma City Monday and Tuesday. Shults, who hails from Valencia, Calif., was named to the 2013 All-Big 12 Defensive Team as well as a 2012 First-Team NFCA All-American and 2011 and 2010 NFCA Second-Team All-American.
USSSA Pride General Manager Don DeDonatis was impressed the first time he saw her play, “Last season when I got a chance to watch her in person in Oklahoma City at the Women’s College World Series I knew that I needed to find a way to make her a member of the Pride. We’re looking for her leadership and talent that lead Oklahoma to the National Championship to help the Pride to the Cowles Cup this summer.”
Credit Stan Liu.
Throughout her college career at OU, Shults hit .342 with 239 hits, 230 RBIs, a Big 12-record 61 homeruns and a .995 fielding percentage. She started all 61 games her senior season. Her quick glove and fearlessness behind the plate made her a hot defensive prospect for the Pride.
Oklahoma Head Coach Patty Gasso had high praise for her former catcher, “USSSA is not only getting a national champion in Jessica Shults, but they are getting a phenomenal leader, a great person and someone who can be a face for their program. Jessica has the ability to elevate the level of play of those around her, but her love for the sport of softball is also infectious. People that are around her have a great passion for the game, and I know that her signing with the Pride will be a great fit for both sides.”
The news of Shults’ signing comes shortly after the signing of her Big 12 Conference rival, Texas pitcher Blaire Luna. The pair spent four years playing against each other, and will now take the field together as USSSA Pride teammates.
Shults and the Pride begin the 2013 season with a four-game series against the NY/NJ Comets Starting this Sunday, June 9 at 8:05 p.m. Don’t miss live game coverage at USSSALive.com, and find the latest news and updates on the Pride at dev.usssapride.com
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.
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). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), 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 News!