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Tuesday, January 24, 2012
North Carolina gets NPF team

The Carolina Diamonds have been added as a franchise by National Pro Fastpitch, the league announced Tuesday.

The team will be based in Charlotte, N.C.

"We believe the Carolinas region is a very good area for expansion in the women's professional fastpitch market for a number of reasons," NPF commissioner Cheri Kempf said in a news release. "Primarily, there is an audience there that understands and appreciates the game and has shown their support in the past. We are looking forward to returning the top level of competition the sport has to offer to current and future fastpitch fans in the Carolinas area."

The Carolina Diamonds will be owned by Amelia Nemeth. Her husband, Alan Demaske, will be involved with day-to-day operations.

"I am thrilled to be bringing professional softball to the Carolinas," Nemeth said. "The excitement we hope to generate in the Carolinas is something both avid fans and the casual softball or baseball fans have been looking for. These ladies are fabulous athletes playing at the pinnacle of the game."

The Carolina Diamonds will begin play in June. They will play their home schedule at various venues throughout the Carolinas during their first year of competition.

With the franchise agreement, the Carolina Diamonds obtain rights to the NPF Diamonds' roster. The NPF Diamonds and the Tennessee Diamonds were a league-operated team in 2010 and 2011. Former North Carolina All-American and ACC player and pitcher of the year Danielle Spaulding and former Tar Heels catcher and North Carolina native Brittany McKinney are on the roster.