Wichita State University (WSU), Visit Wichita and Midwest Sports Productions (MSP) are set to host National Pro Fastpitch’s (NPF) Aussie Spirit and Chicago Bandits June 7-8, 2018, at C. Howard Wilkins Softball Stadium on WSU’s campus. This will be the first time Wichita will see professional fastpitch and a match-up such as this one.
The games at Wilkins Softball Stadium are the second and third of six consecutive meetings between Australia and Chicago during the 2018 season. This two-game series will surround Midwest Sports Productions’ (MSP) Wichita Hawaiian Hitfest, which will bring more than 50 teams to South Lakes Softball Complex throughout the weekend. The event is just one of a series of Hawaiian-themed youth fastpitch and baseball events run by MSP across Kansas and Missouri.
“Adding to the momentum in Wichita, we are not only thrilled Wichita is hosting a new sporting event of this magnitude, but also we’re looking forward to welcoming the National Pro Fastpitch organization to the community for the first time ever,” said Susie Santo, Visit Wichita President and CEO. “As this tremendous sports city always does, an energetic welcome will be provided to the athletes, coaches and fans who are participating, and I encourage everyone to come watch these Olympic-level athletes when they come to Wichita to compete.”
The Aussie Spirit and Chicago Bandits will then head to the University of Kansas’ Rock Chalk Park for a three-game series on Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10.
The Aussie Spirit roster features Stacey Porter, Captain of the Australian National Team and an Olympic Bronze and Silver medalist. The Australian team also includes Taylah Tsitsikronis, who has two seasons of NPF experience with the Pennsylvania Rebellion and the Chicago Bandits and was the first Aussie Spirit player to sign for 2018. Rachel Lack, out of the University of Hawaii and veteran Aussie Spirit star is also part of the roster coming to Wichita. The squad features many other Australian National and 2020 Olympic team members.
“At Wichita State University, we support fastpitch softball and are proud of our successful Shocker Softball program; therefore, we are excited to partner with Visit Wichita and bring National Fastpitch Softball here as we help grow this sport around the city,” said Associate Athletic Director Brad Pittman. “These teams represent some of the most competitive in the world and having an event of this caliber, in our city and on our campus is huge for us as well as the sport of fastpitch.”
The Bandits roster holds a solid rookie squad in Washington’s Courtney Gano, UCLA’s Delaney Spaulding and Arizona State’s Sashel Palacios. The rookie squad is backed by an impressive display of NPF veterans in right-handed Ace, Rachele Fico who is entering her first season with the Bandits, but sixth season at the pro level, as well as two-time Cowles Cup Champion Stacy May-Johnson who will compete in her eighth season with the Bandits.
Gates will open at 6:00 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday night with first pitches slated for 7:05 p.m. Following the game, both teams will be available for autographs and to meet and greet fans in attendance.
Tickets can be purchased in advanced on the WSU Shocker Athletics page here: https://ev10.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventList?groupCode=NPF&linkID=wichita&shopperContext=&caller=&appCode
Tickets will also be available for purchase on-site June 7 and 8 at the WSU Arena Box Office (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.); Stadium (5 p.m. until 30 minutes after the first pitch)
Ticket Prices: Adults, $10.00; Youth, $5.00
About Wichita State University:
The mission of Wichita State University is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. Wichita State is a doctoral research university enrolling about 15,000 students and offering 59 undergraduate degree programs in more than 150 areas of study in seven undergraduate colleges. The Graduate School offers 45 master's and 12 doctoral degrees that offer study in more than 100 areas. Wichita State's Innovation Campus is an interconnected community of partnership buildings, laboratories and mixed-use areas where students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and businesses have access to the university's vast resources and technology. For more information, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About Visit Wichita
Visit Wichita markets the Greater Wichita area and advocates for the city as a destination, increasing travel and tourism as a key economic driver for the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by president and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2017 travel and tourism contributed more than $1.1 billion in economic impact to the greater Wichita area.