CHATTANOOGA, TENN. - The All-Stars from National Pro Fastpitch will attempt to stop a trend here Sunday (July 6) when the team of touring professional and collegiate standouts faces the East Cobb (Ga.) Bullets in a 4 p.m. (EDT) game at Frost Field.
In winning nine of their first 11 games this season, the NPF All-Stars have dropped their fourth and eighth games with Sunday's game being Game No. 12. The NPF All-Stars enter Frost Field with a three-game winning streak as they attempt to capture four-in-a-row for the first-time this season.
The East Cobb Bullets, a collection of aspiring young collegiate players, are 14-3 this season. The team is coached by Todd Downes from Kell High School of Georgia. The Bullet roster features players from Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Jacksonville State, Marshall, North Georgia, Virginia and West Florida.
In addition to playing games in California, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Colorado this season, the NPF All-Stars have hosted clinics and made appearances at Major League Baseball games in San Francisco, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Denver and Miami.
Prior to Sunday's game, the Atlanta Braves will host the NPF All-Stars here Saturday (July 5) at Turner Field for the Major League Baseball team's Baseball 101 for Women, presented by Publix Super Markets. The southern stops are a part of a nation-wide tour visiting 17 cities as the schedule partners with 12 Major League Baseball clubs in those cities.
The NPF All-Stars will conclude their southern trip by appearing Monday (July 7) in Duluth, Ga., for a Hardball Warehouse clinic and appearance. The NPF All-Stars started their southern trip with an appearance Wednesday in Miami at Pro Player Stadium before the Braves' game with the Florida Marlins.
Following Monday's appearance, the NPF All-Star Tour returns to the west for five days of appearances, clinics and games in Arizona where the Arizona Diamondbacks will host the activities. The NPF All-Stars will play games Thursday (July 10) in Tempe and Friday (July 11) in Tucson.
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 Sunday (June 29) and a come-from-behind 6-3 win over the Triple Crown All-Stars 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 3-1 mark and 1.16 earned run average.
Foutch leads the team in batting (.576), hits (19), doubles (five), runs-batted-in (15), total bases (30), slugging percentage (.909) and on-base percentage (.641). She is tied with catcher Lindsey Collins (Arizona) in home runs (2) as Foutch has struck out only once in 39 total at-bats.
Seven of the 13 NPF All-Stars are hitting over .300 this season with centerfielder Danielle Cox (Florida State) hitting .406 while swiping a team-high five bases. Infielder Kara Brun (Arizona State) leads the team in runs (9) while hitting .371. A .370 hitter, Collins is second in RBIs (8) and slugging percentage (.704).
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 Amateur 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).