GAINSVILLE, Fla.-- Just days after coming off Florida’s unprecedented fourth straight Women’s College World Series appearance, Gator head coach and 2011 SEC Coach of the Year Tim Walton will switch gears towards his coaching duties with the USSSA Florida Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch league. In May 2010, Walton was named the head coach of the Pride and will continue his duties this season to the pro team as the schedule runs through the summer.
The Pride kicks off the 2011 slate June 10 with a series against the Chicago Bandits at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports that runs through Sunday, June 12.
Not only will Walton represent the Gators with the Pride, former Gator Francesca Enea, who was drafted to the USSSA Pride in 2010, and 2011 senior SEC Player of the Year Kelsey Bruder both play for the squad. Bruder was one of three University of Florida softball seniors drafted by the NPF organization in March. Bruder, Gator first baseman Megan Bush and second baseman Aja Paculba were all taken in the NPF’s five-round annual senior draft March 18.
Both Bruder and Bush were taken in the second round as the fifth and sixth overall picks in the 2011 draft, Bruder to the USSSA Pride and Bush to the Akron Racers. Paculba’s name was called as the first pick in the fifth round to the NPF Diamonds as the 17th overall pick. The trio of UF seniors leave the program as the most successful class in Florida history, boasting a 238-33 (.879) overall record and a 94-13 (.878) record in SEC play.
Walton, Enea and Bruder will look to build upon the success of the USSSA Pride organization, as Walton tutored the team to the 2010 NPF Championship title last August. The championship victory and NPF trophy was the first ever in Florida Pride history.
Gator fans can catch Walton, Bruder and Enea in action this summer several times at their home venue, ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando. Complete schedule here. For Bush’s Akron Racers schedule, visit here and to follow Paculba and the NPF Diamonds through summer play, check in here.