Gamecocks Host NPF All-Stars at Pine Grove Complex Thursday|
Oct. 10, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. - For the third-consecutive year, South Carolina takes on the NPF All-Stars in an exhibition, with this year's contest coming Thursday at the Pine Grove Complex in West Columbia due to the construction of the Gamecocks' new stadium on campus.
For South Carolina, it is a third chance to take on some of the best players in the world. Made up of former All-Americans including one former Olympian, the NPF team makes its 10th stop on its 21-date tour, playing many college teams around the country.
SEC fans should recognize four of the names coming to town, with former Florida standouts Francesca Enea and Aja Paculba along with Alabama alums Kelly Kretschman, a former U.S. Olympian, and Charlotte Morgan part of the 12-person roster. Gamecock associate head coach Lisa Navas also knows a bit about this roster, after serving as the Carolina Diamonds head coach this summer. Five of her players from last year, including one of Beverly Smith's former Tar Heel players Brittany McKinney, are part of the roster. Leading the NPF team is former Tennessee and Oklahoma head coach Jim Beitia.
The Gamecocks, who scored 26 runs in their first fall tournament at Charlotte during the last weekend of September, it's a chance to see how the improvements made in the last two weeks of practice will pay off. In that previous weekend, the Gamecocks hammered Greensboro College 11-1 and dispatched of the host Charlotte 49ers in the second game, 9-0, while dropping a 5-4 decision to Charlotte to start the weekend and a 6-2 setback to Elon to end it. Senior shortstop Samie Garcia led the team with a .600 batting average, scoring six times while tallying nine hits. Freshman Alaynie Page also impressed, going 5-for-12 with two doubles and five runs scored.
After Thursday, the Gamecocks travel to Boone, N.C., to close its fall schedule at Appalachian State. The three games at ASU will pit South Carolina against the host Mountaineers, Lees-McRae and Pitt Community College on Oct. 13-14.
Tickets for Thursday's game at the Pine Grove Complex, located at 701 Old Barnwell Road in West Columbia, are $5 for adults and $3 youth 17 and under.
Fans who want to purchase a season ticket for the first season in the Gamecocks' new stadium may do so on Thursday at the game or online now. Season tickets, a $25 investment for 17 scheduled home contests, may also be purchased via phone at 800-4SC-FANS. The new stadium is slated to open in March.