Kiki Stokes Photo by Bill Diehm Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
TUSCALOOSA, AL (August 20, 2016) – Monica Abbott wasn't ready for her season to end on a rain-soaked Saturday at Rhoads Stadium, and her Scrap Yard Dawgs weren't going to let it happen.
No matter how long it took.
The Scrap Yard Dawgs bounced back after an opening-game loss to defending Cowles Cup champion Chicago, winning 10-1 in a five-inning contest that started in the morning and was called at night after five innings, following a weather delay of more than eight hours.
The result forces a decisive third game in the best-of-three series, scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m. CT. The USSSA Pride and Akron Racers are scheduled to play the second game of their semifinal series on Sunday at 11 a.m. CT, with a third game, if necessary, to take place in the evening.
The final series will now not begin before Monday.
Abbott, the NPF Pitcher of the Year who had a rough outing in the opener the day before, held the Bandits to one hit and got a ton of offensive support.
There was, however, a moment of doubt after Chicago outfielder Natalie Hernandez hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. It was the Bandits' third home run of the series off a pitcher who had given up just four home runs in the regular season.
Chicago led 1-0 and could close out the series if it could hold onto the lead.
Abbott closed the door after that, however, striking out five batters with no walks in four innings of work, and the Scrap Yard Dawgs' fierce attack made sure she could save some fuel for the third game.
The expansion team from the Houston area, which came in as the second seed in the NPF playoffs, answered Chicago's home run emphatically with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the second, keyed by a three-run homer off the bat of left fielder Kiki Stokes.
The Scrap Yard Dawgs produced another big inning in the fourth to plate four more runs, with shortstop Madison Shipman hitting a two-RBI single. Stokes tripled in two runs in the fifth before a lightning strike and heavy rains forced a delay.
Abbott improved to 19-2.
Losing pitcher Michelle Gascoigne (5-5) gave up eight runs (five earned) on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings. Lacey Waldrop pitched to one batter and Sara Moulton gave up two runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Sara Driesenga pitched one inning of no-hit relief to finish things off for the Scrap Yard Dawgs.
Stokes finished 2-for-4 with five RBIs, Emily Crane was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and three runs scored for the Scrap Yard Dawgs, with catcher Taylore Fuller going 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Revised schedule (all times CT):
11:00am – USSSA Pride vs. Akron Racers – NPFTV
4:00pm – Scrap Yard Dawgs vs. Chicago Bandits – CBSSN
7:00pm – USSSA Pride vs. Akron Racers (if necessary) OR Final Series Game 1 – NPFTV
7:00pm – Final Series Game 1 OR 2 – CBSSN
7:00pm – Final Series Game 2 OR 3 – CBSSN
10:00pm – Final Series Game 3 (if necessary) – NPFTV
PLAY BY PLAY
About the Chicago Bandits:
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch players to further their careers at a professional level, and the roster has included such names as Jennie Finch, Stacy May-Johnson, Emily Allard and Tammy Williams. The three-time NPF Champions, who are owned by Bill Sokolis, play at The Ballpark at Rosemont, the only stadium in the country built for a women’s professional team. The 2016 season will be the Bandits’ 12th season in the NPF.
About the Scrap Yard Dawgs:
The Scrap Yard Dawgs will begin competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2016. The Dawgs will provide elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Houston area, the Dawgs organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dawgs at www.scrapyarddawgs.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
Note to Media
Photos and b-roll of players is available. Interviews with the league commissioner are welcomed, and top players from each team are accessible immediately. If you’re interested in pursuing story angles about professional softball for women, please don’t hesitate to contact us.