26-player Aussie Spirit team set to take on NPF

26-player Aussie Spirit team set to take on NPF

The Aussie Spirit now have a full roster of 26 players to compete in the National Pro Fastpitch league in the USA this year.

In a ground-breaking move, Softball Australia and the NPF have arranged for the Aussie Spirit to compete as one of five teams in the NPF.

npfAussie Spirit Head Coach Fabian Barlow believes the 48-game schedule will be the ideal preparation for the team ahead of the XVI Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan, from August 2-12.

“The NPF is going to be a massive but exciting challenge for the Aussie Spirit team and the national program in general,” Barlow says.

“Having so many of our national program athletes involved is great for the mid to long-term approach of the national program of exposing our best players to international competition and creating more depth in all positions.

“In the short term we are looking for the NPF experience to positively influence our performances at the World Championship in August.

“The challenges of competing against world-class competition daily, training expectations around competition, regular travel and ensuring our recovery is on point will be very tough and at times grinding, but we will have a group there that will embrace that challenge.

“If you want to beat the best sometimes you have to step into their environment to see what makes them so good and learn as much as you can so you can make the necessary adjustments and improvements to becoming more competitive and confident.”

The Spirit will play 48 games in their debut season, which starts on May 19 with the first of 12 games against the Beijing Eagles to open the 2018 NPF season.

The other teams in the league are the Cleveland Comets, Chicago Bandits and the Florida-based USSSA Pride.

The Spirit will be based at Missouri Western University and play “home” games in Missouri and surrounding states.

Taylah Tsitsikronis, who already has two seasons of NPF experience with the Pennsylvania Rebellion and the Chicago Bandits, was the first Aussie Spirit player to sign for 2018. Now 25 others have joined her, taking the roster to the maximum allowed under NPF rules.

The Aussie Spirit’s final NPF game will be against the Cleveland Comets on July 18, after which they will travel to Japan to prepare for the World Championship, which is potentially also a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

 

Aussie Spirit players who have signed to play in the NPF

Tabitha Callendar (WA) Jordan Lambert (SA) Ellen Roberts (NSW) Jade Wall (Qld)
Michelle Cox (NSW) Verity Long-Droppert (WA) Justine Smethurst (Qld) Clare Warwick (ACT)
Amelia Cudicio (NSW) Stacey McManus (NSW) Carmelle Sorensen (Qld) Melinda Weaver (Qld)
Chelsea Forkin (Qld) Kaia Parnaby (NSW) Erin Thras (Qld) Belinda White (SA)
Leigh Godfrey (WA) Samantha Poole (NSW) Jessica Torpey (Qld) Tamieka Whitefield (Qld)
Shannon Keevers (NSW) Stacey Porter (NSW) Stephanie Trzcinski (SA)
Rachel Lack (NSW) Chelsea Robinson (SA) Taylah Tsitsikronis (NSW)

