A five-run first inning gave the National Professional Fastpitch All Star team a winning start over the Baylor softball team Tuesday at Getterman Stadium. Despite the Lady Bears’ efforts, the game ultimately resulted in a score of 8-0.
“A team like this is usually close to double-digit strikeouts against a college team, so for us to keep the strikeouts minimum and we hit the ball hard a couple of times, I was pretty pleased with our whole fall offensively, and we finished, in my opinion, on a strong note,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “You look at the outcome and it doesn’t look good, but you take away that first inning and it’s a very competitive ballgame.”
After being swept in the first inning, the Bears managed to hold off the NPF women until the fifth inning when they gave up three more runs, ultimately resulting in their loss.
“They are kind of the best there is,” No. 1 pitcher Courtney Repka said. “They’re going to be good at what they do, and obviously they were. I just had to settle in. I mean they’re going to hit the ball. I just had to calm down and make sure I kept my pitches down at the knees and didn’t give them any chance to actually hit one out again.”
According to Moore, the bats that the NPF team uses are more effective than those that BU uses. They hit off with an exit speed of 104 mph while those used by the Lady Bears have a 98 mph speed.
“They are ISF regulation and we are ASA regulations so the ball jumps off of that (the bats). That’s why our corners were playing a couple steps back, farther than normal,” Moore said.
He said that there is a possibility that if they were able to use the same bats that the NPF used, the hits by catcher Clare Hosack or infielder Linsey Hays could have been home runs.
“We had some runners in scoring position, and we just couldn’t get it around,” No. 15 catcher Clare Hosack said. “We had some good at bats at the same time. That’s just how the game goes.”
The Lady Bears’ came into their last game of the fall season with a 7-0 fall mark, while the All Stars entered the game with a 12-1 fall tour record.
“I wanted this team to be process, oriented not outcome oriented, in this game, and I thought that they never let anything keep them from trying to get better with the next at bat or the next play,” Moore said.
The NPF team is traveling through on their fall tour, which consists of 21 stops against 21 schools across 16 states in a 40-day span.
“Having that competition and the fact that we got to play the NPF team is a huge thing for us, I think,” Hosack said. “Just to see where we’re at the end of the fall and where we can go from there.”
Moore said the Lady Bears have work to do defensively. He says that will be the area they concentrate the most on during the off-season.
“We are going to get better defensively. We’re going to put a lot of time into our work,” Moore said. “But against the competition that we’ll be seeing in the spring, we swung the bats really well.”