The USSSA Florida Pride kicked off its 2010 season with an exhibition game today vs. the Venezuela National Team. As the clouds parted over the UCF softball complex, and the fans found their way inside, the rain that had been coming down over the Central Florida area cleared to allow the game to begin, despite the slight rain delay that pushed the game start time to 7:20 pm.
Sarah Pauly served as starting pitcher for the Pride, allowing no hits in the first inning. Caitlin Lowe led off for the Pride in the bottom of the first and walked to first after being hit by a pitch from Venezuela starting pitcher Mariaugee Bogado. Lauren Lappin stepped up to the plate next, also making it on base on a walk. Jessica Mendoza’s pop fly to center field became an out for the left fielder but allowed for an RBI as Lowe earned the first run of the night. Two more outs from Kelly Kretschman and Tonya Callahan pushed the game into the second inning.
Three quick outs in the top of the second put the Pride at bat again, with UCF’s own assistant softball coach Nicole Trimboli leading the line-up. A hit to the pitcher found Trimboli thrown out at first and brought Charlotte Morgan to the plate.
The first base player stepped up for her first at-bat in the professional league after a devastating loss by Alabama to Hawaii in the NCAA softball super-regionals. After racking up a full count, the Pride rookie struck out swinging and was followed by catcher Megan Willis who did the same.
The third inning saw the first hit of the night from the Pride’s short-stop Lauren Lappin, following two thrown outs on Williams and Lowe. Mendoza followed with a hit to third and was thrown out at first, marking the third out of the inning.
With Pauly pitching a fourth inning of no hits, the Pride found themselves up to bat again. As the rain began to fall again, Kretschman stepped up to bat, making it to first on a walk. Following her was Toya Callahan, who found herself safe on a fielder’s choice while Kretschman was thrown out at second. Trimboli and Morgan both struck out swinging in the bottom of the fourth.
Due to the inclement weather, the game was suspended at the bottom of the fourth by officials with the Pride leading with a score of 0-1.
The Pride’s next exhibition game against the Venezuela National Team will be played Thursday, June 3 with the contest slated to begin at 7:05 pm. In order to give Central Florida softball fans a unique opportunity to witness the Pride as they prepare for their 2010 NPF regular season, the Pride has extended a special offer for this exhibition series only. For the remainder of the games vs. Venezuela, the first 200 guests to the UCF Softball Complex will be offered free admission with the presentation of a discount flier which can be found at the Pride’s facebook page.
The Pride’s 2010 NPF season will kick off June 9 in Lubbock, Texas when the team faces the Chicago Bandits at Rocky Johnson Field, home of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The opening game is scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. local time. For more information on the Pride, visit www.usssapride.com .
The USSSA Florida Pride joined the NPF as a franchise Team in November of 2009, operated by Florida Pride LLC. USSSA managed the Pride Team during 2009, culminating their inaugural season with a second place finish in the Championship Series. USSSA Florida Pride is sponsored by USSSA, the world’s largest amateur sports association, and is headquartered in Kissimmee, Florida.