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NPF All-Stars Fall in Front of Full House

TUCSON, ARIZ. - The Arizona Majestic Stars scored two runs in the third inning and held off late attempts in the final two innings by the All-Stars from National Pro Fastpitch to score a 2-1 win here Friday (July 11) before a crowd of 1,047 at Hillenbrand Stadium on the campus of the University of Arizona.

The setback ended a five-game winning streak for the NPF All-Stars, who remain here Saturday for a morning clinic at Hillenbrand Stadium. The basic skills clinic will be for all ages Saturday 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The cost is $20, including lunch (telephone 520/296-9595 for more information).

Friday win for the Arizona Majestic Stars also avenged a 1-0 loss in nine innings to the NPF All-Stars Thursday in Tempe. Former Arizona All-American Nancy Evans picked up the win Friday with relief help from Erica Beach (Arizona State) in the final two innings as the NPF All-Stars had two runners on in the bottom of the seventh with one out.

The Arizona Majestic Stars scored both of their runs in the third inning as Christine Fukumoto (Creighton), Allison McCutcheon (Arizona) and Jodi Otten(LSU) opened the frame with three-straight singles. After Evans' ground out forced Fukumoto at home, Leah Braatz' (Arizona) ground out score McCutcheon. After a fly out by Beach, losing pitcher Amy Kyler (Cleveland State) uncorked a wild pitch to allowed Otten to score the deciding run.

Kyler, who was forced to pitch for the second-straight night as scheduled pitcher Tarrah Beyster was scratched due to a right knee injury. Kyler is now 7-2 this season as she struck out three, walked four and game up only four hits. Evans and Beach struck out only three, but walked only two while allowing 10 hits as the NPFers stranded seven runners.

The NPF All-Stars scored their only run in the fifth-inning as second baseman Kara Brun's (Arizona State) single scored leftfielder Lauren Bauer (Arizona), who had opened the inning with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Bauer advanced to third on centerfielder Danielle Cox's (Florida State) sacrifice bunt.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, the NPF All-Stars got back-to-back to singles from Cox and Brun. Third baseman Jaime Foutch (Oklahoma State), the NPF's leading batter (.500), struck out for the second out while catcher Lindsey Collins (Arizona) grounded out to end the game.

The NPF All-Stars are now 11-3 this summer. In addition to playing games in
California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Tennessee and Arizona this season, the NPF All-Stars have hosted clinics and made appearances at Major League Baseball games in San Francisco, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Detroit, Denver, Miami, Atlanta and this past Tuesday with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Bank One Ballpark.

One of the three losses for the NPF All-Stars was a 5-2 extra-inning decision in Milwaukee to the Stratford Brakettes of Connecticut, the 2002 American Softball Association (ASA) national champions. The Fort Collins Buckaroos defeated the NPF team 1-0 in pool play at the Triple Crown Sparkler event, but the All-Stars avenged the setback with a 9-1 win in the title game.

National Pro Fastpitch is the only professional women's fastpitch softball league in the United States. Major League Baseball is the official development Partner of NPF. The league is headquartered in Denver, Colo., and has been in operation since 1997 under the names Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women's Professional Softball League (WPSL).

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