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Gamecocks Will See Familiar Faces Against NPF Squad

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NPF Back to School tour logo.jpgWhen the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) All-Star team takes the field here in Columbia on Friday, South Carolina coaches Beverly Smith and Janelle Breneman will be seeing a familiar face.

Before arriving at South Carolina last year, Smith and Breneman coached together at the University of North Carolina where they coached Brittany McKinney, who is in her first season playing catcher for the NPF Diamonds.  

"I was really happy for Brittany, B-Mack we call her, to get the nod to come play pro ball.  She's just worked exceptionally hard throughout her career," said Breneman.  "She was always one of those kids that stayed after to hit more and came early to get swings in.  She just is one of those kids who works so hard, you're so glad that it pays off.  I think her senior year didn't quite end like she would have wanted it to, getting in the tournament.  So I was just thrilled that she got to continue her playing career in the NPF."

Gamecock fans might also remember some of the players they'll spot taking the field for NPF, as three women on the roster are former SEC opponents: Jessica Bachkora (Arkansas), Francesca Enea (Florida), and Megan Wiggins (Georgia).

"Any of these players are obviously playing in this league for a reason so they will be tough offensive outs for us," said Breneman. "I think the women's professional league gives our kids something to strive for...I think it's great these young ladies do a lot of traveling and come out for this school tour to promote the sport of softball."

The NPF Back to School Tour comes to Columbia on Friday, October 7th, at 7:00 p.m. at Beckham Field for a game against the South Carolina Softball team. Individual tickets are $5 each, $3 for youth 17 and under. Season tickets for 2012 Gamecock Softball will also be available ($25 for adults and $10 for youth) and will include a free ticket for the NPF game. Group tickets are just $1 each for groups of 15 or more. Contact Josh Waters at 803-777-5567 for more information on group tickets.

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