ATHENS, Ga. – The National Pro Fastpitch brought its 2011 Back-To-School Tour to the University of Georgia on Thursday and the All-Stars defeated the Bulldogs, 6-1, at Jack Turner Softball Stadium.
In its second year, the NPF's Back-To-School Tour was making it second trip to the Classic City and in this year's meeting the All-Stars pulled out the victory with two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to improve to 11-0 on the tour.
Last year, Georgia took Team NPF to extra innings before falling 9-8. In Thursday's meeting the Bulldogs tied the game 1-1 in the third and trailed by only one at 2-1 after five before the All-Stars got their two big innings to pull away and secure the victory.
The contest served as a homecoming for four former Bulldogs who play for Team NPF in their first professional season. Those players included 2011 NPF Rookie of the Year and All-NPF selection Alisa Goler, All-NPF selection Megan Wiggins, Brianna Hesson and Taylor Schlopy.
"It was a little bit weird being on the visitor's side and not being with our team," Schlopy said. "But it was nice being home and it was nice to win. It was good for Georgia to bring people out to support and build softball, and we all had a blast. It's just fun competition and it was very friendly."
Team NPF took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist Kelly Kretschman started the game off with a single to left, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Schlopy. Two batters later, another member of the 2011 All-NPF Team Bianca Mejia drove in the run on a single to right.
In the third, the Bulldogs pulled even with the All-Stars at 1-1. With one out, junior Macie Couey doubled down the left field line. Later in the inning with two outs, freshman Gracie Goulder added a double of her own to left driving in Couey.
The contest remained tied until the fifth inning when two-time World Cup Champion Andrea Duran gave the All-Stars the lead back at 2-1 with a two-out, solo home run to straight-away center.
The All-Stars then got four more runs over the next to frames to extend the score to its final margin of 6-1. In the sixth, Roya St. Clair and Kretschman each picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk, respectively. In the seventh, two-time Women's College World Series champion Caitlin Lowe provided an RBI single while St. Clair notched a second RBI on a single through the left side.
From the circle, Jamee Juarez earned the win for the All-Stars pitching five innings allowing just the one run on three hits. Taryne Mowatt closed out the game for Team NPF pitching two scoreless innings. For the Bulldogs, sophomore Morgan Montemayor provided five innings of work allowing two runs before giving way to senior Erin Arevalo to finish out the contest.
"Throughout the fall we have been working on meshing everyone together," Montemayor said. "Every game has its ups and downs, and we just need to keep working hard in practice going into individuals. Now is the time to work on the little things we can to get better."
Thursday's game against the NPF All-Stars concluded the fall practice schedule for the Bulldogs, who will now enter into individual workouts leading up to the 2012 preseason.