The Alliance Fastpitch announces its inaugural Collegiate Summer Series
May 20, 2022 – The Alliance Fastpitch will launch its inaugural Collegiate Summer Series this summer. The Collegiate Summer Series will consist of five series of games played around some of the largest youth softball summer tournaments in the country. The Alliance Fastpitch created the Collegiate Summer Series to provide a competitive platform for college softball to further develop and to increase their overall exposure. We believe playing around large youth tournaments can further increase the visibility of our college softball stars and more produce Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) opportunities for the players and brands interested in investing in softball.
“The Alliance Fastpitch is all about doing what is best for the players and what’s best for the game,” said Jami Lobpries, CEO of the Alliance Fastpitch. “There’s a growing need in our game for organized summer competition for college softball players. Summer collegiate leagues are a thing in baseball because of MLB scouts and improving their draft potential. With the growing talent in our sport, growing college softball rosters, a growing transfer portal, and now NIL opportunities, there are many reasons why college softball players need a competitive platform in the summer. We are excited to take a step further this summer in launching the Collegiate Summer Series and building towards a long-term summer platform for college softball players to continue to develop in a way that makes sense for our sport and athletes.”
Headlining the Collegiate Summer Series will be the return of Team Alliance. Last summer, Team Alliance was created to compete against Team USA in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. The Alliance Fastpitch leadership put together a mix of college and professional players to play eight games against Team USA on the Stand Beside Her Tour. Team Alliance handed Team USA their first loss on US soil since 2008 behind the pitching of Carrie Eberle (Oklahoma State/Athletes Unlimited) and a grand slam by Taylor Ellsworth (Arkansas). Team Alliance was then invited to play a three-game series against the USSSA Pride in front of a USSSA youth National Championship that drew over 5000 fans.
A total of eight players from Team Alliance were invited to USA Softball Tryouts last winter. Two athletes – Montana Fouts and Janae Jefferson – were named to the Team USA National Team roster and several others were invited to participate in international competition for Team USA this summer including Kelly Maxwell, Kayla Kowalik, and Baylee Klingler. Three Team Alliance members finished in the top 10 in their inaugural professional season in Athletes Unlimited including Carrie Eberle (4th overall), Aliyah Andrews (8th overall), and Sis Bates (9th overall).
The Alliance Fastpitch is working with various event operators and Alliance Member Leagues to host Collegiate Summer Series games throughout the country. The Collegiate Summer Series currently consists of five events with games between Team Alliance, regional college All-Star Teams created by Alliance Member Leagues, and the USSSA Pride and Vipers of the WPF. Games at each series will be played around major youth tournaments and athletes will have opportunities to grow their brands with these audiences and create NIL opportunities.
“The visibility of college softball on national television has created superstars in our game. It’s important to put these stars in front of our youth players both to enhance their visibility and to provide these youth players with unique access to their role models,” said Lobpries. “The leadership with our Member Leagues has been working hard to help create a great experience for these college players during their youth events. It’s a model that has been successful with USSSA and the Pride and we’re excited to build on that with college players.”
The Collegiate Summer Series kicks off in Kansas City with games between Team Alliance, USSSA Pride and Vipers during the Team 1 Invitational, a showcase tournament with over 300 amateur teams in the Midwest. This series will be hosted by Team 1 Events and the leadership of the Heart of America Fastpitch League (HFL).
The Series then heads east to play in front of the Scenic City Summer Showcase in Chattanooga with over 400 youth teams. Team Alliance will play three games against the East All-Stars made up of top college players who reside or play collegiately in the Southeast and east coast. The East Team is being built by Alliance Member Leagues – SEFL, ACFL, and NEFL – and powered by Connect Sports. Games will be played at Frost Stadium in Chattanooga.
Team Alliance will then face Team TFL, a team of college players who reside or play in Texas colleges and supported by the leadership of the Texas Fastpitch League (TFL). The teams will play two games in front of the TFL Summer Championship, a League Championship for 10U to 18U teams registered with the TFL.
Triple Crown Sports will host a three-game series of Team Alliance vs West All-Stars during their Triple Crown National Championship in Southern California. Leadership from the Pacific Coast Fastpitch League (PCFL) is putting together a team of college athletes from the West Coast to compete against Team Alliance.
The final series will take place at Hall of Fame Stadium during the 10U and 12U Alliance Fastpitch Championship Series (AFCS). Team Alliance will host a camp and opening ceremonies for the youth teams competing for a National Championship at the home of the Women’s College World Series. Opening ceremonies will be capped off a game between Team Alliance and regional college players.
See below for the full Collegiate Summer Series schedule:
|June 13 – 17||Kansas City Metro||USSSA Pride
|Team 1 Invitational|
|June 22 – 26||Chattanooga, TN||East Coast College All Stars||Scenic City|
|July 7 – 10||Plano, TX||TFL College Teams||TFL Summer Championship|
|July 13 – 17||Lake Elsinore, CA||West Coast College All Stars||Triple Crown Nationals|
|July 24 – 27||Oklahoma City, OK||TBD||Alliance Fastpitch Championship Series|
Collegiate athletes will be named to Team Alliance and the League Teams later this month. Full rosters will be announced as college players commit to each series.
The Collegiate Summer Series and Team Alliance has already attracted the interest of sponsors and is looking to add more. Under Armour, the Official Apparel and Footwear Provider of the Alliance Fastpitch, will outfit Team Alliance. If sponsors are interested in being a part of the Collegiate Summer Series you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If athletes are interested in opportunities to play in the Collegiate Summer Series, you can contact Kyla Lockley at email@example.com
About the Alliance Fastpitch:
The Alliance Fastpitch was created to bring unity to our sport. We believe we can bring more resources to our game, enhance opportunities for players, and grow the game through the simple concept of Competing on the Field and Working Together off the Field. The Alliance Fastpitch has eight Member Leagues including the Atlantic Coast Fastpitch League, Heart of America Fastpitch League, Northeast Fastpitch League, Northwest Fastpitch League, Pacific Coast Fastpitch League, Rocky Mountain Fastpitch League, Southeastern Fastpitch League, and Texas Fastpitch League. Visit www.thealliancefastpitch.com or follow the Alliance Fastpitch on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
About Team Alliance
Team Alliance is an exhibition team created to provide competitive experiences and exposure opportunities for college athletes. We created Team Alliance to showcase the game’s best talent to various audiences and give additional platforms to elevate the brands of our best players.
The Team Alliance concept was originally created in the Summer of 2021 to play Team USA in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. The Alliance Fastpitch leadership assembled a team of mostly college players to play 8 games against Team USA in Texas. Behind a strong pitching performance from Carrie Eberle and a grand slam by Taylor Ellsworth, Team Alliance handed USA their first loss on US soil since 2008! Team Alliance later played a three-game series against the USSSA Pride and beat the Pride behind a complete game from Georgina Corrick and game winning RBI from Janae Jefferson.
Last winter, eight Team Alliance players were invited to Team USA tryouts and two of those athletes were named to the Team USA National team roster including Janae Jefferson and Montana Fouts. An additional three players were invited to participate in USA events this summer including Kelly Maxwell, Kayla Kowalik, and Baylee Klingler.
Additionally, three Team Alliance players finished in the top 9 in Athletes Unlimited 2021 Season. Pitcher Carrie Eberle finished 4th overall, Aliyah Andrews finished 8th overall and Sis Bates finished 9th overall.