Kissimmee, FL-July 22, 2014– After going hitless through the first four innings, the USSSA Florida Pride offense erupted for four unearned runs in the fifth to beat the Chicago Bandits 4-0 at ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex in Kissimmee, FL. Former Oklahoma Sooner teammates Keilani Ricketts and Michelle Gascoigne squared off in a pitchers’ duel in game one of Tuesday’s doubleheader.
“I knew it was going to be a challenge going up against Michelle and she threw a great game but at the same time I’m glad my teammates were able to get the win for us. This is the first time we’ve faced off in the NPF and I think it was a fun duel for the fans to watch,” said Ricketts about facing her former Sooner teammate.
In the bottom of the fifth, Kristyn Sandberg reached on a one-out walk before Courtney Ceo broke up Gascoigne’s no-hitter with a single to left field. Two batters later Natasha Watley’s bouncer up the middle was misplayed by second baseman Danielle Zymkowitz allowing pinch runner Breja’e Washington to score the first run of the game. Caitlin Lowe then lined a single to right center that scored Ceo. The third run of the game came after pinch hitter Jessica Shults’s ball was misplayed by Gascoigne allowing Watley to score. Andrea Duran then ripped a RBI single to left center that scored Lowe from second base. The Pride offense scored four unearned runs on three hits, all in the fifth inning.
The Bandits threatened in the top of the third inning before Ricketts and the defense got out of the jam. After back-to-back singles by Megan Wiggins and Emily Allard and a walk by Tammy Williams, Ricketts forced Kristen Butler into a 6-2-3 double play to end the threat. Wiggins was 3-3 on the day with three singles.
Rickets (4-3) got her second win of the series after going five innings and striking out five. Cat Osterman threw two scoreless innings in relief allowing one hit and striking out two Bandit hitters. Gascoigne (3-3) suffered the loss after throwing five innings and allowing four unearned runs. With the win, the Pride take a 3-0 series lead.
“I felt good about my performance today overall. I was able to limit the runs until our offense was able to get on the board,” said Ricketts about her performance.
The Pride and Bandits return to action for the fourth and final game of the series in game two of the doubleheader Tuesday, July 22 at 7:05 PM EDT. For tickets visit www.usssapride.com or purchase tickets at the gate. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network with play-by-play Eric Collins and analyst Barbara Jordan. For more information and to access the CBS Sports Network channel finder, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.
Box Score: Click Here
Site: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Kissimmee, FL
Score: Bandits 0, Pride 4
Records: Chicago (17-12), Pride (23-8)
Next Game: Tuesday, July 22 at 7:05 PM EDT
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.