Nashville, TN - National Pro Fastpitch is preparing for the second half of the 2011 NPF Back to School Tour by looking ahead at some exciting venues and first-time visits. The second half of the Tour will kick off in a big way with Team NPF matched up against the 2009 NCAA Champion, Washington Huskies on Saturday October 22 at 3:00 pm. The game will take place at the home of the Seattle Mariners, Safeco Field, and will be followed by a softball skills clinic at 5:00 pm for players of all ages.
“We are grateful to the Seattle Mariners for welcoming us to one of the most beautiful and unique venues in professional baseball, and for allowing us to feature these two teams of outstanding athletes on Safeco Field,” commented NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf. “To get to compete against a great program like the Washington Huskies in a Major League venue is something our players are certainly looking forward to.”
Team NPF will return two of UW’s decorated members of the 2009 Championship Team on the visit to Seattle. Facing off against their alma mater will be NPF professionals from the USSSA Florida Pride, Danielle Lawrie and Ashley Charters. Unfortunately, due to a conflict with the Pan Am Games, Jen Salling, who was also a member of the 2009 title team will not be able to compete. However, Lawrie (2009 and 2010 Collegiate Player of the Year) and Charters will surely be met with open arms by so many of their loyal fans while making their professional debut in Seattle.
Following the Seattle stop, Team NPF will then play Oregon State (Oct. 23, 1:00 pm), Portland State (October 26, 6:00 pm), and Oregon (October 27, 6:00 pm). Oregon State is hosting a skills clinic from 9:00-11:00 am prior to the OSU/Team NPF game. The final leg of the Tour will start with a November 3 stop against Oklahoma in Norman (7:00 pm) followed by November 4 match-up against San Diego State University (6:00 pm) before the final stop at Mt. San Antonio College on November 5 (2:00 pm).
The 2011 Tour is presented by USSSA for the second year in a row along with added support from Major League Baseball this year. Team NPF currently is 11-0 on the Tour having already made stops in 9 cities and competed against Memphis, Ole Miss, Central Arkansas, Missouri State, Daytona State, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Southern Miss, LSU, and Georgia. The first half of the Tour wraps up this weekend with games against UNC (2:00 pm) and NC State (4:00 pm) in Raleigh on Saturday October 15. Team NPF will join NC State on Friday evening from 5:00-8:00 pm to host a skills clinic in Raleigh.
Along the way, Team NPF made a visit to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, hosted several skills clinics, and enjoyed the opportunities to play at various college campus’s and visit with a variety of softball fans.
“This Tour is such a great experience for the League all the way around,” stated Kempf. “It is a wonderful experience for our players, the college players, and of course, the fans of the game. We love the exposure and we are looking forward to an exciting second half of the 2011 Tour.”