A seven-run first inning propelled the USSSA Pride to a 17-4 victory over the NPF Diamonds on Wednesday night at Foothills Stadium.
CALGARY - NPF catcher Brittany McKinney hit her first two home runs of the season and collected three RBI, but it was the Pride offense that powered out 17 hits to pick up the win. Designated hitter Natasha Watley, right fielder Kelly Kretschman, shortstop Jenn Salling and second baseman Ashley Charters each had three RBI for USSSA.
The Pride scored five of the first-inning runs with two outs and all seven runs were unearned, as USSSA capitalized on a pair of errors and five hits to produce the big inning. First baseman Charlotte Morgan’s RBI-single got the offense rolling, while third baseman Andrea Duran and Salling each plated two runs. Charters and Watley also picked up an RBI apiece in the frame.
NPF made up some ground in the second thanks to McKinney’s two-run blast. A two-out walk to left fielder Jami Lobpries opened the door for McKinney’s first home run of the season to cut the deficit to five.
The score remained 7-2 until the fifth when Morgan once again ignited the offense with a solo homer to lead off the inning. After a walk to left fielder Francesca Enea, Charters also went deep for the fourth time this season. Watley made it an 11-2 lead when she plated Duran with a base-knock.
McKinney added her second long ball of the game with a solo shot to lead off the bottom half of the inning. Two batters later, third baseman Bianca Mejia followed suit with her 10th blast of the season.
After the two teams played through a scoreless sixth, the Pride offense cranked up again in the seventh, tacking on six more runs. USSSA scored five of the runs before NPF could even make an out. Salling drove in her third run of the game with a base-hit and Duran crossed the plate for the third time in the contest. Watley’s two-bagger drove in another run before Kretschman cleared the bases with a three-run double. Kreschman scored on an error for the final run to account for the 17-4 final.
Danielle Lawrie picked up the win after allowing four runs on four hits through five innings, while Danielle Spaulding tossed just two-thirds of an inning and gave up seven runs, none of them earned, on five hits in the loss.