Similar to the NPF "Back to School" tour of years past, the USSSA Pride will host a six-game, three-state tour against collegiate programs at the beginning of November. Featuring opponents that include the Georgia Bulldogs and 2014 WCWS participants the Florida State Seminoles, the tour will feature most of the Pride's regular-season roster, including Danielle Lawrie, who will be playing in her final games before officially joining the "retirement" ranks.
The Pride will play six different teams (Georgia, Georgia Tech, Wallace State, UAB, Mercer, & Florida State) in a span of ten days, November 6th to the 15th.
In the sextet of opponents, the Pride's hitters will likely face two of the best pitchers currently in college softball, in Lacey Waldrop of Florida State and Chelsea Wilkinson of Georgia. They'll also visit the UAB Blazers, who are frequent visitors to the NCAA tournament.
Only two of the former Olympians that have gained the Pride so much notoriety will participate in the tour; Andrea Duran and Kelly Kretschman, both former members of Team USA, will lead their teammates into battle. Other Pride players on the team include Gionna DiSalvatore; Courtney Ceo; Alexa Peterson; Amanda Kamekona; Lawrie; Brigette Del Ponte; Kristyn Sandberg; Jordan Taylor; Chelsea Thomas; Cassie Tysarczyk; Breja'e Washington; and Megan Willis. Absent from the roster are the likes of Caitlin Lowe, Natasha Watley, and Cat Osterman.
Worthy of note is a change in pace from last year's tour, when some choice members of other NPF squads donned Pride uniforms to participate in certain stops on the tour. It doesn't look like that will happen this year.
The release does not mention who will be coaching the Pride team. 2014 assistant coach Jenny Gladding is the logical choice, as she works year-round for the USSSA organization and doesn't have the tie-down of a collegiate coaching job that regular-season HC Gerry Glasco (now an assistant at Texas A&M) does. If Glasco does, however, end up helming the team, November 6th will mark his sooner-than-expected return to Athens to face the Bulldogs, his former team until his move to A&M this summer.