Oct 13 2017

Player Spotlight: Women of Slowpitch

By: Hallie Wilson

Viera, FL.
- October 13, 2017- USSSASlowpitch has seen a gradual rise in former NCAA Softball and National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) players who are looking to lengthen their competitve softball careers by transitioning from fastpitch to slowpitch. Don Cooper, coach of the Women's A Derby Girls, states that slowpitch is "seeing an influx of really good athletes. The women do it for passion and they really seem to love playing defense. With some girls having a fastpitch softball background, where not a ton of balls get put into play, it is a different change of pace having almost every pitch be live and playable." 

As we approach the USSSA Mixed World Series, where several of these women will pair with their male counterparts on competitive coed teams, USSSA highlights a few players who have made the transition from a competitive college or professional fastpitch career to a distinguished slowpitch career. 

Player Spotlight:
Laura Harms: Laura was drafted out of Bradley University to the National Professional Fastpitch league in 2004 by the New Jersey Juggernauts where she played one season. She spent the rest of her NPF career as a standout player for the Chicago Bandits. She was a part of two championship teams and had her jersey retired in 2012. Laura now plays for the Derby Girls slowpitch team where she and her team have placed 1st in 21 out of the 23 tournaments she has been a part of and has never finished lower than 3rd place. She has been a part of the Derby Girls for three seasons and has accumulated three tournament MVP awards and five All-Tournament team selections, including being named the 2017 Women’s Major World Series Tournament MVP.

Chelsea Davis: Chelsea played fastpitch softball for Florida Gulf Coast University from 2012-2014 where in only three seasons she managed to break the top ten for nearly every major offensive category record for the school. She also was a member of the 2010-2011 USA Jr. National Women’s team where she won two gold medals. (Pan American Games-2010, World Championships-2011) She began her slowpitch career in 2016 with Khaos/Worth and in only 14 total tournaments player has racked up two tournament awards and five first place finishes.
Kristen Shifflett: Kristen is Radford University graduate (2008-2011) and 2011 National Professional Fastpitch(NPF) 16th overall draft pick by the Chicago Bandits. She is one of the most decorated softball players in Radford University’s history, breaking the top ten of 13 career school records, she was named to the 2010 NFCA Mid-Atlantic Region First Team, 2010 Big South Player of the Year, three-time Big South First Team All-Conference, and two-time Big South Tournament MVP. Shifflett transitioned into slowpitch in 2015 and is now a part of the Derby Girls. In just three seasons of Women’s A, she has earned eight All-Tournament team  selections including being named the 2015 Women’s Major World Series Tournament MVP.
Dara Tyler: Dara played NCAA basketball for Northeastern Oklahoma State University. She began her slowpitch career in 2005 with the Eliminators and is currently a member of Bryant Express in Women’s A. She is a decorated player with 19 total tournament awards including five tournament MVP’s and 14 All- Tournament Team selections. Dara has participated in 121 total tournaments, finishing in first 56 times.
Dara Toman: Dara played fastpitch for Cleveland State University from 2010-2012. In her final collegiate season she posted career bests in nearly every offensive category. After posting a .405 batting average and 19 homeruns she earned a spot with the Akron Racers in the National Professional Fastpitch league. She transitioned to slowpitch soon after and became member of the top ranked Derby Girls in 2014.  Toman has five Tournament MVP awards to her name and 21 All-Tournament team selections. Of the 53 total tournaments she has participated in her team has finished in first 42 times.
Derby Girls
Megan Miller: University of Louisiana at Monroe
Tara Salcedo: California State University
Tammy Higginbotham: San Diego State University
Kristin Shifflett: Radford University/Chicago Bandits
Julie Wisnewski: University of Tampa
Brooke Connell: Washburn University
Mandy Hollman: University of Pittsburg- basketball
Steff Watt: University of Minnesota
Dara Toman: Cleveland State University/Akron Racers
Kami Marrott: Troy University
Amanda Durand: South Puget Sound Community College
Shannon Cooper: Hillsborough Community College
Tiffany Quinell: California State University-Hayward
Leigh Campbell: Santa Monica College
Laura Harms: Bradley University/Chicago Bandits
Bounty Hunters
Sara Poteat: University of Chattanooga Tennessee
Enough Said & Smash-it East Coast
Katie Fricke: Florida State University
Rose Gressley: Florida Atlantic University
Valisha Fincher: University of West Alabama
Kimberly Pierce: Indiana State University
Ashley Burke: Florida State College at Jacksonville
Samantha Walsh: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Alyssa Graeter: Pearl River College
Colena Lazar: Santa Fe College 
Ruby Ritchie: Louisiana Tech University
Taylor Johnson: Central Michigan University
Meagan Pearson:Tennessee Technological University & Louisiana College
Courtney Dodson: Murray State College & St. Gregory’s University
Gina Mengwasser: Seminole State College & East Central University
Melinda Leday: Lamar State College & Lamar University                                                              
Ebony Payne: Indian River Community College & Florida Atlantic University
Patrice Jackson: Chattahoochee Valley Community College & University of Central Florida
Auriel Jenkins: University of Southern Mississippi
Sirene Johnson: Lake City Community College
Brittany Cox: Middle Tennessee State University-Track & Field
Trina McGee: Concordia University Irvine- Soccer
Petula Jones: Grambling State University- Basketball/Tennis

Easton Boom
Shalene Cooper: Ohio University
Andi Ramirez: Brigham Young University
Bryant Express
Justine Rial: Williams Baptist College
Tammy Martinez: Temple College
Savannah Brown: North Central Texas College
Jess Tolbert: University of Oklahoma  
Tawna Williams: Texas Tech University
Kasey Loomis: Oklahoma City University
Ashley Meredith: Missouri State
Kirsten Cutter: Missouri State
Carrie Kaberline: Washburn University
Courtney Walters: Paris Junior College & Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Dara Tyler: Northeastern Oklahoma State University- basketball
Pam West: Arkansas State University-basketball
Chelsea Davis: Florida Gulf Coast University & Jr. USA Women’s National Team
Steff Call: North Carolina State
Caitlin Bouschet: Palm Beach Atlantic University
Sherri Hollis: Rollins College
Brianna Durden: Lake City Community College