Memphis Softball Opens Fall with CBU and the National Pro Fastpitch All-Stars
Sept. 26, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -The University of Memphis Tigers softball team will begin its 2012 fall season this Friday as the Tigers take on Christian Brothers in a doubleheader, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Tiger Softball Complex. On Saturday, the Tigers will battle the National Pro Fastpitch All-Star team for the third-straight year, as part of the NPF's Back to School Tour, in a 7 p.m. game at Gameday's First Tennessee Fields in Cordova.
In 2011, the Tigers split with the Buccaneers in their fall exhibition meeting as both teams earned a 2-1 win. Former CBU shortstop Paige Wright is in her first seasons as the Buccaneers' head coach, directing a team that returns 16 letterwinners and all starters from last year's team.
Sponsored by the USSSA, with support of Major League Baseball, the NPF Back to School Tour includes games against several collegiate teams from around the country. Memphis is one of 22 programs slated to go up against the NPF All-Star team in 2012, and just one of two schools from Conference USA to challenge the NPF this season as Marshall played against the pro team on Tuesday, falling 8-1.
Last season, the Tigers one-hit NPF as five Tiger pitchers combined for eight strikeouts and just two walks in a 3-0 loss. Current Memphis assistant coach Roya St. Clair was a member of the NPF in 2011, playing for the Akron Racers and also participating in the Back to School Tour.
The NPF team is comprised of players from three of the league's four teams - Akron Racers, Carolina Diamonds and the USSSA Florida Pride. This year's roster includes Olympic medalists Andrea Duran (UCLA/USSSA Florida Pride), Kelly Kretschman (Alabama/Pride) and Caitlin Lowe (Arizona/ Pride); and former Canadian Olympic Team member Jenn Salling (Washington/ Pride). The roster also includes Ashley Charters (Washington/Pride), GiOnna DiSalvatore (UCLA/Carolina Diamonds), Jamee Juarez (Ohio State/Pride), Brittany Mack (LSU/ Pride), Charlotte Morgan (Alabama/Pride), Angeline Quiocho (BYU, Diamonds), Kristyn Sandberg (Georgia/Pride), Kristina Thorson (Cal/Akron Racers) and Nikia Williams (Washington/Pride).
The NPF Back to School Tour began in 2010 as the tour made 20 stops and played in front of more than 20,000 fans. This year, the tour will make 21 stops across 16 states with stops in cities such as Los Angeles, Calif., Seattle, Wash., Ann Arbor, Mich., College Park, Md., Gainesville, Fla., and many more.
The NPF All-Stars will also host a skills clinic at the First Tennessee Fields on Saturday from 8-10 a.m. For more information, visit gamedaysoftball.com and click on the "Clinics" tab at the top of the page. Tickets for Friday's matchup against CBU are free while entrance to Saturday night's game in Cordova is $5. The First Tennessee Fields are located at 7800 Fischer Steel Road.