Eagles and Comets Split Friday Doubleheader

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The Cleveland Comets and Beijing Eagles split a Friday doubleheader at the Embry-Riddle Softball Stadium as Beijing took the first game 2-1 and Cleveland bounced back with a 4-0 win in game two.


A pair of homers accounted for the only runs of the game as Beijing came away with a 2-1 win over the Comets in the day’s first game with pitching dominating the contest.


Cleveland got on the board in the top of the first thanks to a solo home run from Alexa Peterson, her third long ball of the season, giving the Comets a 1-0 lead against Beijing and the Eagles’ starter Emily Watson.


After Randi Rupp allowed a leadoff single to start the bottom of the first, she settled in and then retired the next eight batters before Li Qi got her second hit off the Cleveland starter. But Rupp got Victoria Draper to ground out to end the third inning and keep the Comets in front by a run.


Watson stranded a runner at third in the fourth to hold the score at 1-0, and her team rewarded her with a two-run homer off the bat of Liu Mengmeng. Wang Mengyan kept the bottom of the fourth alive with a two-out infield single and Mengmeng unloaded on a 0-1 pitch from Rupp, driving it deep over the left field fence to give the Eagles a 2-1 advantage.


Watson worked hard in the fifth to keep her team ahead, leaving two runners in scoring position after they reached with one out, thanks to a strikeout and fly out of Yuan Huaining and Peterson, respectively.


Angel Bunner came in to relieve Watson to start the sixth and had no problem with the middle of the Comet lineup, going three-up, three-down.


Beijing couldn’t add to its lead in the last of the sixth and Bunner was tasked with preserving the one-run win…


Watson (2-1) picked up the win for the Eagles, going five innings, allowing one run on four hits with seven strikeouts, while Bunner earned her first save of the 2018 seasons in two innings of relief.


Mengmeng was named the Vaultz Lock It Up Player of the Game thanks to her game-winning homer in the fourth inning.


Rupp (0-4) got the loss in the circle, allowing just the two runs on the homer from Mengmeng while striking out two.



The Comets were able to secure a doubleheader split with a 4-0 win in the second game, led by the pitching of Gretchen Aucoin and Rupp.


Peterson delivered her second home run of the day to start the scoring in the day’s finale, a towering two-run shot that cleared the scoreboard in the first inning off of Beijing starter Wang Lan as Cleveland grabbed a 2-0 lead.


bAucoin, in her first appearance since pitching the Comets to their first win in franchise history earlier in the week, faced three Eagles in the bottom of the first, inducing three weak ground outs to send the game to the second frame.


Aucion was also perfect in the second, but ran into some trouble in the third after a one-out error and ensuing walk put two Eagles on base. Aucion got out of the jam after a sac bunt and an easy infield pop up to keep her team in front, 2-0.


Lan kept the Comets at bay after the two-run homer in the first, and Aucoin continued to dominate, taking a no-hitter into the fourth before Chen Jia singled to start the inning, but Aucoin stranded her on the base paths as the game moved to the fifth.


Peterson kept up her hot-hitting ways with a one-out double in the sixth, but Lan kept her at second base, keeping the Beijing deficit at just 2-0.


The Eagles chased Aucoin from the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, getting two runners on with one out. Rupp, who was the tough-luck loser in the first game on Friday, entered in relief and escaped the jam, retiring back-to-back Beijing pinch hitters.


Chloe Miller started the seventh inning off with her first home run of the year, a high fly ball to left that bounced off the top of the fence and out of the Embry-Riddle Softball Stadium, pushing the Cleveland lead to 3-0. After Xie Yue reached on an error, Shellie Robinson doubled her home with two outs in the frame as the Comets tacked on two runs of insurance in the inning.


Aucoin (2-0) got the win in 5.1 innings of work, striking out two and allowing just four hits and no runs. Rupp picked up her second save of the year in 1.2 perfect innings of relief.


Miller earned Vaultz Lock It Up Player of the Game thanks to her 3-for-3 effort at the plate, including her first long ball of the year.


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 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.




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