CHICAGO, ILL. - National Pro Fastpitch will spend a busy two days in Chicago the next two days as a collection of top female fastpitch players will participate in appearances and clinics associated with Major League Baseball's John Hancock All-Star Fanfest at McCormick Place
The McCormick Place visit is part of an eight-day stay in the Chicago-area as the 2003 NPF All-Stars participate in a nation-wide tour visiting 17 cities this summer. The tour will partner with Major League Baseball clubs in 12 of those cities. Official league play is scheduled to begin early summer, 2004.
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, and has been in operation since 1997 under the names Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women's Professional Softball League (WPSL).
NPF All-Stars appearing in the John Hancock All-Star Fanfest at McCormick Place are infielder Allison Andrade, outfielder Lauren Bauer, catcher Lindsey Collins, infielder Jaime Foutch, infielder/outfielder Erika Hanson, pitcher Amy Kyler and outfielder Venus Taylor Andrade, Bauer, Collins and Hanson were members Arizona's 2001 women's collegiate softball national champions.
Foutch (Oklahoma State), Kyler (Cleveland State) and Taylor (Western Illinois) completed in the WPSL. Taylor was appointed women's softball coach at Bradley recently. Other NPF staff members at the John Hancock All-Star Fantfest are Rich Levine (CEO and President), Kathy Dosen (Director of Marketing &
Merchandising), Coach Tim Kiernan, Media Information Coordinator Aaron Moore and Trainer Nicole Lanza.
Following the July 20 clinic at the BullsSox Training Academy in Lisle and an evening at U.S. Cellular Field for Fastpitch Day, the NPF All-Stars will be hosted by the Cincinnati Reds for appearances and clinics July 22-23 before traveling to Akron, Ohio (July 25-26) and New England for appearances, clinics and games in the Boston-area July 27-31. The 2003 NPF All-Star Tour ends August 5-9 in the Houston-area.
The NPF All-Stars have won 11 of their first 14 games this season. As a team, the NPF All-Stars are hitting .340 with an earned run average of 0.77 and seven shutouts. The NPF has committed only six errors for a .984 fielding average. Kyler has posted a 7-2 record by giving up only 22 hits in 60.2 innings with a 0.81 earned run average. Despite walking 17 and hitting nine batters, Kyler has struck out 95 of the 201 batters she has faced. The opposition is hitting .109 against her with only three extra base hits.
Foutch leads the team in batting (.500), hits (21), doubles (five), home runs (3), runs-batted-in (17), total bases (35), slugging percentage (.833) and on-base percentage (.588). Foutch has struck out only three in 51 total at-bats as her two-run homer July 6 in Chattanooga paced the NPF All-Star win over East Cobb All-Stars of Georgia. Seven of the 13 NPF All-Stars are hitting over .300. Collins is second in home runs (2) and slugging percentage (.632).
One of the three losses for the NPF All-Stars was a 5-2 extra-inning decision in Milwaukee to the Stratford Brakettes of Connecticut, the 2002 American 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. Paced by former NCAA player-of-the-year Nancy Evans (Arizona), the Arizona Majestic Stars scored a 2-1 win over the NPF team this past Saturday in Tucson before a near-capacity crowd at the University of Arizona.
Chicago NPF Activities, July 14-20, 2003
Sunday-Tuesday, July 13-15, 2003 - Chicago, Ill.
·Major League Baseball All-Star Week. John Hancock All-Star Fanfest at
·Monday, July 14 ·9 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. - NPF All-Stars Autograph Session
·1:30-2:15 p.m. - NPF All-Star clinic on "The Diamond"
·2:30 - 8 p.m. - NPF All-Stars Autograph Session
·4-6 p.m. - Amy Kyler at Legends Autograph Signing area
·Tuesday, July 15 ·9 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - NPF All-Stars Autograph Session
·12:30-1:30 p.m. - NPF All-Star clinic on "The Diamond"
·1:45 - 6 p.m. - NPF All-Stars Autograph Session
·2-4 p.m. - Venus Taylor at Legends Autograph Signing area
Sunday, July 20, 2003 - Lisle, Ill.
·10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. - NPF Clinics at BullsSox Training Academy, including
general skills, pitching and hitting. For more information, please visit the BullsSox Academy website or download the Clinic Registration Form (be patient, it takes a while to download!).
Monday, July 21, 2003 - Chicago, Ill.
·5:50 p.m. - Fastpitch Day at U.S. Cellular Field with the Chicago White Sox. NPF players at "Fundamentals" for autographs and demonstration. For more
information go to Chicago White Sox community page.
·6:40 p.m. - Pre-game on field events begin, including first pitch by a
member of NPF All-Star Team.
·7:05 p.m. - Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians.