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Softball | General | 1/18/2022

PG Announces Formal Launch of PG Softball

Photo: Perfect Game
• Perfect Game Softball will be managed and directed by women who played the game at its highest levels
• Women’s softball legend, Jennie Finch, to serve as Educational Ambassador to National Director of Softball Operations, Destinee Martinez and her staff
• Mike Candrea, the winningest coach in NCAA history, joins the effort as Perfect Game Softball’s advisor for on-field programming and athlete recognition

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Perfect Game Founder and President, Jerry Ford today announced the formal launch of Perfect Game Softball, a new division of Perfect Game dedicated to providing young girls and women with best-in-class softball-playing experiences and advancement opportunities in the United States and abroad.
Perfect Game began laying the foundation for its entry into the softball-playing space in 2019. Since that time, the world’s largest youth baseball participation and scouting platform has been putting into place a one-of-a-kind team of experts to oversee an on-field and off-field operational structure that will advance the sport of fastpitch softball in a manner similar to what the organization accomplished for the sport of baseball. For the past 27 years, Perfect Game has helped athletes enhance and improve their skills, with more than 1,600 of them becoming Major Leaguers and thousands more playing minor league baseball and collegiately.  Perfect Game Softball seeks to replicate the baseball model and provide previously unavailable on and off field opportunities for amateur female athletes, including post-playing career positions within the sport.
Among its many features, Perfect Game Softball will host best-in-class events, tournaments and showcases for athletes of all abilities, highlighted by a newly created series of combines. 
Perfect Game Softball combines will provide participating athletes access to features uniquely designed to help each one of them reach their full potential.  One such feature within the combine, is Perfect Game Softball’s added educational component in which each athlete participates in a group mentoring session provided by some of the sport’s most knowledgeable experts, former collegiate athletes, and coaches.  The goal is to expand beyond traditional evaluations and help better prepare athletes to navigate the process of advancing from youth softball to the collegiate level.
In addition to its on-field events and mentorship program, Perfect Game Softball athletes will also gain access to a personalized Perfect Game Player Locker, an online repository of vital performance data and video highlights created to help raise an athlete’s profile during the recruiting process and access to PG Tech, Perfect Game’s proprietary data analytics platform designed to help players improve specific skills and performance.
Today’s announcement follows the recent hiring of former NCAA softball champion and U.S. National Team member, Destinee Martinez as national director of softball operations and Jessica Shults, also a NCAA and women’s world softball champion, as national director of softball scouting.
It was also announced today that former gold-medal-winning, U.S. women’s national softball team pitcher, Jennie Finch is joining the organization as educational ambassador to lend her unmatched expertise to the Perfect Game Softball leadership team. She will work closely with Martinez and her staff to support Perfect Game efforts to provide innovative and unique opportunities for young softball players, domestically and abroad.  Finch, one of the most recognized and decorated softball players of all-time, boasts a resumé that includes a NCAA D-I national championship with the Arizona Wildcats (2001), an Olympic gold medal in 2004 and a silver medal in 2008. She also played professionally with the Chicago Bandits of National Pro Fastpitch, and she was inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame in 2016.
Bolstering its team of experts, Perfect Game Softball has also tabbed legendary University of Arizona head softball coach, Mike Candrea, as its advisor for on-field programming and athlete recognition. After a 36-year career, Candrea retired from Arizona in 2021 as the NCAA all-time leader in wins, with a record of 1,674-436-2 (.793).  Candrea led the Wildcats to eight national championships and 24 Women's College World Series appearances.
"We are excited to formally launch Perfect Game Softball as an operation that will be led by women.  In our view, it was long overdue for the women who play the sport at its highest levels to be given the opportunity to lead the sport and plan for its future,” stated Ford. “We are also thrilled that Jennie Finch and Coach Candrea – two icons of the sport – have agreed to join our efforts. Jennie has an unmatched passion to make the game better for young players, and Coach brings nearly four decades of experience at the sport’s highest level to Perfect Game Softball.”
“I’m thrilled to be working with Perfect Game to grow the game I love and that’s given so much to me," stated Finch. "Their commitment to creating a first-class experience, and unobstructed access to the game of softball for girls is exciting. I’m grateful to Jerry Ford for the opportunity to help build Perfect Game softball into an organization built by athletes for athletes.”
“I cannot think of a better ambassador of the game than Jennie Finch, someone I have long admired and looked up to as the leader of the women’s softball movement.  Having Jennie and Coach Candrea on the Perfect Game Softball management and operations team will allow us to have a greater impact on the women’s fastpitch movement in a short period of time,” said Perfect Game Softball’s National Director of Softball Operations, Martinez.
“I look forward to working with one of my former athletes, Jennie Finch, as we join Perfect Game to help more young girls and women fall in love with the sport that we care so deeply about,” said Candrea.  “Together, we’ll bring our passion for and commitment to fastpitch softball to help Perfect Game grow the sport.”
Perfect Game Softball’s first of 20 combines planned for 2022 will take place February 18-21 in Burlington, IA at FunCity Turf, when participating athletes will compete in a weekend-long tournament.
For more information about Perfect Game Softball, including a list of currently scheduled events, please visit the Perfect Game Softball webpage.
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