TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama softball team split an exhibition doubleheader Sunday at Rhoads Stadium, defeating Shelton State, 2-0, and then falling to the National Pro Fastpitch All-Star team, 2-1. The NPF squad featured former Crimson Tide greats Kelsi Dunne, Kelly Kretschman, Kelley Montalvo and Charlotte Morgan.
"For the four players to be able to come back and play on their former field was a great feeling," UA head coach Patrick Murphy said. "I know everyone in attendance appreciated it. They were all great kids to coach. It was great to see everybody, they all did well and it was a great honor to have the Pro Fastpitch team play at Alabama."
The Tide picked up two quick runs in game one against Shelton State with RBI hits from freshman Danae Hays and junior pitcher Lauren Sewell. In the circle Sewell kept the Shelton batters at bay, tossing a shutout on the strength of 13 strikeouts.
Sunday's second game featured the NPF All-Star team in its Back to School fall tour playing college teams around the nation.
Alabama got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the third inning. Junior Kayla Braud lined a ball off the glove of Montalvo into the corner down the left field line, Braud raced around the bases, beating the throw of Francesca Enea for an inside the park home run.
"The feeling of running out in front of the crowd here never changed," Montalvo said. "It really hit home. The second I came out here it was like I was in an Alabama uniform again. It was a real special day."
Sophomore pitcher Jackie Traina was perfect through the first 4.2 innings before giving up a single to Kretschman in the fifth inning. The single was followed by a single from another former Alabama player when Montalvo punched one into center, however the NPF team stranded both runners.
"It was a who's-who of college softball," Murphy added. "For Jackie Traina to come out as a sophomore and four-hit them and strike out 10 was remarkable. She showed great poise, the sky is the limit for her."
The NPF team would capitalize the next inning as it plated two runs to take the lead late. Traina struck out 10 against a roster that featured former All-Americans and Olympic talent.Alabama will close out its fall slate on Sunday, Oct. 16, when the Crimson Tide host North Georgia and Tennessee State. The first game will start at 1:30 p.m.
TEAM NPF will continue the Back To School Tour on Monday against the University of Southern Mississippi at 7pm.