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Aug. 15, 2011

Former Buckeyes Sam Marder and Jamee Juarez will be part of the action as National Pro Fastpitch begins its 2011 Championship Series Thursday.

Marder, who is hitting .403 for the second-seeded Akron Racers (22-17), will help her squad face the third-seeded Chicago Bandits (20-20) in a best-of three series for the right to advance to the finals. USSSA Pride (30-9) will face the NPF Diamonds (6-32) in the other best-of-three series. Juarez has appeared in 16 games for Chicago, with a 4.29 ERA.

Coverage of the 2011 NPF Championship Series will be carried on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com. The networks will cover the finals of the League’s hallmark event, a culmination of the season that places all four NPF teams in tournament format action over the weekend of August 18-21. The event will take place for the second year in a row in Sulphur, La. at McMurry Park.

The Championship Series format places the four NPF teams in seeded positions based on their regular season standings. The No. 1 seed will play the No. 4 seed in a best-of-three series while the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds will play each other in a best-of-three series. The winners of those two series will face off in a best-of-three Final Series that begins at 8:00 p.m. ET Saturday, August 20 with the first game. Game 2 of the Final Series will take place live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com Sunday, August 21, at 2 p.m. EST with the “if necessary” game following at 5 p.m. EST. In the event an “if game” is necessary, it will be available in prime time on Monday August, 22 at 10 p.m. EST on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.