DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 19, 2018) – The USSSA Pride took both ends of a doubleheader against the Beijing Eagles on Thursday, taking game one by a score of 12-1 before winning the second game 4-0. The wins improve the Pride’s mark to 33-2 on the year, while the Eagles wrap up the season with a 13-33 record.
Game 1 – USSSA Pride 12, Beijing Eagles 1
The Pride jumped on the board first thanks to a two-run home run off the bat of Chelsea Goodacre to open the scoring. The lead increased to 5-0 two innings later when Megan Wiggins picked up an RBI single and Nicole DeWitt singled in a pair of runs.
USSSA’s offense exploded for seven runs in the fifth inning to break the game open. Hallie Wilson and Nicole Pendley recorded back-to-back RBI singles before Wiggins doubled home a pair to make it 9-0. Shelby Pendley singled in two more runs and Goodacre capped the scoring with an RBI single, pushing the lead to 12-0.
The Eagles got their first baserunner of the game on a two-out single from Ren Min in the fifth inning, but Beijing didn’t get on the scoreboard until two outs in the seventh inning when Lu Ying launched a home run over the fence in right field for the Eagles’ lone run of the contest.
Delanie Gourley improved to 3-1 with the win, tossing four perfect frames with two strikeouts. Kelsey Nunley pitched two innings, allowing just one hit while striking out one, and Paige Parker pitched the seventh, allowing a run on two hits with one strikeout.
Wiggins was named the Vaultz Lock It Up Player of the Game after finishing 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs. Goodacre was 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs, while Shelby Pendley went 2-for-5 a run scored and two RBIs.
Zhao Xinxing (1-5) took the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings of work. Chai Yinan gave up seven runs on seven hits in an inning of work, walking two and striking out two, while Emily Watson tossed a scoreless inning, giving up just one hit.
Ying finished 1-for-3 with a home run while Min and Xu Jia were each 1-for-3.
Game 2 – USSSA Pride 4, Beijing Eagles 0
Shelby Pendley opened the scoring in game two with a solo home run to lead off the second inning. The Pride increased its lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning, with Sahvanna Jaquish singling in a run with two outs and a Beijing error allowing another run to come home.
USSSA extended its lead to 4-0 in the fifth thanks to the speed of Allexis Bennett. With one out, Bennett reached on error, promptly stole second base and advanced to third on the play when the throw sailed into center field, and then scored on a groundout to shortstop where she narrowly slid in under the tag.
The Eagles got their first baserunner of the game in the bottom of the fifth as Liu Mengmeng led off the inning with a soft liner to center field for a base hit. Neither side would find a way to dent the scoreboard any further over the final few innings as the Pride held on for a 4-0 victory.
Jailyn Ford, who was named the Vaultz Lock It Up Player of the Game, picked up the win to improve to 4-0, allowing just one hit in five shutout innings with six strikeouts. Jolene Henderson tossed the final two innings, allowing just one hit and no runs with four strikeouts.
Shelby Pendley went 2-for-3 with a home run, stolen base, and two runs scored to lead the Pride offense, while Jaquish was 1-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI.
Angel Bunner (6-10) took the complete game loss, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits, walking two and striking out four.
Victoria Draper and Mengmeng each went 1-for-3 to account for both of Beijijng’s hits in the game.
The Eagles wrap up the 2018 season with a 13-33 record, which marks a 10-win improvement over their inaugural season last year. The Pride will return home next week to begin a six-game home stand on Monday, July 23, with the first of three games against the Cleveland Comets (July 23-25) before welcoming the Chicago Bandits for three games July 26-28. First pitch for all six games is set for 7 p.m.
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.