ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Devin Brown pitched the first complete game victory in Cleveland Comets franchise history and Jade Rhodes hit her first home run of the season in a 3-1 win over the Aussie Spirit at Missouri Western University on Wednesday.
The win snapped a five-game skid for the Comets.
“I thought they came out after a tough loss with a great mindset today,” said Cleveland coach Charlotte Morgan. “It started with Devin in the circle doing a great job keeping the hitters off balance. Offensively, we have been looking for that key hit and thought they did a great job of that, especially with Jade’s first home run of the season.”
Rhodes hit a 1-1 pitch over the fence in right field to jumpstart a three-run second inning for the Comets.
Sun Xun then beat out a bunt and advanced to second on a throwing error. Shellie Robinson then singled home a team-best 11th RBI. Robinson moved to second on Xie Yue’s bunt single and scored on Chloe Miller’s single to give the Comets a 3-0 lead.
Brown kept the Spirit in check until the fifth when Carmelle Sorensen led off the inning with a double and scored on Cleveland’s only error of the game.
She retired seven of the next eight hitters to preserve Cleveland’s fifth win of the season.
“I thought we had a great team win tonight and it felt amazing to see everyone play together and pull out the ‘W,’” Brown said. “Knowing my defense has my back really helps take the pressure off me and allows me to pitch with freedom.”
Brown didn’t allow an earned run and yielded a season-low three hits in seven innings. She struck out four.
“I was just mixing all my pitches tonight and locating well and letting my defense do the work,” she said.
Xie Yue led the Comets with two hits and Alexa Peterson also recorded a single in the game.
The Comets, who improved to 5-16 overall, are now 3-1 when scoring first, 5-2 when scoring three runs or more, 4-1 when leading after the fifth inning and 5-0 when outhitting their opponent.
Cleveland and Aussie continue their series on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. EST
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 Spirit, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2018 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.