Sweet Home Alabama for WPF’s Smash It Sports Vipers

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The Smash It Sports Vipers have found a place to call home.

The Women’s Professional Fastpitch team will be based at the Choccolocco Park Signature Softball Stadium in Oxford, Alabama. Among many other events, the venue hosted the Women’s National Team exhibition games last July involving Team USA, Team Australia and Team Japan.

“This takes everything we have been doing at Choccolocco Park and elevates it to an entirely new level,” Oxford city mayor Alton Craft said Wednesday in a press release announcing the news. “We have now brought in our first professional sports franchise to Oxford, Ala., and there is an abundance of opportunities this partnership brings.”

The Vipers, who are led by Louisiana head coach Gerry Glasco, have been searching for a permanent home since the WPF exhibition season took place in 2022. The team was temporarily based in Viera, Fla., at the USSSA Space Complex, which is the home of fellow WPF member USSSA Pride. The league has since doubled in size by adding the Oklahoma City Spark and Dallas, and will begin its inaugural season in June.

Choccolocco Park’s 300-plus acre facility is home to a variety of sporting events, including softball, baseball, track and field, cross country and soccer. Signature Softball Stadium is currently undergoing various changes for the WPF 2023 season, including updated locker rooms and expanded seating and field amenities.

“A major factor in choosing Choccolocco Park was the complex itself,” Smash It Sports president and Vipers owner Rick Schiffhauer said. “The eight on-site softball fields provide opportunities for our professional athletes to impact youth players on a larger scale. Our goal is to host tournaments and clinics where our professional players are working closely with the next generation.”