Kissimmee, FL- It was a sweltering day at ESPN Wide World of Sports on Sunday, as the Pride beat the Bandits, 6-2. The Pride/ Bandits game started in front of a packed house crowd of over 10,000, as the fans celebrated the commencement of the USSSA Fast Pitch World Series as well as seeing the best softball players in the world compete on a gorgeous day in the Florida sun.
Natasha Watley started the Pride with a single to start the bottom of the 1st. Caitlin Lowe would sacrifice her over the third. Taryne Mowatt would then walk three straight batters and also walk in the Pride’s first run of the game. A wild pitch also later in the inning would score Jessica Mendoza and put the Pride up 2-0 at the end of the first.
Nikki Nemitz would be brought in to pitch in the second inning after Mowatt started the inning by walking Findlay and then hitting Megan Willis.
Samantha Findlay’s bat would come alive at a much needed time in the third with runners in scoring position, by hitting a line drive double to right field, scoring Mendoza and Callahan. Megan Willis then came up and hit a line drive to center, which scored Findlay from second, making the score 5-0.
The Bandits would put up their first run of the game in the fourth inning when Megan Wiggins hit a towering solo home run to right field, making it 5-1 in favor of the Pride.
In the top of the fifth the Bandits would have runners of second and third, after a single by Shannon Doepking and then a ground ball that if fielded cleanly would have been the second out by the Pride, but a Pride error left Tammy Williams reaching second and sending Doepking to third. Danielle Zymkowitz then singled to center scoring Doepking, Caitlin Lowe fielded the ball and threw home in time to get the charging Williams out in a collision with Pride catcher Megan Willis for the third out of the inning, leaving the score at 6-2.
A costly error would allow Caitlin Lowe to reach base, and eventually come around to score on a fielders choice by Jessica Mendoza. In the bottom of the sixth the Pride, with Watley in scoring position, and one out, Mendoza would hit what would have been a sacrifice fly to left scoring Watley. But after a conference by the umpires Watley was called out because of leaving the base early, ending the inning.
The Bandits hopes would come to an end after Shannon Doepking would strike out swinging to end the ball game, giving the Pride the 6-2 victory. Taryne Mowatt would get the loss for the Bandits, giving her her second loss of the season. Nikki Nemitz pitched five solid innings of work, giving up eight hits and four runs, while striking out four.
Cat Osterman continued her success from her six strike out relief appearance in a extra inning victory last night in a 1-0 win against the Bandits, as she continued to mow down the Bandits batters. Cat would finish the game earning her her 10th victory of the season. SHe finished the game having struck out ten batters, scattering four hits and giving up two earned runs.
The USSSA Pride will face off in their final home games in Florida against the Akron Racers at ESPN Wide World of Sports on Thursday, July 28th at 7:05PM. Come out and support your favorite NPF Team. For more information visit usssapride.com.
About USSSA Florida Pride:
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!