Conway, Ark. – The Central Arkansas softball team squared off with what is undoubtedly the toughest team they will see all season, hosting the National Pro Fastpitch All-Stars at Farris Field Monday night.
Though the Bears fell 3-0 in the game, there was a marked improvement from last season when the two faced off. The All-Stars came away with a decisive 13-1 victory in that meeting. Central Arkansas looked much more comfortable on the field this time around, keeping the game knotted at 0-0 through the fifth inning. The All-Stars broke the tie in the top of the sixth inning, when catcher Kristen Butler singled to left field and was able to advance to second base thanks to a fielding error on the play. A single by third baseman Andrea Duran gave the All-Stars runners on the corners with none dead. Nikia Williams drove a ball to left field, allowing both runners to advance and giving NPF a 1-0 lead. Following a strike out, an Aja Paculba single drove in Duran. The All-Stars added another run in the seventh inning, when second baseman Ashley Charters led off the inning with a double, then advanced to third on a fly ball to right field. A double by designated player Charlotte Morgan drove in Charters for the game’s final run.
The Central Arkansas offense struggled to get anything going on the day, with Melanie Bryant and Tiffany Roby each collecting a single hit. Jamee Juarez was on the bump for NPF, tossing seven scoreless innings, while allowing two hits, walking three and striking out ten Central Arkansas batters. Kelsie Armstrong got the call for the Bears, throwing seven innings of seven hit, three run softball. She struck out three batters and didn’t issue any walks.
“I think this was a great experience for our program,” said Central Arkansas coach David Kuhn. “I’m really pleased with how we played.”
Following the game, the Bears and the All-Stars hosted a softball clinic, teaching the fundamentals of the game to girls of various ages.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!