2018 NPF SCHEDULE

DATE VISITING TEAM HOME TEAM LOCATION
May 19 Beijing Eagles @ Aussie Spirit Missouri Western State University
May 20 Beijing Eagles @ Aussie Spirit Missouri Western State University
May 21 Beijing Eagles @ Aussie Spirit St. Joseph, MO
May 22 Beijing Eagles @ Aussie Spirit Springfield, MO
May 23 Beijing Eagles (DH) @ Aussie Spirit Springfield, MO
May 25 Aussie Spirit @ Beijing Eagles TBA
May 26 Aussie Spirit @ Beijing Eagles TBA
May 27 Aussie Spirit @ Beijing Eagles TBA
May 28 Aussie Spirit @ Beijing Eagles TBA
May 29 Aussie Spirit (DH) @ Beijing Eagles TBA
May 30 Aussie Spirit @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
May 31 Aussie Spirit @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
Cleveland Comets @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
June 1 Cleveland Comets @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
Aussie Spirit @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
June 2 Cleveland Comets @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
Aussie Spirit @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
June 3 Cleveland Comets @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
USSSA Pride @ Beijing Eagles TBA
June 4 Aussie Spirit @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
June 5 Beijing Eagles @ Cleveland Comets Parma, OH
Aussie Spirit @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
June 6 Beijing Eagles @ Cleveland Comets Parma, OH
Chicago Bandits @ Aussie Spirit Hutchison, KS
June 7 Beijing Eagles @ Cleveland Comets Parma, OH
Chicago Bandits @ Aussie Spirit  Wichita, KS
June 8 Chicago Bandits @ Aussie Spirit Wichita, KS
USSSA Pride @ Cleveland Comets Parma, OH
June 9 Chicago Bandits @ Aussie Spirit TBA
USSSA Pride @ Cleveland Comets Parma, OH
June 10 Chicago Bandits @ Aussie Spirit TBA
USSSA Pride @ Cleveland Comets Parma, OH
June 11 Chicago Bandits @ Aussie Spirit TBA
June 12 Cleveland Comets @ Beijing Eagles TBA
June 13 Cleveland Comets @ Beijing Eagles TBA
June 14 Cleveland Comets @ Beijing Eagles TBA
June 15 Cleveland Comets @ Beijing Eagles TBA
June 16 Cleveland Comets @ Beijing Eagles TBA
Aussie Spirit @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
June 17 Cleveland Comets @ Beijing Eagles TBA
Aussie Spirit (DH) @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
June 18 Cleveland Comets @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
June 19 Cleveland Comets @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
June 20 Cleveland Comets @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
Chicago Bandits @ Beijing Eagles TBA
June 21 Chicago Bandits @ Beijing Eagles TBA
June 22 Chicago Bandits @ Beijing Eagles TBA
June 23 Chicago Bandits (DH) @ Beijing Eagles TBA
June 24 Chicago Bandits @ Beijing Eagles TBA
June 25 Chicago Bandits @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
Cleveland Comets @ Aussie Spirit Kansas City, MO
June 26 Chicago Bandits @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
Cleveland Comets @ Aussie Spirit Kansas City, MO
June 27 Chicago Bandits @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
Cleveland Comets @ Aussie Spirit Kansas City, MO
June 28 Cleveland Comets @ Aussie Spirit Kansas City, MO
June 29 Cleveland Comets @ Aussie Spirit Kansas City, MO
USSSA Pride @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
June 30 Cleveland Comets @ Aussie Spirit Kansas City, MO
USSSA Pride @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
July 1 USSSA Pride @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
July 2 Beijing Eagles @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
July 3 Beijing Eagles @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
Aussie Spirit @ Cleveland Comets TBA
July 4 Beijing Eagles @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
Aussie Spirit @ Cleveland Comets TBA
July 5 Beijing Eagles @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
Aussie Spirit @ Cleveland Comets TBA
July 6 Beijing Eagles (DH) @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
Aussie Spirit @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
July 7 Aussie Spirit (DH) @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
July 8 Beijing Eagles @ Chicago Bandits  Rosemont, IL
July 9 Beijing Eagles @ Chicago Bandits  Rosemont, IL
USSSA Pride @ Aussie Spirit Kansas City, MO.
July 10 Beijing Eagles @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
USSSA Pride @ Aussie Spirit Kansas City, MO.
July 11 Beijing Eagles @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
USSSA Pride @ Aussie Spirit Creighton University – Omaha, NE
July 12 Beijing Eagles (DH) @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
USSSA Pride @ Aussie Spirit Iowa State University – Ames, IA
July 13 USSSA Pride @ Aussie Spirit Iowa State University – Ames, IA
July 14 USSSA Pride @ Aussie Spirit Iowa State University – Ames, IA
Beijing Eagles(DH) @ Cleveland Comets  Canton, OH
July 15 Beijing Eagles @ Cleveland Comets Canton, OH
July 16 Aussie Spirit @ Cleveland Comets TBA
July 17 Aussie Spirit @ Cleveland Comets TBA
USSSA Pride @ Beijing Eagles TBA
July 18 Aussie Spirit @ Cleveland Comets TBA
USSSA Pride @ Beijing Eagles TBA
July 19 USSSA Pride @ Beijing Eagles TBA
July 20 USSSA Pride (DH) @ Beijing Eagles Viera, FL
Cleveland Comets @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
July 21 Cleveland Comets @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
July 23 Cleveland Comets @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
July 24 Cleveland Comets @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
July 25 Cleveland Comets @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
July 26 Chicago Bandits @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
July 27 Chicago Bandits @ USSSA Pride Viera, FL
July 28 Chicago Bandits @ USSSA Pride  Viera, FL
July 31 Chicago Bandits @ Cleveland Comets Avon, OH
August 1 Chicago Bandits @ Cleveland Comets Avon, OH
August 2 Chicago Bandits @ Cleveland Comets Avon, OH
August 3 Chicago Bandits @ Cleveland Comets Avon, OH
August 4 Chicago Bandits @ Cleveland Comets Avon, OH
August 5 Chicago Bandits @ Cleveland Comets Avon, OH
August 6 USSSA Pride @ Cleveland Comets  Avon, OH
August 7 USSSA Pride @ Cleveland Comets Avon, OH
August 8 USSSA Pride @ Cleveland Comets Avon, OH
August 10 USSSA Pride @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
August 11 USSSA Pride @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
August 12 USSSA Pride @ Chicago Bandits Rosemont, IL
August 16-20 Championship Series TBA


About National Pro Fastpitch

National Pro Fastpitch, 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 Aussie Spirit, Beijing Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets 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.