OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – With the game deadlocked at 0-0 going into the top of the seventh inning, Cheryl Bolding (Arizona Heat) came up big with a sacrifice fly, scoring Lisha Ribellia (Arizona) to give the West National Pro Fastpitch team a 1-0 victory over the East National Pro Fastpitch team Wednesday night at Don E. Porter Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Nancy Evans (Arizona Heat), who was named the game’s most valuable player, started the top of the seventh inning with a single into center field which was followed by a walk from Clare Burnum (Texas), giving the West runners on first and second with nobody out. Evans finished the game posting two (2-for-3) of the three West hits.
After a passed ball and a strikeout, Bolding came up to the plate with runners on second and third with just one out and on the second pitch she saw, sent a fly ball to left field. Despite a good throw by left fielder Nicole Trimboli (Akron Racers), Ribellia slide under the tag to score the game’s lone run.
Peaches James (Texas) earned the win in relief, going the final two innings and striking out one. Kaci Clark (NY/NJ) took the loss, going three innings, allowing one run on two hits, walked one and struckout one.
West starting pitcher Christa Williams (Texas) held the East All-Stars in check for five innings, allowing two hits, both singles, walking two and striking out one.
Both teams had opportunities early in the game to get on the scoreboard, but good pitching and defense ended their chances.
With one out and Wilkerson on first in the bottom of the fourth, East hitter Nicole Trimboli (Akron Racers) sent a roller that went past the first baseman and looked like it was going to score Wilkerson from first. However, West second baseman Lindsay Gardner (Texas) made a diving play to her left, snagging the ball and throwing Trimboli out at first.
In the top of the second inning, the West had Brandy Thurman (California Sunbirds) and Nancy Evans on second and third with two outs, but they couldn’t push the runs across the plate. In the bottom of the inning, the East had Wilkerson on third with two outs, but they couldn’t push the run across.
Prior to the game, NY/NJ Juggernaut slugger Kellie Wilkerson took home the first-ever Rawlings Home Run Challenge Trophy, as she defeated Akron’s Iyhia McMichael. In the three-round competition Wilkerson ousted the Juggernaut’s Lyndsey Klein, California’s Jaime Foutch and two members from the Texas Thunder, Lindsay Gardner and Clare Burnum. Wilkerson was very impressive in the three rounds, knocking a total of nine home runs out of Hall of Fame Stadium.
All six teams will return to action starting tomorrow night to begin the second half of the season.