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TEMPE, ARIZONA (February 6, 2014) –There’s big news coming from the desert as college Fastpitch gets ready to make its first pitch of the 2014 season this weekend. Perennial power Arizona State University is now part of the Louisville Slugger® family. The Sun Devils have signed a five-year sponsorship agreement with the iconic brand and will be swinging the game’s hottest and most-dominating bats, the Louisville Slugger Xeno and new breakthrough LXT.

“It’s the hottest news in Fastpitch,” said Louisville Slugger Fastpitch Business Manager Jennie Ritter, a 2005 NCAA Champion at Michigan and former member of Team USA. “Hot team, Arizona State, joins the hottest brand in Fastpitch, Louisville Slugger, to swing the game’s hottest bats, Xeno and LXT.

ASU head coach Craig Nicholson says his team had many options when he took over the helm as the Sun Devils’ coach this past offseason. Past experience with Louisville Slugger in his previous position at Ball State and the company’s outstanding Xeno and LXT bats made the choice clear.

“With my past relationship with Louisville Slugger, we knew these are the bats we wanted to swing at Arizona State,” Nicholson said. “The Xeno and LXT are truly the best performing bats on the market. The 2014 Xeno is better than ever, but the LXT blew us away when we started training for the season. What a bat!”

“Louisville Slugger is leading the way in our sport with innovative products and a passion for the game of Fastpitch. At ASU we strive to be the best, so we wanted to swing the best. Now we are.”

Xeno continues to dominate Fastpitch diamonds in 2014. And now, as noted by Coach Nicholson, the game’s best-selling bat is joined in the Louisville Slugger high-performance lineup by the breakthrough LXT, the game’s first three-piece composite bat with TRU3™ Technology and a 30-Day Performance Promise. The hot-hitting, super-sweet-spot LXT is expected to push Xeno for number one status among Fastpitch bats as high school, youth and travel players see the top college programs crushing the ball and winning with both Louisville Slugger models.

“New TV deals will allow more young players than ever to watch college Fastpitch softball this year,” Nicholson said. “When girls see our team and other top college programs swinging the Xeno and LXT, they’re going to see how well they perform and will be wanting these bats.”

The Sun Devils joining Louisville Slugger sustains the momentum the iconic brand carries over from 2013 when powerhouse programs LSU and Missouri came on board. ASU, LSU and Mizzou are part of nine Louisville Slugger-sponsored programs in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s preseason Top 25. That’s two times more than any other brand. Six other ranked Louisville Slugger programs – Texas A&M, Louisville, Florida State, Kentucky, Stanford and Louisiana-Lafayette – will also be swinging Xeno and LXT in 2014.

“We know that high school, youth and travel players want to swing the same bats as ASU and our other elite college programs,” Ritter said. “We’re giving them a great opportunity to do that with premier bats and now our Louisville Slugger TRU3 30-Day Performance Promise.”

Here’s how the TRU3 30-Day Performance Promise works. To help players experience the brand new TRU3 technology, which greatly reduces vibration and helps hitters swing with even more confidence, players who purchase a Louisville Slugger LXT, just like the ones swung by ASU and other top colleges, have 30 days to try out their new bats. Any player who isn’t completely satisfied within 30 days can return her bat for a full refund.

“We’re confident that players who swing LXT are going to love the bat’s performance and durability just like the top college players do,” Ritter said. “At Louisville Slugger we believe the girls and women who play Fastpitch are Beautifully Powerful and our bats, gloves and other great gear will help them have fun, achieve their dreams and leave their mark.”

Like other Louisville Slugger-sponsored college Fastpitch programs, Arizona State players will also be supplied with Louisville Slugger fielding gloves, protective gear, accessories and equipment bags.

Louisville Slugger is celebrating its 130th season in diamond sports in 2014. It is the #1 and Official Bat of Major League Baseball® and also sponsors top collegiate baseball programs like Florida State, UNC, Louisville, Arizona, Rice and Stanford.

About Louisville Slugger
Louisville Slugger® is the Official Bat of Major League Baseball® and the #1 name in baseball for 129 years. Louisville Slugger is synonymous with America’s pastime. Originating in 1884, Louisville Slugger bats have graced the hands of the greatest players through history, including stars of today and more than 80% of the hitters inducted at Cooperstown. Louisville Slugger continues to innovate and provide players the products and confidence they need to leave their marks on the game.

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