NPF Report #6: Birk Joins Philadelphia in NPF Playoffs
Former ISU pitcher Stacy Birk
Former ISU pitcher Stacy Birk

Aug. 18, 2008

NORMAL, Ill. - It was a tale of two different ends to the 2008 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league season for former Illinois State softball pitchers Stacy Birk and Shannon Nicholson. With both players going against each other in the final weekend of regular-season play, Birk helped the Philadelphia Force record a four-game sweep of Nicholson's Akron Racers, and in the process, knocked Akron out of the four-team NPF league playoffs, which also secured a second-place regular-season finish for Philadelphia.

Birk was the only one of the pair to see any playing time during the season-ending series, as she recorded three pinch-hit at-bats in two games played, with two strikeouts. The series brought Philadelphia's regular-season record to 31-17 (.646), while Akron finished just outside of the four-team playoff race with a 19-29 (.396) regular-season mark.

Nicholson concluded her rookie campaign in the NPF league with a 0-0 record and a 6.30 ERA in 10.0 innings in the circle. At the plate, the All-American right-hander from Chatham, Ill., was 0-for-2 on the season.

Birk's 2008 regular-season pitching statistics included a 0-1 record with a 3.65 ERA in 23.0 innings pitched. In the batter's box, she has scored two runs, but thus far, has failed to record a hit in five at-bats.

Philadelphia's seeding for the double-elimination NPF league playoffs will be announced later this week. All playoff games will be played in Kimberly, Wis.