MARION, Ill. – The Pride took both games of the doubleheader Saturday, 3-1, and 9-4, over the Diamonds from Rent One Park. Danielle Lawrie grabbed her fifth victory of the season in Game-1, Saturday afternoon. Danielle Spaulding grabbed her first win of the season in the Game-2 nightcap. Morgan Melloh took the loss for the Diamonds in the first game, and Megan Gibson earned her second loss of the series in the second game of the night. Ashley Charters was the offensive player of the day, going 3-for-3 in the first game, and adding two hits, including a home run for an encore in the second game.
Lawrie came into the ballgame ranked the top pitcher in the league, and lived up to the hype. The righty did not allow a hit until the fifth inning when the local-lady Kristin Schnake drove a base hit down the left field line. Lawrie went the distance for her fourth straight complete-game victory. She allowed one run off four hits, while striking out seven and walking just two. It was Lawrie’s sixth complete-game of the season.
Melloh took the tough luck loss in the afternoon game, working the entirety as she moves her record to 3-5 on the season. The southpaw struck out six and walked just two batters, after allowing three runs off 10 Pride hits. Melloh went for her league-leading seventh complete game of 2011.
Ashley Charters had three hits and one RBI, leading the offensive attack for the Pride. Jessica Mendoza had a two-hit afternoon and drove in a run. Charlotte Morgan also had two hits in the game as the Pride struck first in the top half of the first inning, for the second straight game.
The lone Diamonds run would cross the plate in the sixth inning when Megan Gibson drove in Kristin Schnake.
In the second game of the doubleheader, and third game of the series the Diamonds jumped out to their first lead of the series with a Gibson two-out, two-run blast, giving the Diamonds a 2-0 lead in the first inning. However, the lead would last just four innings as Gibson allowed five runs to cross the plate in the fifth inning, as the Pride took the lead for good, 6-2. Gibson moves her record to 1-5 on the season with the defeat.
The Pride offense was just too much to handle for the Diamonds, as all five runs crossed the plate in the fifth inning before an out was recorded. Charters drove in two of her five runs on the game with a two-run double. Alissa Haber followed with a two-run single of her own and Samantha Findlay concluded the fifth inning route with an RBI single.
Charters recorded two hits and five RBIs to go along with her two runs scored in the game, including her second home run of the year. Natasha Watley reached base four times, including three hits and two runs scored. Caitlin Lowe struck for three singles as well, coming around to score all three times. Haber added two hits and two RBIs from the three-spot in the batting order.
The Diamonds tried to keep it close as Biannca Mejia jacked her league-leading fourth home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Danielle Spaulding went for the complete-game win, although it wouldn’t be easy for the lefty who struggled with her command all evening. Spaulding allowed four runs off five hits, while walking nine batters and striking out four.
The series finale will take place at 2:05 p.m. from Rent One Park on Sunday as the Pride go for the four-game sweep. With the two victories Saturday, the USSSA Pride and defending league champions move their record to 12-7 on the season, as the Diamonds fall to a league worst 4-15 with the two losses.