Alabama Alums Return to Rhoads Stadium for NPF Championship
Four former Alabama softball All-Americans will make their return to Rhoads Stadium as National Pro Fastpitch hosts the 2016 NPF Championship this weekend in Tuscaloosa.
Haylie McCleney (2013-16) and Kelly Kretschman (1998-2002) play with the league’s top-seeded USSSA Pride, who open the weekend facing Kelley Montalvo (2006-09) and the fourth-seeded Akron Racers in a best-of-three series to earn a spot in the championship series. On the other half of the bracket, Jaclyn Traina (2011-14) and the Scrap Yard Dawgs square off against the defending league champion Chicago Bandits.
Action begins Friday, Aug. 19 at 5 p.m. CT with the Scrap Yard Dawgs vs. the Bandits and continues at 8 p.m. CT with the Racers vs. the Pride. Game two and, if necessary, game three of each series will be played on Saturday, Aug. 20 with the best-of-three championship series beginning on Sunday, Aug. 21 at 4 p.m. CT. Game two of the championship series is set for a 7 p.m. CT start on Monday, Aug. 22 and, if necessary, a deciding game three will be played on Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. CT.
Single-game tickets or specially priced ticket packages can be purchased online at championship.profastpitch.com/tickets. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate at Rhoads Stadium.
Kretschman, a 2001 Alabama graduate, is in her 11th season in the NPF and won the league’s first-ever triple crown title this season, leading the league with a .466 batting average, 13 home runs and 45 RBIs. At Alabama, Kretschman was the program’s first four-time NFCA All-American, setting career school records for runs (288), hits (368), doubles (65), triples (16) and home runs (60) that still stand today.
Montalvo is in her seventh season in the NPF playing with the Akron Racers and has started in 49 of the team’s 50 games this season, ranking third in the NPF with 84 assists. Montalvo posted a .333 career average at Alabama from 2006-09, earning NFCA First Team All-America honors as a junior. That season, she hit a personal best .373 with 63 hits and 54 RBI, helping guide Alabama to its furthest postseason run up to that point, posting a 2-2 record in Oklahoma City. A stellar defender at third base, she owns a .971 career fielding percentage and the second-most career assists in Alabama history at 441.
Jaclyn Traina is in her first season competing with the league’s Scrap Yard Dawgs expansion team, throwing 16.0 innings over four starts following a summer competing with Team USA. From 2011-14, Traina was a four time All-American at Alabama and helped lead the Crimson Tide to its first national title in 2012, pitching every inning at the Women’s College World Series that season. She is one of just three pitchers in program history and one of nine in SEC history with 100 career wins, finishing with 106.
Haylie McCleney is in her first NPF season after graduating this spring and being selected in the third round of this year’s league draft. Following a summer with Team USA, McCleney has started in 10 games, hitting .375 with 12 hits and seven runs scored. The Morris, Ala., native completed her senior season at Alabama in 2016, earning her fourth All-America nod and capping her career as the program leader in batting average (.447), on base percentage (.569), walks (199) and triples (16).
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NPF CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Friday, Aug. 19
5 p.m. CT - Scrap Yard Dawgs vs. Chicago Bandits (CBS Sports Network)
8 p.m. CT – USSSA Pride vs. Akron Racers
Saturday, Aug. 20
11 a.m. CT – Scrap Yard Dawgs vs. Chicago Bandits (CBS Sports Network)
2 p.m. CT – USSSA Pride vs. Akron Racers (CBS Sports Network)
5 p.m. CT (if necessary) - Scrap Yard Dawgs vs. Chicago Bandits
8 p.m. CT (if necessary) - USSSA Pride vs. Akron Racers
Sunday, Aug. 21
4 p.m. CT – Championship Series Game One (CBS Sports Network)
Monday, Aug. 22
7 p.m. CT – Championship Series Game Two (CBS Sports Network)
Tuesday, Aug. 23
7 p.m. CT (if necessary) – Championship Series Game Three (CBS Sports Network)