DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 27, 2018) – The Aussie Spirit scored once in the first and twice in the second took take an early 3-0 lead and held on for a 3-1 victory over the Beijing Eagles on Sunday night. The win moves the Spirit to 5-5 on the year and extends its winning streak to three games, while the Eagles fall to an identical 5-5 mark.
Belinda White got the Spirit on the board first with a two-out RBI single in the first inning to bring Shannon Keevers around from second to give Aussie a 1-0 lead.
The Spirit displayed some more two-out magic in the second inning when Stacey McManus dropped a base hit into shallow right field to plate two runs, extending the Aussie lead to 3-0.
Beijing took advantage of a Spirit error in the bottom of the third as Li Qi singled home Liu Yinning, who had reached on a Chelsea Robinson error, to score the Eagles’ first run of the contest, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
Two innings later, the Spirit extended its lead with a pair of unearned runs. McManus opened the inning by reaching on an error by Angel Bunner, and with two outs, White drove her home to make it 4-1. Jessica Torpey followed up with an RBI double to score White, increasing the margin to 5-1.
The Eagles answered back in the bottom of the fifth, scoring twice to get back to within two runs. Wang Mengyan delivered an RBI double to the fence in left-center, scoring Yinning who had reached on an error to begin the inning. Four pitches later, Victoria Draper knocked in Yang Huiqi, who had pinch ran for Mengyan, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
Both pitching staffs settled down over the final two innings as neither side was able to push across any more runs, as the Spirit held on for the 5-3 win.
White was named the Vaultz Lock It Up Player of the Game after going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. McManus was 1-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored while Keevers was 2-for-4 with two stolen bases and two runs scored.
Qi, Draper, Chen Jia, and Mengyan each tallied hits for Beijing, while Yinning scored twice and Huiqi scored once.
Stephanie Trzcinski (2-1) got the win, allowing two runs (one earned) on just one hit in an inning of work. Taylor Paige-Stewart started for the Spirit, tossing the first three innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits with no walks or strikeouts. Amelia Cudicio picked up her first save, pitching three shutout innings to close out the victory, allowing just one hit.
Emily Watson (1-1) took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits in four innings of work, walking three and striking out seven. Angel Bunner pitched the final three innings for Beijing, giving up two unearned runs on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts
The Spirit and the Eagles are slated to meet once again tomorrow night for the fifth game of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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.