ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Illinois United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) will honor two local residents when it holds its induction ceremony and dinner this weekend in Rockford. Paula Oij and Lori “Pizza” Guinta will be inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame. The award recognizes individuals who have excelled as players, umpires, promoters and directors. USSSA considers these individuals to be an elite group who have promoted the character and integrity of the Illinois USSSA.
The event will take place this Saturday, November 3 at 5 p.m. (Induction ceremony begins at 8 p.m.) at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center located at 200 S. Bell School Rd., in Rockford.
Dinner Tickets admission are $55 and must be purchased prior to the event. To purchase tickets, contact Mike Peura at 630.518.5004 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laurie “Pizza” Guinta, from Rockford, will receive the Hall of Fame award in the female player category. Guinta, a Rockford East High graduate and an All Conference 3rd baseman, began playing slow pitch after high school in 1980. She had a .600 plus batting average in her long career. Her teams included: Georgi Girls, Prairie Moon Saloon, Lithuanian/Blackhawk, Add a Bath/DeMarini/Kaisers and more. She had 30 years of USSSA play and earned numerous All State, All NIT and All National/Divisional honors in the women’s and mixed programs and MVP honors during the 1989 State Tournament.
Paula Oij, from Caledonia, will receive the Hall of Fame award in the director category. Oij ran the women’s program from 1990 to 1999. During her tenure, she was awarded the Illinois Rookie of the Year, the Illinois All-State Director’s Team in 1993 and 1997, the Illinois State Director Award 1994 and the Onesti’s Softball Super Show Award in 1998. Oij built a very large, competitive women’s program. She also worked in the USSSA state office in 1987 and 1988 and has been a site director at many men’s and women’s state, NIT and Divisional Tournaments.