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Oct. 25, 2010

Spurs Up Blog – Softball’s NPF All-Stars match-up a big hit with fans, teams

by Koby Padgett
Assistant Media Relations Director

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina softball community turned out in huge numbers, producing an overflow crowd for the National Pro Fastpitch All-Star Team’s appearance at Beckham Field on Friday night as the NPF team defeated South Carolina, 10-0, in five innings.

Many former Olympians and U.S. National Team players dotted the NPF roster, and those superstars in the sport of softball did not disappoint the 835 people in attendance. The All-Stars posted three runs in the second, a run in the third and the final six in the fifth against the Gamecocks.

South Carolina had baserunners in each of the first three innings, getting hits from freshman Julie Sarratt and junior Lauren Lackey in the latter two frames. When the NPF team went to two-time Olympian and former NCAA Division I strikeout record-holder Cat Osterman, the bats went silent. The former Texas standout picked up five strikeouts in her two innings of work.

The NPF team got on the board in the second when Kelly Kretschman drove in Caitlin Lever after two runs came in on a South Carolina error. With runners at first and third and one down, Samantha Findlay hit a deep fly ball that Lackey caught in center before gunning home to get the final out of the inning at the plate. The All-Stars added a sacrifice fly in the third before plating six in their final at-bat. Megan Willis led off the inning with a home run, while Findlay drove in two with a single.

After the game, both teams signed autographs for the fans in attendance, a crowd that outnumber the permanent seats that were installed at historic Beckham Field prior to the 2008 season.

The game concluded South Carolina’s fall team practice schedule. The Gamecocks now shift to individual workouts for the rest of the fall semester.