They spend most of their time on the softball diamond. However, later this month, members of the Florida Fire Fastpitch 98 softball team will take to the green.
The players, all girls age 8 to 18 from throughout the area, are hosting a golf tournament to raise funds to attend the Amateur Softball Association of America national tournament later this summer in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The fundraiser, open to all golfers, will take place Friday, June 29 at , 4113 Great Golfers Place in Valrico. The tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. The cost to participate is $75 per golfer or $300 per foursome, which includes green fees, range balls, cart and a barbecue lunch. GO FIRE!!!
The Florida Fire Fastpitch 98 softball team was formed as a nonprofit organization to provide young ladies an opportunity to play softball at a highly competitive level with a focus on academics and civic/charitable involvement. The organization is committed to ensuring the girls are given the best chance to excel as softball players while teaching life skills in the areas of diversity, teamwork, fitness, critical thinking, goal setting and time management.
The Florida Fire 98 team was one of only a few Florida 12U teams to qualify to play in the ASA national tournament in 2011 in Montgomery, Ala.
To qualify for nationals, the team must win first place at one of the qualifying tournaments, which the Fire was able to do at an ASA 12U Elite invitation-only tournament. This is accomplished through many hours of practice as a team and individual hitting and pitching lessons throughout the week as well as weekly conditioning.
Is it worth all the time, energy and money?
“Of course it is. Softball is my life, and I hope to continue on to play high school and college softball,” replied eighth-grader Hannah Pridemore. “It is a lot of work and a lot of time, but we have the greatest girls on our team and we all love being together both on and off the field.”
The girls are practicing hard and traveling most weekends from now until mid-July to qualify, travel and play in the ASA Gold nationals.
“Our girls are aspiring to play softball at the highest level that they can, and ASA Gold Nationals is the pinnacle of softball in the country," said coach Ed Davis, manager of the Fire 98. "It is a great experience for our girls to play against the best competition in the country.”
As the girls work toward their goal of achieving a berth in the 2012 ASA national tournament this summer, they also are working together to raise money to offset the expense of traveling. They're hoping the community will help by coming out and participating in the golf tournament.
For reservations, contact Tracie Pridemore at 813-417-8620 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.