DAYTONA BEACH — The numbers on the scoreboard showed Tuesday night’s exhibition between the National Pro Fastpitch All-Stars and Daytona State Falcons was a blowout.
Smiles on the faces of the pro softball players, most of whom played for major Division I colleges in recent years, and the junior college players said something else: There were no losers.
“The point of coming out here is to have fun,” former Spruce Creek and Alabama standout pitcher Kelsi Dunne said after a 15-0 shutout by the NPF All-Stars. “It’s fun being with your teammates that you haven’t seen for a while, and I’m sure it’s fun for Daytona State’s players to get to play us.”
The NPF All-Stars are on their “Back to School Tour” that will take them to 19 colleges across the country. USSSA and Major League Baseball help sponsor the tour.
Dunne heads back to school herself today, returning to the University of Alabama, where she is finishing up her master’s degree in sports management. The NPF All-Stars will face Florida at 8:15 tonight following a game between the Gators and Falcons at 6 on the DSC diamond.
Dunne hadn’t pitched in a game since June, but it didn’t seem to matter. She had seven strikeouts in a little over four innings.
“I was just trying to get back in a groove out there,” Dunne said. “Having the support of my teammates just made it so much easier.”
The NPF All-Stars scored two runs in the first, seven runs in the second and six runs in the third.
Dunne really had a no-hitter completed after getting three outs in the fourth, but DSC was allowed to continue sending batters to the plate until every Falcon had one at-bat in the exhibition.
Tarin Knott, one of those extra batters, slapped a liner past shortstop for the Falcons’ only hit of the night.
“I was shocked,” Knott said. “It was overwhelming. I got lucky, I guess.”
DeLand High graduates Nicole Vogt and Kaylyn Freeborough drew walks off Dunne.
“It was definitely an experience to be able to say I got on base against Kelsi Dunne,” Vogt said. “I’ve never had this opportunity to play a pro team, and (today) we get a chance to play the University of Florida. I can’t wait. I’m so stoked.”
Daytona State freshman pitcher Tanna Seuferer gave up six runs to the pros in the third inning, but still had a huge smile after the game. And why not? Seuferer’s parents and grandfather traveled here from Chariton, Iowa, to watch her play.
“It was so exciting,” Seuferer said. “I was just trying not to give up any home runs.”
She didn’t. But the pros did smack three homers earlier in the game as Brittany McKinney (North Carolina), Francesca Enea (Florida) and Jenn Salling (Washington) each belted second-inning home runs.
About USSSA Florida Pride:
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
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!