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Hart's Jessica Shults drafted by USSSA Pride

Posted: April 7, 2013 9:07 p.m.
Updated: April 7, 2013 9:07 p.m.

USA Softball player and University of Oklahoma catcher Jessica Shults has another option for her post-collegiate career.

The Hart graduate was selected fifth overall by the USSSA Pride of the National Pro Fastpitch softball league this week.

She would join Valencia High graduate Jordan Taylor as the only Santa Clarita Valley products currently playing in the league.

Taylor, coincidentally, is also on the Pride’s roster.

Shults would also join currently Oklahoma teammate, and arguably the country’s best collegiate pitcher, Keilani Ricketts. Ricketts was selected by the Pride with the fourth pick in the draft.

She was one of just 20 players drafted.

For Shults, this is just another in a long line of accomplishments for the Oklahoma senior.

She was part of Team USA’s silver medal at the 2012 ISF XIII Women’s World Fastpitch Championship last summer and played in the 2012 World Cup, helping the team win a gold medal.

She was a First Team All American as a junior, and a second teamer as a freshman and sophomore and was named the 2012 Diamond Sports Catcher of the Year, in addition to numerous Big 12 honors throughout her stellar career.

She is also one of 10 finalists for the 2013 Senior CLASS award, which recognizes student athletes who excel in community, classroom, character and competition.

The Pride’s 2013 season kicks off on Sunday, June 9 — though it’s unlikely Shults’ college career will be over by then.

According to, Shults cannot sign with the Pride until her 2013 collegiate season is completed, as per NCAA rules.

Last season, Oklahoma advanced to the championship game of the NCAA Women’s College World Series where they lost to Alabama 5-4 in the deciding game.

The 2013 Women’s College World Series runs from June 15 through Jun 26 and the Sooners look to be on track for a repeat appearance. OU is currently 30-2 and ranked No. 1 in the country.

The USSSA Pride are located in Osceola, Fla. and are the defending champions in the four team league.

The NPF also includes the Chicago Bandits, Carolina Diamonds and Akron Racers.

Women’s pro softball began in January 1991 with the establishment of the National Fastpitch Association, according to the NPF.

In 1995, the Women’s Pro Fastpich Tour was created, with its first team played on May 30, 1997.

In 2001, the league was rebranded as the National Pro Fastpitch league.

Over the years the league has featured some of the best softball athletes in the world, including former Canyon athlete Crystl Bustos, who was the league’s first athlete to make the USA Softball Women’s National Team roster.

To vote for Shults to win the 2013 Senior CLASS award go to


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