Avon, OH (June 14, 2019) – The Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois split their doubleheader against the Beijing Shougang Eagles and Cleveland Comets on Friday night from Spenger Stadium, getting a 4-0 shutout win in game one against the Eagles before dropping game two against the Comets 4-2.
Jenna Caira’s no-hitter was the highlight of game one. The Wild starter finished the game in 78 pitches and struck out four while only allowing a single base runner on a walk in the seventh. Her dominant performance earned her Park Planet Player of the Game honors for the contest. It was also the first no-hitter of the NPF season.
Backed up by Caira’s stellar pitching, the Wild offense went to work in the third when Victoria Hayward knocked in the first run of the night. Hayward hit into a fielder’s choice, and a wild throw from the Comets’ third base allowed Rumph to score for the 1-0 lead. On the play, Hayward advanced to third and was singled home by Joey Lye for the 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, Erika Polidori led off the inning with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. The Wild didn’t waste the opportunity, and Jennifer Salling singled Polidori home in the next at-bat. After a Kelsey Jenkins groundout and a single from Janet Leung got Salling to third, Callum Pilgrim knocked her in for the fourth run of the game.
From there, Caira took over, completely shutting down the offense for the Eagles for the rest of the contest.
Game two was a pitcher’s duel well into the game before the Comets broke it open in the sixth inning to take the lead and the game. Sara Groenewegen started for the Wild, making her second start of the season in her sixth appearance. She was fantastic in the circle, going four innings without allowing a hit or a walk while striking out three. Taylor Mcquillin went the distance for the Comets. She also had a dominant night, allowing two runs on four hits, with two walks and seven strikeouts.
The Wild opened the scoring with a solo home run from Kelsey Jenkins in the top of the fifth. The lead was short-lived as the Comets responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning after Chelsea Gonzales reached on a fielding error which allowed her to advance to third where she was then singled home by Palacios.
It was another lead for the Wild in the sixth. Emma Entzminger opened the inning with a walk, was bunted over to second by Victoria Hayward and singled home by Jennifer Gilbert. Again the Comets responded in the next half inning with three runs. Anissa Urtez knocked in the tying run with a double to right field, and then Chelsea Gonzales knocked in the winning runs with a single to center.
Gonzales earned Park Planet Player of the Game honors on the night, going one for three at the plate with two RBIs.
The Wild have another doubleheader against the Eagles and the Comets on Saturday afternoon. First pitch against the Eagles goes at 4pm ET, while game two against the Comets is set for 7pm ET.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Aussie Peppers of Minnesota, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets, and USSSA Pride. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada, China, and Mexico, and represent the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.