PHOENIX, ARIZ. - The All-Stars from National Pro Fastpitch fly into Sky Harbor Airport here Tuesday (July 8) to start five days of appearances, clinics and games before heading back east to participate in the John Hancock All-Star Fanfest in Chicago, Ill.
In winning 10 of their first 12 games this summer, the NPF All-Stars will be challenged Thursday and Friday by a collection of former collegiate standouts with Arizona titles. The NPF All-Stars have won their last four games; including a 2-0 win over the East Cobb (Ga.) Bullets in Chattanooga, Tenn., Sunday.
In addition to playing games in California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado and Tennessee 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 and Atlanta.
The NPF All-Stars concluded their southern trip Monday (July 7) by appearing Monday in Duluth, Ga., for a Hardball Warehouse clinic and appearance. The
NPF All-Stars started their southern trip with an appearance last Wednesday in Miami at Pro Player Stadium and this past Saturday in Atlanta at Turner Field.
The Arizona schedule for the NPF All-Stars starts Tuesday (July 8) when the
Arizona Diamondbacks hosts the team at Bank One Ballpark. The NPF All-Stars will play games Thursday (July 10) in Tempe at Arizona State's Farrington Stadium and Friday (July 11) in Tucson at Arizona's Hillenbrand Stadium.
Stacy Iveson from Pima Community College will coach the Arizona All-Stars. Players scheduled to compete against the NFL All-Stars in Arizona are Erica
Beach (Arizona State), Leah Braatz (Arizona), Nancy Evans (Arizona), Christine Fukumoto (Pima CC/Creighton), Amy Hillenbrand (Arizona), Tamara Ivie (Arizona State), Allison John McCutcheon (Arizona), Kelly Miller (Tulsa) Jodie Otten, Lisha Ribellia (Arizona), Amy Rogers (Southern Illinois) and Katie Swan (Arizona).
Pitcher Amy Kyler (Cleveland State) and third-baseman Jaime Foutch (Oklahoma
State) lead the NPF All-Stars as the team posted a 6-1 record in Colorado before heading south. Highlighting the NPF Colorado schedule was a championship game win in the Triple Crown Sparkler Tournament in Westminster June 29 and a come-from-beind 6-3 win over the Triple Crown All-Stars last Tuesday (July 1) in Fort Collins.
Kyler has posted a 6-1 record by giving up only 15 hits in 44.2 innings with a 1.01 earned run average. Despite walking 10 and hitting nine batters, Kyler has struck out 80 of the 145 batters she has faced. The opposition is hitting .103 against her with only three extra base hits. Tarrah Beyster (Oregon State) is the NPF's No. 2 pitcher with a 4-1 mark, including three shutout wins, and a 0.89 earned run average.
Foutch leads the team in batting (.556), hits (20), doubles (five), home runs (3), runs-batted-in (17), total bases (34), slugging percentage (.944) and on-base percentage (.628). Foutch has struck out only once in 43 total at-bats as her two-run homer Sunday in Chattanooga paced the NPF All-Star win over East Cobb.
Seven of the 13 NPF All-Stars are hitting over .300 this season with centerfielder Danielle Cox (Florida State) hitting .417 while swiping a team-high five bases. Infielder Kara Brun (Arizona State) leads the team in runs (10) while hitting .351. A .400 hitter, catcher Lindsey Collins (Arizona) is second in RBIs (8) and slugging percentage (.700).
One of the two 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).