In 2000, Paul Bertling was looking for a fastpitch club for his daughter Alison. She had been playing fastpitch for a number of years in Milwaukee, yet when they moved to Brookfield, the opportunities to play in the area seemed pretty limited.
Steve & Kelli Webber, moved to Brookfield from Portland, OR and were looking for a place for their two daughters Ashley and Kelsey. The Webbers were very instrumtental in Wolf Creek Little League's Girls Fastpitch program in Portland.
Kurt Raguse, the Varsity softball coach at Brookfield East, and a legendary fastpitch player in his own right, was looking to increase the talent of players by developing a feeder program for the Brookfield/Waukesha high schools.
By the fall of 2000, Bertling, got the Webbers and Raguse together. And the Pride of the Midwest was born. "Selecting the name was pretty simple," said Bertling. "We wanted it to be more about a larger geographic area. This wasn't just about Brookfield, or Sussex or New Berlin or Waukesha...it's was about drawing talent from all over southeastern Wisconsin - and beyond. And we wanted the name to be remembered for years to come."
The name Pride came from one of the first women's professional fastpitch teams in Georgia, the Georgia Pride. In the professional ranks, the name Pride was retired until recently with the USSSA Pride in Florida. "In addition, a pride is a family. And that is what we are. Any girl who has or will play for this organization will always be considered part of our family," said Bertling.
The team colors came of Bertling's wife, Bobi. "I wanted black and gold." said Bertling, "Bobi told me, Pride of the Midwest is an All-American Team - it's red, white and blue. She was right!"
ALISON BERTLING - number retired in 2003. Alison was the first pitcher/player to wear the Pride of the Midwest uniform. Some say she was the primary reason the club was stated and has succeed for all these years.
ASHLEY WEBBER - Number retired in 2006. Ashley was the first player/coach in the Pride orgainzation. She began coaching before she was finished playing, and is still with the club to this day.
KELSEY WEBBER - Number retired in 2014. Kelsey was the first player to spend her entire select softball career with the Pride. From the innaguarl season on 2000 as a 11 year old until she turned 18 years old.
For the last few years, the Pride has captured many titles - locally, regionally and national. Here is a short list of some of our accomplishments.