Tallahassee, FL - The Florida State University softball team ends its fall season with an exhibition against the National Pro Fastpitch team on Friday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at JoAnne Graf Field.
Formerly the Women’s Pro Softball League, the NPF consists of some of the best softball players not only in the country but throughout the world. Friday’s event is the 16th tour stop of the NPF’s “Back to School Tour,” where it is traveling to college campuses across the country in order to promote both the sport of softball as well as its players being true models to each community.
“We are very excited as a program to host such an amazing group of athletes,” FSU softball head coach Lonni Alameda said. “I’ve had the honor of coaching some of these players and it is special for me to have them on our field.”
Several of FSU’s opponents on Friday evening are Olympic medalists, professional or collegiate champions, collegiate record holders as well as being accolade-filled performers. Each NPF event is intended to create a fun atmosphere for people of all ages while showcasing some of the best softball talent in the world.
Members of the NPF team traveling to Tallahassee include 2006 Pac 10 Player of the Year Andrea Duran, 2010 USA Softball College Player of the Year finalist Francesca Enea, All-NPF Team first baseman Samantha Findlay, 2008 Olympic silver medalist Vicky Galindo and former Ohio State standout Jamee Juarez.
Also participating with the NPF is Lauren Lappin (2008 Olympic silver medalist), Danielle Lawrie (2009 and 2010 NCAA Player of the Year), Caitlin Lever (2007 All-American), Kelly Montalvo (2009 USA Softball Player of the Year candidate), Lisa Norris (2009 All-NPF selection), Nicole Pauly (member of Chicago Bandits) and Megan Willis (two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year).
Former FSU standout and current Graduate Assistant Carly Wynn will play as a member of the NPF squad. Wynn was a two-year captain for the Garnet and Gold in 2008 and 2009, and earned All-ACC honors in three of her four seasons. Wynn led FSU with a .378 batting average last year while registering six home runs, a team-best 18 doubles and eight triples, 34 RBIs and 74 base hits.
“Being able to watch Carly play again here in Tallahassee is a treat for everyone,” Alameda added. “Her name was etched in the lineup for four seasons here and we are honored to play against her and the rest of this amazing group.”
Fans are encouraged to attend Friday’s event, which is free to the public. Game-day programs will be available as well as a chance to meet several players from both teams, which includes a post-game autograph session.
“This is going to be a great way for us to end the fall segment of our training - we will be able to see where we stack up against some of the best players in the world,” said Alameda. “This is an opportunity for the youth of Florida and Georgia to meet some of the best athletes that play the game they all love in their own backyard. I hope everyone plans to attend because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many.”
The Seminoles finished 44-18 in 2010, marking the eighth time in the last 10 seasons that FSU has won at least 40 games. FSU holds high hopes once again in 2011, returning eight of its top nine hitters from last season as well as four of its five pitchers.
Four batters who hit .300 or better last season return, including junior outfielder Shayla Jackson (.338/.423/.363) and sophomore third baseman Tiffani Brown (.328/.417/.356). Reigning All-ACC Second Team pitcher Sarah Hamilton (22-10, 1.50 ERA in 2010) returns to boost a formidable staff.
FSU begins its 2011 campaign with the Seminole Kickoff Classic on Feb 11-12 in Tallahassee. The Seminoles begin with St. John’s, UNC Greensboro and Hofstra in the four-team field.