All Stars Fastpitch League Debuts in the United Kingdom
13 May 2022
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK) and the British Softball Federation (BSF) today announced the launch of the All Stars Fastpitch League, a brand-new concept designed to promote and develop fastpitch softball in the UK.
The concept will be brought to life with two teams of specially-selected female players who will compete in the inaugural competition at the National Baseball & Softball Complex in Farnham Park, Buckinghamshire, this season.
The first All Stars Fastpitch League game will be held on Saturday 21st May and the second game on Saturday 4th June, with two teams participating this year - the Eagles and the Ravens - led by Great Britain Women’s Fastpitch National Team coaches and made up of players from across the UK, including National Team players, the Great Britain Fastpitch League and other talented fastpitch and slowpitch softball players.
On each date, games will start at 6.45pm following the day’s play in the BSF’s co-ed slowpitch National Softball League (NSL) competition and we invite spectators to come watch this historic league. Unlike similar competitions in the UK, the All Stars Fastpitch League will feature an in-game experience similar to that of a College game – the first of its kind in the UK. Fans are encouraged to turn up early, dress up, bring signs and noisemakers, and enjoy the hospitality from the adjacent Home Plate Bar and Kitchen clubhouse.
Prior to each game, there will be special award presentations conducted by the BSF, honouring recently inducted Softball Europe and British Softball Hall of Famers, and BSF Annual Award recipients, adding to the celebrations.
Rachael Watkeys, Eagles Coach and Great Britain Women’s Fastpitch National Team Head Coach, said: “This is the most exciting fastpitch innovation in the UK in recent years and I’m delighted at the opportunity to mentor this new intake of athletes. This inaugural season will be foundational, where we learn and adapt the concept, ensuring the League’s – and therefore the sport’s – growth for years to come.”
Commenting on her Ravens debut, player Jess Page Fenner, added: “Fastpitch softball is exciting and there’s never a dull moment. It’s such a strategic sport, knowing every mind on the field is running through every possible play before the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. As a batter, you have a split second to fully commit to a swing in the box. As an infielder, it’s pure reaction and instinct on each play. The outfield has to be calculated in their angles of attack and maintain sharp communication. Each person is a cog in a well-oiled machine. When working together, it’s magic and there’s nothing more exciting to watch!”
Jess played college softball in the USA and now plays for the Barbarians in the Great Britain Fastpitch League and for the Bristol Tigers in the NSL. But she is just one of many players in the league with college or international softball experience, ensuring that the games will present high-quality fastpitch play rarely seen in the UK.
BaseballSoftballUK CEO, John Boyd, said: “With the Great Britain Women’s Senior National Team on track to challenge for an Olympic medal in Los Angeles in 2028, we believe the time is right to shine a light on fastpitch softball in the UK. With the help of some of the best players in the country, we’re delighted to be able to launch the All Stars Fastpitch League.”
The two drafts are as follows, subject to future trades:
|COACH | #22 | Liz Knight (GB Softball)||COACH | #22 | Rachael Watkeys (GB Softball)|
|Captain | #1 | Alyson Spinas-Valainis | GBFL||Captain | #1 | Kim Hannessen | Angels, Legends|
|#2 | Barbara Killer | Barbarians, Legends||#2 | Amie Hutchison | Chromies*|
|#3 | Cheyenne Vogel | H2O, The Mix||#3 | Jade Yerex | Barbarians, Pioneers|
|#4 | Alyssa Johnson | Blue Steel||#4 | Kristen Kittinger | Blue Steel|
|#5 | Crista Reed-Thomas | Legends||#5 | Jess Vernon | Bracknell|
|#6 | Meg Beard | H2O, The Mix||#6 | Chelsie Robison | H2O, The Mix|
|#7 | Jess Page Fenner | Barbarians, Tigers||#7 | Danni Briggs | Angels, Chromies|
|#8 | Clare Martin | Angels, LNZ||#8 | Emanuela Vischetti | The Mix|
|#9 | Marketa Sulcova | Chromies||#9 | Chiya Louie | Chromies*|
|#10 | Carmel Lord | Thames Valley*||#10 | Sian Wigington | The Mix*|
|#11 | Michelle Shaw | Tempest||#11 | Kat Golik | Barbarians, H2O*|
|#12 | Jenny Ball | Pioneers*||#12 | Michaela Sulcova | Chromies|
|#13 Jacquelyn Strey | Blue Steel||#4 | Henry Kittinger | Bat Kid|
|#14 | Kexin Wang | Travelling Dodgers|
|#15 | Emma Agostini | Tempest|
*Former/current GB Softball player
Find out more on the All Stars Fastpitch hub which will host results, statistics and player profiles.
BaseballSoftballUK (BSUK) is the national development agency for baseball and softball in the United Kingdom. BSUK has provided services to the British Softball Federation (BSF) and the baseball community for more than 20 years, with the ambition of developing and increasing the levels of participation, skill and achievement of baseball and softball across the United Kingdom. This occurs both at the junior and adult levels, from school and grassroots through domestic adult clubs up to the Great Britain national teams.