March 13, 2018 (Viera, FL) This spring the USSSA Pride will tour Europe thanks to a joint effort by WBSC and USSSA. The tour has been named the European Pro Softball Series and will see USSSA Pride play exhibition games against the National Teams of three European Power Houses: Italy, Czech Republic and The Netherlands.
The goal of the USSSA European Pro Series presented by WBSC is to assist in promoting women’s fastpitch softball internationally. Baseball and Softball aim to be on Paris 2024 Olympics program and WBSC is sensible to the need of rising awareness of the sport internationally. Hallie Wilson, veteran on the USSSA Pride said, “ The team is excited to be an integral part of the development of fastpitch internationally. We are lucky to have such driven individuals in our corner to help promote this great sport as we work together toward solidifying future Olympic bids for the next generation of athletes.”
“A U.S. professional softball club competing against Europe’s top nations promises to deliver exciting and unique content,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “As baseball and softball continue to grow into a global product and toward 1 billion players and fans, we will see more and more of these types of competitions, particularly ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games, and throughout the next decade.”
The USSSA European Pro Series presented by WBSC will start in Caronno, northwest of Milan on Tuesday, April 24th where the USSSA Pride will face the Italian National Team. The teams will face off again the following day on Wednesday, April 25th (a National Holiday in Italy) for game two.
The USSSA Pride will then travel to Prague to play against the Czech National Team in on Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th.
The games against the Dutch National Team are scheduled for Monday, April 30th in Haarlem, Tuesday, May 1st in Hoofddorp (in the vicinity of the Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport) and Wednesday, May 2nd in Brabant (in the South of the country).
“The opportunity to compete in the USSSA European Pro Softball Series Presented by WBSC is truly exciting for the Pride” commented D.J. Wabick, USSSA International Senior Vice President. With softball back at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, the WBSC has provided the largest international platform to showcase our sport, and for the Pride and their professional players to be able to be a part of that, be a part of the push for Tokyo 2020 and beyond, is an honor. As a professional team, and more importantly as fans ourselves, we know the importance of our sport being back into the Olympics and are truly humbled to be part of the WBSC’s continued growth as the global brand for baseball and softball.”
The tour will end Friday, May 4th is France, where the USSSA Pride will hody a clinic at the Softball Academy of France in Boulouris, Côte d’Azur.T he Pride will then travel to Paris after the clinic and fly back to the USA on Sunday, May 6th.
About USSSA: USSSA is headquartered in Viera, Florida. USSSA is the world’s largest multi-sport athletic organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 4 million participants, competing in 14 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information about USSSA, visit www.usssa.com and follow USSSA on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
About National Pro Fastpitch: (NPF)National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Cleveland Comets, Aussie Spirit, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2018 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.