HANCEVILLE, ALA. – Wallace State softball is ready to be the first ever junior college team to host the USSSA Florida Pride professional team. The Lions, who have won a pair of NJCAA Division I national championships, play the USSSA Pride on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Heritage Park in Cullman.
The Lions, also winners of eight Alabama Community College Conference titles, were selected late in the summer to become the first junior college stop for the USSSA Pride during its annual fall exhibition tour and are one of only six collegiate opponents on the Pride’s schedule.
Wallace State coach Jayne Clem is honored her Lions have the opportunity to play the USSSA Pride.
“It means the world to us. Some of our players have watched these professional players in college or played against them along the way. I’m sure some of these professional players have served as role models for our players. For us to be able to step on the same field with them is really neat,” said Clem, who has won 761 games in 15 seasons at Wallace State. “It says a lot for our program to be the first junior college ever chosen to be a part of the tour. It proves we are a top-notch program in the state and in the nation. We’re going to take a lot of pride in the opportunity.”
Clem and the Lions are expecting a larger crowd than what they can support at their home venue, Bobby McCracken Stadium, therefore the game will be played at Heritage Park.
With schools being closed Tuesday for the Veterans Day holiday, local softball players and enthusiasts have an opportunity to join the USSSA Pride and Wallace State players for a softball camp. The clinic is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. at Heritage Park and open to all ages. Camp registration fee is $50 and those interested can pre-register at fastpitchal.com and pay at the gate.
The USSSA Florida Pride is coming off its third National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) championship in team history. They finished the 2014 season as regular season and postseason champions. The 2014 NPF championship was played in Hoover, mainly to capitalize on the growing support of fastpitch softball in the state.
Pride team members making the trip to play Wallace State are NPF Player of the Year Andrea Duran (UCLA), Olympic gold and silver medalist Kelly Kretcshman, a former All-American at the University of Alabama, 2013 NPF Offensive Player of the Year GiOnna DiSalvatore (UCLA) and 2014 batting champion Courtney Ceo (Oregon). Also suiting up for the Pride will be Chelsea Thomas (Missouri), Brigette Del Ponte (Arizona), Cassie Tysarczyk (Texas A&M), Alexa Peterson (Oregon), Jordan Taylor (Michigan) and Kristyn Sandberg (Georgia).
Other collegiate stops on the USSSA Pride fall tour include Georgia, Georgia Tech, UAB, Mercer and Florida State.
Wallace State softball won the 2008 and 2013 NJCAA Division I national championships and has captured all of its state championships since 2003, including winning four in a row from 2007-2010.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit wallacestate.edu.
Wallace State Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077
1-866-350-9722 256-352-8443 direct
Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu