LOWELL, Mass. Pitching has carried the fourth-place New England Riptide womens professional softball team through the first-half of the inaugural National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) season and it should be no surprise that The Riptides two recently named NPF all-stars are pitchers Jocelyn Forest and Leigh Ann Ellis.
Forest (7-6, 1.21 ERA), of Santa Cruz (CA), pitched California at Berkeley to the 2002 NCAA World Series title as the tournaments Most Outstanding Player. She has been the ace of The Riptides pitching staff since opening day and established a single game record for most strikeouts June 19 with 24 in a 1-0 15 inning win against the California Sunbirds. The right-handed hurler leads the league in strikeouts (102) and complete games (10). She is second in wins (7) and games started (10).
Ellis, of Barboursville (WV), was a 2004 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division 1 All-American at South Florida, where she won 76 games the past two seasons after transferring from Tennessee. She has pitched much better than her 2-5 record may indicate, including a game she lost despite pitching a no hitter, and the southpaws team-low 1.01 ERA is fourth best in the league.
The inaugural National Pro Fastpitch all-star series will be held July 13-14 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Forest and Ellis are members of the East All-Stars along with players from the Akron Racers and NY/NJ Juggernaut. The West squad is comprised of players from the Texas Thunder, Arizona Heat and California Sunbirds. In addition to the July 14 NPF All-Star Game, the (combined) NPF All-Stars will play a doubleheader July 13 against Olympics-bound Team USA.
New England Riptide tickets are priced at $8.00 for individual games and four-game Flex-Packs also are available for only $28.00. All seating is general admission at Martin Softball Field in Lowell. Go to www.neriptide.com or call 866-4RIPTIDE to purchase non-group rate tickets. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities remain available.
2004 National Pro Fastpitch All-Star Rosters
East: C Lindsey Collins Miller, SS Lyndsey Klein, 2B Carri Leto, OF Gina Oaks, 3B Jaclyn Pasquerella, P Amanda Scott, 1B Kellie Wilkerson, NY/NJ Juggernaut; P Leigh Ann Ellis, P Jocelyn Forest, New England Riptide; OF Iyhia McMichael, OF Trena Peel, C Jen Poore, 2B Brandi Stuart, 1B Nicole Trimboli, Akron Racers.
West: 1B Wendy Allen, P Erica Beach, OF Cheryl Bolding, 3B Nancy Evans, IF Lisha Ribellia, Arizona Heat; 3B Clare Burnum, OF Erin Evans, 2B Lindsay Gardner, P Peaches James, C Ryan Realmuto, P Christa Williams, OF Kristen Zaleski, Texas Thunder; 3B Jaime Foutch, C Julie Marshall, California Sunbirds.