June 12, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge softball assistant coach Kia Fennell is spending her summer as a pitcher with the USSSA Pride in the National Pro Fastpitch League. A former All-American at Cal State Northridge, Fennell will be playing her first pro season for the Pride, who is based in Kissimmee, Florida.
Fennell, who just wrapped up her second season as an assistant coach to Barbara Jordan and the Matadors, found out about the opportunity only two days before the Pride's first game, a five-game roadtrip against the Chicago Bandits.
"I am very excited to have this opportunity to continue my playing career," Fennell said. "All of my teammates are great and have been very nice so far. We have a lot of talented players on the team and learning from them will help me in both my playing and coaching. "
In her time with the Matadors, Fennell finished with a 50-42 record in the circle. The 50 wins are the seventh-most in school history and she recorded 507 strikeouts in her four seasons, the fourth-highest total in Matador history.
In 2003, Fennell went 17-12 with a 2.11 ERA and 169 strikeouts. For that performance, Fennell was named to the All-Big West First Team as a designated player and to the All-Big West Second Team as a pitcher. She also was named a Second Team All-American and a First Team All-Region Selection that season.
Joining Fennell on the Pride are numerous softball luminaries, including former US Olympians Kelly Kretschman, Monica Abbott and Caitlin Lowe. Another teammate of Fennell's also holds a connection to Cal State Northridge, as Oli Keohohou is the sister of Matador men's volleyball senior-to-be Ali'i Keohohou.
Fans can keep tabs on Coach Fennell's season at http://www.usssapride.com/. She plans on returning to her coaching duties following the end of the season.