Akron, Ohio- July 8, 2015 – Fans saw plenty of action in the battle of the bats between the USSSA Pride and Akron Racers last night as the Racers took game one of the double header 5-4. But it wouldn’t be an easy win for the Racers: The Pride wouldn’t go down without a fight and proceeded to take game two of the double header 5-1.
In game one, the Pride capitalized on a big Racers error by scoring two runs off a Megan Wiggins (1-3, 1 run, 1 RBI) double to left field in the first inning. They lead 2-0 until the Racers bats would string together a couple hits in the third allowing them to scratch a run making it 2-1. The Racers altered the scoreboard again in the fourth on a Kelly Montalvo solo shot over the center field fence that would tie the game at 2.
The Pride answered back in the 5th with a two out, RBI double to right center off the bat of Kelly Kretschman (2-2, 1 RBI). Natasha Watley (2-4, 2 runs) scored the go ahead run after previously singling to center field.
Once again the Racers would answer back in the same inning. Nerissa Myers doubled to left field and Taylor Schlopy followed with a homer over the fence in right field to give the Racers a 4-3 lead.
Sarah Pauly retired the Pride bats in order in the top of the 6th to bring the Racers’ bats to the plate once again. Nerissa Myers singled to right field to score Barrett, adding another un-earned run for the Racers, 5-3: A lead the Pride wouldn’t recover from.
But Shelby Pendley (1-1, 1 run, 1 RBI) and the Pride wouldn’t go down without a fight. Pendley’s lead off solo shot over the right field fence moved the Pride within 1, but that would be all they would manage as the Racers’ defense behind Pauly would retire Madison Shipman, Chelsea Goodacre and Natasha Watley in order.
Hannah Rogers (1-2) would be charged with the loss after throwing 1.1 innings of relief for Chelsea Thomas who threw the first 3.1 innings. Andi Williamson would enter in the 5th to throw a final 1.1 innings of relief for Hannah Rogers. Sarah Pauly, now 6-2 picked up the win for the Racers for game one of the DH.
In game two, after three scoreless innings on both ends the Pride came out with a bang in the top of the 4th. The former Oklahoma power duo, Shelby Pendley (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI) and Lauren Chamberlain (3-4, 1 HR, 1RBI) followed each other’s at bats and both homered to get the Pride up 2-0. It was Pendley’s second homer of the day and third on the season. Madison Shipman (1-4) followed suit and singled with one out but Fico was able to get herself out of the inning trailing by two runs. It seemed the former Oklahoma players were making all the key plays in the 4th. Keilani Ricketts (3-1) following an unfortunate hit by pitch to start the inning, struck out the next three batters to end the 4th.
The Pride offense wasn’t done there, following a throwing error by the Racers first baseman Kretschman advanced to second to start the 5th. Wiggins followed with a fly out to right field that was deep enough for Kretschman to land on third. With one out, Brigette Del Ponte (1-4, 1 RBI) stepped up to the plate, grounded out to shortstop but earned herself an RBI to put the Pride up 3-0.
In the 6th, Lauren Chamberlain singled to center to start things off for the Pride. Following a Shipman line out, coach Davenport decided to put Amber Freeman (1-1, 2B, 1 RBI) in to pinch hit for Megan Willis. Freeman earned her first double of the season that brought in the fourth run for the Pride. Quickly after, NPF veteran Natasha Watley (2-4, 1 RBI), added her first triple of the season to put the Pride up 5-0 to start the 7th.
In the final inning of game two against the Racers, despite loading the bases with no outs the Pride left three runners on and could not score in the 7th. The Racers on the other hand, would not stop the fight and a Robinson homer put the Akron Racers on the board with one. The next three batters were stopped by Keilani Ricketts who pitched seven full innings and totaled 7 strikeouts, allowing only two hits. Rachele Fico took the loss. The game two win was certainly a team effort and the Pride need to continue their offensive strike for the remainder of the season.
With the 5-4 loss of game one and the 5-1 win of game two, the Pride improve to 14-7 on the season.
Game 1: Pride: 5 Racers: 4
Game 2: Pride: 5 Racers: 1
Records: Pride: (14-7) Racers: (13-13)
Official Game 1 Box Score: http://ow.ly/PotNx
Official Game 2 Box Score: http://ow.ly/PoutI
The USSSA Pride will take on the Akron Racers one more time tonight, July 9th at 7:05 PM (ET) to complete the series against the Akron Racers. Will the Racers force the series split or will your Pride improve to 3-1 and take the series win. Tune in tonight to find out!
For all information about the USSSA Pride and the 2015 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) season, visit the team website www.usssapride.com and follow the Pride all season long on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.